Project Milestones


Fall 2003
Dr. Fernand Arseneau (MD, LMCC, Dip. Sports Med.) from the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont Hospital in Moncton approached the Université de Moncton’s Centre de recherché en linguistique appliquée (CRLA), looking for solutions to the difficulties medical interns from Quebec were having with Acadian vernacular. Then director, Gisèle Chevalier, agreed to take on the creation of a glossary of Acadian health terms.

An open-ended questionnaire was sent to a large number of individuals, including doctors, nurses, employees of clinics or health offices, nursing students and men and women of all ages and backgrounds living in New Brunswick and in Pubnico, Nova Scotia. Over 600 words and expressions were collected, including words in traditional Acadian, colloquial and popular French “Chiac” and words borrowed from English.

Lise Rodrigue compiled a list of health-related terms that she found in various Acadian French glossaries and dictionaries, and then checked the occurrence of the words in other sources in order to trace their origin and evolution in Canadian French.


Lexique différentiel des termes acadiens reliés à la santé
Written by
Gisèle Chevalier
et Lise Rodrigue
Pour commander le livre : Librairie Acadienne
(506) 858-4140


Spring 2006
The words collected were entered into an online public database entitled Glossaire acadien de la santé (GAS). Users could search the words by themes and languages – Acadian French, standard French, and English. (The site was deleted in 2010).

Fall 2008
Publication of the book Les mots pour parler des maux (‘Words Used to Talk About Aches and Pains’). The book includes a lexicon of approximately 150 words compiled by Lise Rodrigue, and 400 words taken from the GAS.

Creation of a new Web site and expansion of the database with words collected from other Canadian francophone communities.



We would like to thank everyone who generously contributed to the creation of the GAS.

  • Dr Fernand Arseneau (MD, LMCC, Dip. Méd.), project instigator

  • Marielle Bossé, Professor of Nursing at the Université de Moncton, who helped coordinate our survey with nursing students and established contacts in some of New Brunswick’s Acadian communities

  • Nursing colleagues and students at Université de Moncton - Moncton, Shippagan and Bathurst campuses, who submitted the first words.

  • Véronica d'Entremont and Theresa Mea for conducting surveys in Nova Scotia and Caraquet, respectively

  • Reno LeBlanc (Memramcook), Catherine Léger (Haute-Aboujagane) and Catherine Vienneau (Dieppe), respondents from Southeast New Brunswick

  • Alexandre Enkerli, who conducted a survey in Southeast New Brunswick, compiled information and carried out terminological research

  • Individuals and organizations who conducted surveys and completed our questionnaire (See the book for a more detailed list)

  • Individuals from the following organizations who completed our questionnaire:

    • Foyer Saint-Antoine
    • Dieppe Family Medicine Centre
    • Villa du Repos de Moncton
    • Villa Providence de Shédiac
    • Université de Moncton’s Centre de santé
    • Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont Hospital
    • Hôpital Stella-Maris-de-Kent