20 Common Canadian Slang Words American Should Know
20-common-canadian-slang-words-american-should-know

Well, Americans and Canadians speak the same language, right? Not quite; although it’s not easy to locate a Canadian in the US. For most part, they both sound alike and both share a whole lot of values. They also identify with the same references in the aspects of culture. The truth is Canadians actually cherish and pride in their linguistic diversity and cultural heritage, and there are a lot of Canadian slang words that show these heritage. Most of the time, these slangs throw Americans into confusion when used by them. That’s why we have compiled a list of some of these slangs here in this article. They are common Canadian slang words Americans should know.

1 – Eh?

This is actually the most versatile of them all. Canadians actually end most of their words in “eh”. It is similar to the word hey, but sometimes used like right?’ The world has unlimited uses. Here are some of the ways it’s used
1. To end a question
2. To say hello to someone at a distance
3. To affirm something, like saying sure thing
4. To show surprise as in you are joking?

2 – Double-double

This is not a slip of tongue. It is a common phrase said to order a coffee with two creams and two sugars. It is a kind of coffee from Tim Horton, the most popular coffee shop in Canada.
An example is “Could you order a double-double for me?”

3 – Loonies and toonies

To appreciate these two words, a brief history about them is needed. The Canadian $1 bill was replaced with a $1 coin in 1987. An image of a common loon was on stamped the coin. This encouraged our animal-loving neighbors to refer to the coin as Loonie. In 1996, the Canadian $2 was also introduced, and the words “two” and “Loonie” became a single term, Toonie.
Example – All I have on me is a loonie
                  I can get it for a toonie

4 – Toque

It is pronounced toohk’. Speaking of the very cold weather over there in Canada, a toque is actually a winter hat. It’s what others commonly refer to as ski hats or beanies. It is formed from a French word that shares the same meaning, “cap”. Some spell this word tuque’.
Example – It’s too hot outside right now for a toque.

5 – Poutine

This is a kind of meal made with French fries, cheese and gravy. It’s a word adopted from Quebec. It is known for its exquisite taste too.
Example – The poutine was so amazing

6 – Washroom

This is an alternate word for bathroom. It’s the Canadian word for restroom. If you happen to be in Canada, don’t bother looking for a sign that says bathroom’. It’s called washroom.
Example – I am heading to the washroom

7 – Homo milk

This is one of the Canadian slang words that refer to milk with 3.25% fat. It should however not be confused with the Canadian whole milk. Canadians are given that look when they use this slang in the US. Usage of the Homo in the US refers to homosexuality. But in Canada, it’s actually a word that is plastered on milk to refer to a specific kind of milk, all over stores. In America, this milk is known as homogenized milk.
Example – Get me a homo milk at the store

8 – Pencil Crayon

This slang is known as colored pencil in the US. Why do Canadians say Pencil Crayon?’ maybe it is related to the French’s crayon de couleur’. It’s used even in schools in Canada.
Example – I will need two pencil crayons to get it done

9 – Icing Sugar

This is a kind of fine granulated sugar used while baking to make icings. The alternative word for this is powdered sugar.
Example – I prefer cakes without icing sugar

10 – Skookum

Sounds funny right? This word means exceptional or impressive. It’s a word gotten from the British Columbia.
Example – Darling, you look so skookum in that dress

11 – Mickey

Mickey is a word referring to a bottle of liquor that is flask-sized, such as rum or Canadian rye whiskey. It is a 375 ml alcohol bottle that can fit in a lady’s purse perfectly. It is similar to a two-four .
Example – All I need is a Mickey, am keeping it low-key tonight

12 – Timmies

When almost every Canadian you meet say something like I am going to Timmies’ You can’t but wonder who is this Tim guy, must be very popular.’ By Timmies, they are actually referring to Tim Horton’s coffee shop, which is the most popular coffee shop in Canada.
Example – Meet me at Timmies in the morning.

13 – Hang a Larry

If you are driving with a Canadian and he/she says Hang a Larry’, I know you will surely want to know this Larry guy you are supposed to hang. This slang simply means “Take left”. Confusing right? Well Canadians are Canadians. They just confuse you.
Example – Hang a Larry after two blocks.

14 – Hang a Roger

Canadian slang words are just hilarious. This slang means make a right turn. There is no way an American won’t be confused when Canadians use it; as Roger is a name.

15 – Runners

Runners are your casual sport shoes, like the sneakers or tennis shoes. This word can be used when referring to street shoes too.
Example – Grab your runners and follow me

16 – Pop

Pop is a common name for soda. The delicious beverage that mummy rarely allow you to have.
Example – We should get together and have a couple pops

17 – Chocolate Bar

Americans call this Candy bar. In Canada, it is used for all bars that have any amount of chocolate in them. An example is a skor.
Example – Get me a chocolate bar with the homo milk

18 – Parkade

This word is one of the Canadian slang words used when referring to a multi-level parking structure. Americans call it the parking garage or parking deck.
Example – I saw him drive into the parkade.

19 – Kerfuffle

Here is another of the funny Canadian slang words. This word refers to a commotion or fuss caused by disagreement.
Example – It caused quite the kerfuffle when He slapped her.

20 – Click

An alternative for this word is kilometer. Some spell the word as Klick also
Example – The house is about five clicks away

The way Canadians use their slang is pretty skookum eh? These are some of the popular Canadian slang words. So next time you come across a Canadian, you won’t be so confused when they speak. And just before we forget, ensure you learn some of these if you are not a Canadian native as you might just find yourself lost when in the country and cannot get along.

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Author: Tony Kroos
Category: Editor Picks, English, Speaking Lessons, Vocabulary
Date: November 24, 2016
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