We’ve covered some phrases and slang that I’ve come across since living in England. Now it’s time to educate you all about some Canadian sayings instead.
At first this was really difficult. I started to think that perhaps Canada just doesn’t have any quirky words. We’re just a big bland country. But once I got going, it was hard to stop! Canada does have two official languages, French and English, but since I was terrible at French in school, we’re going to stick to English words.
- Eh = A Canadian staple. It can be used in just about any sentence. “Cold out today, eh?”
- Toronto = If you pronounce this as it’s spelled, you’re either American or from abroad. Locals call this wonderful capital “Ter-on-no” with no T sound at the end
- Bud = it’s pretty affectionate to call your friends “bud” or “buddy”
- Aboot = I’ve never heard anyone say this so stop spreading the rumour that all Canadian say this!
- America = No one calls our neighbour to the south “America.” It’s either the States, or the US
- For sure = I’ve only recently noticed how often I say this and seem to be the only one in England doing so. “You need to see this movie, for sure.”
- LCBO = “Liquor Control Board of Ontario.” One of the only places to buy alcohol in Ontario where the drinking age is 19 (this differs across the provinces)
- Two-four = case of beer containing 24 bottles. “I’ll pick up a two-four from the LCBO before the party.”
- Mickey = 375 ml. (13 oz.) bottle of liquor
- Tall boy = tall can of beer (I swear these aren’t all booze-related)
- Muskoka chair = A large, usually wooden deck chair that’s a staple of all good cottages up north
- Beavertail = A deep-fried dessert pastry that’s supposed to look like a beaver’s tail. Delicious!
- Poutine = French fries covered with cheese curds and gravy
- Toque = A winter hat that’s usually a knit-like material. “Make sure you put your toque on before shoving the driveway, eh?”
- Runners = running shoes
- Timmies = Tim Hortons, the life-blood of many Canadian’s. Our version of Costa but there’s usually at least 2 Timmies on every street
- Double-double = what you’d order at Timmies if you want a coffee with two creams and two sugars
- Loonie = A $1 coin called so because of the Loon bird engraved on it. We also have toonies which are (you guessed it!) $2 coins
- Downtown = the high street or city-centre. “Let’s get some Timmie’s and head downtown.”
- Washroom or bathroom = toilet. “Where’s the washroom?” Just saying “toilet” is actually pretty rude in Canada!
- Candy = sweets
- Chirping = Making fun of someone. “Hey, bud, is that guy chirping you?”
Because Canada is such a huge country, many words (and accents) are regional depending on where you are.
In southern Ontario, I would say “backpack” but those up in Thunder Bay (northern Ontario) would call this a packsack. People in Saskatchewan call hoodies a “bunny hug.” Weird.
No matter what, Canada is such a weird and fun country and I wouldn’t change our odd slang for anything.