Appendix:Glossary of Canadian English

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Canadian English has words or expressions not found, or not widely used, in other variants of English. Additionally, like other dialects of English that exist in proximity to francophones, French loanwords have entered Canadian English. This page comprises words—proper English terms, French loanwords, and slang words—that are distinctive for their relatively widespread use in Canada.

Canadian English words, expressions, and terms[edit]

  • ABM, bank machine: a common term for an automated teller machine.
  • all worried: Used in Montreal. If someone says this, they are usually being sarcastic and aren't actually worried..on the contrary...they probably have little worries.
  • allophone: a resident of Quebec who speaks a first language other than English or French. Used only by linguists in other English-speaking countries, this word has come to be used by journalists and broadcasters, and then by the general public, in some parts of Canada.
  • bachelor: bachelor apartment ("Bachelor for rent")
  • Bytown: the original name of Ottawa before its designation as national capital, often still used in the same context as Hogtown for Toronto or Cowtown for Calgary.
  • Canuck: A slang term for "Canadian" in the U.S. and Canada. It sometimes means "French Canadian" in particular, especially when used in the Northeast of the United States and in Canada. Adopted as the name of the National Hockey League team in Vancouver. Sometimes jokingly pronounced can-OOK (not used this way for the hockey team, aka "the Nucks").
  • chesterfield: a sofa or couch. Used somewhat in Northern California; obsolete in Britain (where it originated). Sometimes (as in classic furnishing terminology) refers to a sofa whose arms are the same height as the back, but more usually to any couch or sofa. The more international terms sofa and couch are also used; among younger generations in the western and central regions, chesterfield is largely in decline.
  • chinook: a warm, dry wind experienced along the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. Most common in winter and spring, a chinook wind can result in a rise in temperature of 20 °C (35 to 40 °F) in a quarter of an hour. In British Columbia, the word is pronounced with an affricate ch instead of the fricative sh sound as used elsewhere in Canada, and means an extremely wet, warm constant southwesterly, which actually is the same weather pattern as the drying wind that it becomes when it hits Alberta. The use of the word to mean a wind is from the Chinook Jargon, "i.e., the wind from the direction of the country of the Chinooks" (the lower Columbia River), as transmitted to the Prairies by the francophone employees of the North West Company, hence the Frenchified pronunciation east of the Rockies. A Chinook in BC is also one of the five main varieties of salmon, and can also mean the Chinook Jargon, although this older usage is now very rare (as is the Jargon itself).
  • concession road: in southern Ontario and southern Quebec, one of a set of roads laid out by the colonial government as part of the distribution of land in standard lot sizes. The roads were laid out in squares as nearly as possible equal to 1,000 acres (4 km²). Many of the concession roads were known as sidelines, and in Ontario many roads are still called lines.
  • dayliner: a Budd Rail Diesel Car, a self-propelled diesel passenger railcar on the former British Columbia Railway, also called "Budd Car" after the company who made them (the dayliner is now out of service)
  • double-double: a cup of coffee with two creams and two sugars
  • droke: (especially Newfoundland) coppice, thicket
  • eaves troughs (also Northern & Western U.S.): grooves or channels that attach to the underside of the roof of a house to collect rainwater. Known to most Americans and to Britons as gutters.
  • eh: a spoken interjection to ascertain the comprehension, continued interest, agreement, etc., of the person or persons addressed ("That was a good game last night, eh?"). May also be used instead of "huh?" or "what?" meaning "please repeat or say again." Frequently mis-represented by Americans as A, or hey. May have its origins from the French hein, which is pronounced in a very similar fashion.
  • Family Compact: a group of influential families who exercised substantial political control of Ontario during part of the 1800s. The Quebec equivalent was the Chateau Clique.
  • fire hall: fire station, firehouse
  • garburator: a garbage disposal unit located beneath the drain of a kitchen sink.
  • give'r: a shortened form of "give her a go," this slang term is used to encourage someone on (i.e., if one wanted to get the driver to go faster, he could say "just give'r buddy!"). The present tense of give'r is givn'r(short for giving her a go)
  • Gostapo: GO Transit Enforcement Unit security staff in the Greater Toronto Area. They check for valid tickets or passes on GO Transit commuter trains and issue fines for not having same.
  • Grit, grit: a member or supporter of one of the federal or provincial liberal parties (but not the Parti libéral du Québec)
  • height of land: divide, water parting
  • homo milk: homogenized milk, particularly with a fat content greater than 2%, usually 3.25%. Referred to in the U.S. as whole milk.
  • humidex: measurement used by meteorologists to reflect the combined effect of heat and humidity.
  • hydro: (except Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Maritimes) commonly as a synonym for electrical service. Many Canadian provincial electric companies generate power from hydroelectricity, and incorporate the term "Hydro" in their names: Toronto Hydro, Hydro Ottawa, etc. Usage: "Manitoba Hydro... It's not just a Power Company anymore."; "How long did you work for Hydro?" "When's Hydro gonna get the lines back up."; "The hydro bill is due on the fifteenth."; "I didn't pay my hydro bill so they shut off my lights." Hence hydrofield, a line of electricity transmission towers, usually in groups cutting across a city, and hydro lines/poles, electrical transmission lines/poles.
  • Kokanee: British Columbian name for a species of land-locked salmon (accent on first syllable). Also the name of a popular beer made in the Kootenay district, also known as "Blue Cocaine."
  • line: see Concession road.
  • loonie: Canadian one dollar coin. Derived from the use of the loon on the reverse.
  • lumber jacket: A thick flannel jackeolett either red and black or green and black favoured by blue collar workers and heavy metal/grunge afficinados. This apparel is more commonly referred to as a mackinac (pron mackinaw). In parts of British Columbia, it is referred to as a doeskin.
  • Nanaimo bar: a confection named for the town of Nanaimo, British Columbia and made of egg custard with a Graham-cracker-based bottom and a thin layer of chocolate on top; however, this term is now common in the United States and elsewhere, thanks to the efforts of Starbucks in popularizing them.
  • Newfie, Newf: A colloquial, often derisive term used to describe one who is from Newfoundland and Labrador. Historically viewed as derogatory, but often used nowadays with light humour.
  • parkade: a parking garage, especially in the West; probably coined by either the Woodward's or Hudson's Bay Company department store chains.
  • pencil crayon:Common term for coloured pencil.
  • pickerel: This is a slang word for walleye.
  • pogey: social assistance, welfare (Especially in Newfoundland.), Employment insurance. In British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia pogey always means Employment Insurance, as opposed to the dole or other terms for Welfare.
  • pop: the common name for soft drinks or soda pop.
  • quiggly hole and quiggly town: remains of First Nations underground houses in the Interior of British Columbia
  • runners: running shoes, sneakers, especially in Central Canada. Also used somewhat in Australian English, and in the Republic of Ireland.
  • serviette: a small square of cloth or paper used while eating, a napkin. Derives from British English.
  • Ski-Doo: a brand name now used generically to refer to any snowmobile, most often pronouced "sk-DOO". Can also be used as a verb. Also skidoo.
  • Skookum: a term used primarily, but not exclusively in British Columbia and Yukon Territory as well as the U.S. Pacific Northwest, from a Chinook word meaning "strong, powerful, good, cool, superlative or first rate" but also currently used to indicate "very good." ("Skookum party last night, eh?" "He's a skookum guy, that skookum with you?")
  • snowbird: a Canadian who spends the winter in the U.S. (often Florida). Often retired.
  • sugar pie: A pie made with maple-sugar filling, similar to a butter tart and a staple in Québécois home cooking.
  • Timbits: a brand name of doughnut holes made by Tim Hortons that has become a generic term
  • toonie: Canadian two dollar coin. Modelled after loonie (q.v.). Also spelled tooney, twooney, twoonie, twonie, or twoney
  • toque: a knitted winter hat, often with a pompom on the crown.
  • two-four: A case of twenty-four beers. The two-four refers to the Victoria Day long weekend in May
  • washroom: the general term for what is normally named public toilet or lavatory in Britain. In the U.S. (where it originated) mostly replaced by restroom in the 20th century. Generally used only as a technical or commercial term outside of Canada. The term "toilet" is generally considered somewhat indelicate in Canada and is avoided.

French loanwords[edit]

Often native French Canadian speakers will use calques of French idioms, so in Quebec it is relatively common of for both Anglophones and Francophones to "close the light" or to "open the light," meaning to turn on or off the light in a room. This was especially common in the Gaspé Peninsula, where until recently Anglophones and Francophones lived in mixed communities for generations. Similar calques from other languages are found in English throughout Canada, particularly in BC and the Prairies where translated usages from European languages are common, whether inherited from parents or spoken by new immigrants.

Canadian slang words[edit]

Canadian slang consists of words and phrases of slang exclusive to or originating from Canada. It is important to note that many of these words are regional and not used in all areas. In addition to general-purpose slang, there are slang nicknames for many Canadian places, and residents of specific Canadian places.

Numbers[edit]

  • 2-4: (two four) a box containing 24 beer ("Beer" being short for "bottles of beer")

These numbers designate the Victoria Day holiday, which falls on the Monday closest to the twenty-fourth of May May 2-4

  • 2-8: (two eight) a box containing 28 beer. See King Case
  • 26er (also 2-6, twixer): a 26 & 2/3 imperial fl oz (758 ml) in earlier times, or 750 ml (26.4 fl oz) bottle of alcohol
  • 40: a 40 fl oz (1 imperial quart, 1.14 L) bottle of alcohol. (see forty pounder)
  • 50: Short for "Labatt 50" a brand of beer sold mostly in eastern Canada.
  • 6 mil: Describes a 591 mililitre bottle of pop.
  • 60' or 60-pounder: a 1.75 L (61.6 imperial fl oz) bottle of spirits
  • 66er: a former 66.6 imperial fl oz (1/2 U.S. gallon, 1.89 L) bottle of alcohol, probably also applied to 1.75 L (61.6 imperial fl oz) bottles (see gripper)
  • The 905: the suburbs to the west, north and east of Toronto, covered by the telephone area code, including Halton, Peel, York and Durham regions. Many "905ers" identify with right-wing political views, an issue that gained recognition during the Mike Harris era. Contains a number of much sought-after federal electorial districts. Does not include Hamilton, Ontario and the Regional Municipality of Niagara, Ontario, even though they are part of the same area code.

A-B[edit]

  • Abby: Abbotsford, British Columbia; very common in speech throughout British Columbia, but especially in the Lower Mainland.
  • back east: In British Columbia, anywhere east of the Rockies. See Out East. In other Western provinces, referring to everything east of Manitoba. In Ontario or Quebec, used by Maritimers as a geographical reference where they are from.
  • The Ballet: Strip club, or exotic dance club.
  • baywop: Someone living in a rural area centered around a bay. Mostly used in Newfoundland. A pejorative term.
  • beauty . A term used to express thanks, or alternative way to say thanks. Additional meaning for "good fortune" or "cool".
  • beaver tail: Fried dough, a dessert food basically consisting of a pastry, usually covered with lemon juice and cinnamon sugar. Given its name because it resembles the shape of a beaver's tail. Usually known as an Elephant Ear or Whale's Tail in British Columbia.
  • The Big O, The Big Owe: Olympic Stadium (Montreal)
  • The Big Smoke: now pervasive enough in Ontario to have come into use in the Canadian (Toronto-based) media to mean the City of Toronto, this term is of British Columbian origin and has been used to refer to the City of Vancouver since the milltown era of the 19th century. The term was either a reference to the heavy mill-smoke locally, or to the pervasive cloud and fog of the city's location ("smoke" in the Chinook Jargon meant cloud and fog as well as smoke). Independently used for many cities around the world, notably London (where its usage may also have its origins in the old close ties between the UK and British Columbia).
  • bismarck: jelly doughnut (Prairies; also used in BC).
  • Blochead: A derogatory term for Anglophone, or English speaker in the province of Quebec. French translation tête carrée. Often used as a derogatory term for a member of the Bloc Quebecois.
  • blue-eyed Arab: a term for a resident of Alberta, emanating from the oil industry in that province.
  • bluenoser: a term for a resident of Nova Scotia.
  • Bob's Your Uncle: An expression meaning that a task has (or can be) completed in a simple fashion. Not exclusive to Canada, it's also used in Britain and other Commonwealth nations.
  • bogtrotter: a term for a resident of New Brunswick, also a term used by Newfoundlanders for inhabitants of the other Atlantic Provinces.
  • booze can: an after-hours club or blind pig.
  • Boston: In the BC Interior, a slightly derisive and sometimes aggressive First Nations term for "white man". Derived from the Chinook Jargon term for an American, boston man.
  • Bramladesh: refers to the city of Brampton, Ontario because of its large Indian population
  • British California: alternate name for British Columbia; a reference to the similarities between that province and the US state of California, including physical location and relative climatic differences, liberal society and political-cultural climate; and also because of the general resemblance of geographic shape of the state and the province. See also "Left Coast".
  • bunny hug: commonly used in Saskatchewan referring to a hooded sweatshirt.
  • bush, the bush: commonly used in Western Canada in the same way that Australians refer to the Outback, i.e., as a generic term, whether in relation hunting/outdoors or employment at mines or in the woods. In certain uses interchangeable with upcountry, but "the Bush" is never used to refer to any significant-sized town or agricultural area (relatively speaking, that is).
  • bushed: in British Columbia and Yukon, somebody who's been in "the bush" too long, typically eccentric from being alone too long; possibly smelly and otherwise without civilized habits.
  • b'y: A term from Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island. The equivalent of "man," "dude," or "pal." Possible contraction of "boy," but more likely of "buddy." Example: "Go on, b'y".
  • Bytown: Ottawa, Ontario (Bytown is the former name of the capital of Canada).

C-D[edit]

  • CanCon: Abbreviation for Canadian Content. Refers to the requisite number of Canadian songs, films, programs, etc. that Canadian broadcasters must air.
  • CanLit: Canadian literature, of the variety that exists only because it's government-funded, and of a certain style. Originally derisive, ultimately adopted by the Canadian literary establishment as shorthand for itself.
  • canuck: Canadian. Often used in the US as well, sometimes derogatorily. Originally used to mean French-Canadians only, and archaic pron. can-OOK (which Americans often use, and which also can still be used in a humorous or mocking sense). Also the name for a player on the Vancouver NHL team. See Canucklehead.
  • Caper: Someone from Cape Breton Island (Nova Scotia)
  • Cariboozer: Someone from BC's Cariboo Country, and more jocularly than derisive. Need not be an alcoholic to be applied to someone, but definitely coined concerning the heavy-drinking culture of that region (which has one of southern Canada's highest rates of heart disease and other drinking-related mortality).
  • CBC: Canadian Born Chinese. Refers to the generation of Chinese born in Canada whose parents were landed immigrants. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is also the CBC, but is referred to as Mother Corp.
  • case (of Beer): In Central Canada, a box of 24 bottles of beer. In the Atlantic provices and the West, it more often refers to a box of 12 bottles of beer.
  • centre of the universe: A common sarcastic term for Toronto, Ontario, derived from a belief about how Torontonians view themselves and their city.
  • citidiots, a portmanteau of "City" and "Idiots". Commonly used in rural Southwestern Ontario, particularly Bruce and Grey Counties to describe tourists or cottage-goers from the GTA.
  • The Chuck: Edmonton, Alberta, short for its other nickname Edmonchuck, a reference to the city's dominant population of Canadians of Ukrainian descent. In British Columbia, the chuck is a reference to water, usually the straits and other inland waters between Vancouver and Vancouver Island from the Chinook Jargon and commonly used in marine English and in weather forecasts, e.g., it'll be fine out on the chuck. Also saltchuck.
  • chug: A derogatory expression applied to First Nations people (originally in reference to alcoholism).
  • coastie: In the BC Interior, a slightly derisive term for someone from Vancouver or the Lower Mainland, implying city attitudes and dress.
  • constab: pronounced cun-STAB; the police in cities of Newfoundland and Labrador serviced by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.
  • Cow-Town: nickname for Calgary, Alberta.
  • CPR strawberries: Prunes or dried apples.
  • Cote-Saint Jew: refers to the predominantly Jewish district of Cote-Saint Luc in Montreal
  • CSL: refers to the Côte-Saint Luc district of Montreal
  • DDO: refers to the Dollard-Des-Ormeaux district of Montreal
  • deke, deke out: to feint, to trick or avoid someone "to deke out of a meeting" or, to deftly manoeuvre around a sporting opponent (esp. in hockey). Also used to refer to making shortcuts and innovative routes through traffic. Word originates from the word decoy.
  • dep: corner store, adapted from Quebec French word "dépanneur," especially by English-speaking Quebeckers.
  • dipper: a member of the New Democratic Party
  • Ditchland', also Ditchmond: Richmond, British Columbia, where all streets were lined by deep (and dangerous) drainage ditches, now largely replaced by culverts or otherwise covered.
  • doeskin: lumber jacket.
  • dogan: a Catholic; abusive, falling into disuse.
  • double-double: a coffee with double cream, double sugar (especially, but not exclusively, from Tim Hortons), recently added to the Oxford Dictionary. Triple-triple and four-by-four (less common) are three and four creams/sugars, respectively.
  • downhomer: a person from Newfoundland; sometimes refers to a person from any part of Atlantic Canada.

E-F[edit]

  • Edmonchuk: A name for Edmonton, Alberta, referring to the large Ukrainian population.
  • farmer tan: tan of the lower left arm, obtained by driving with the window open wearing a short-sleeve shirt. Also any tan or sunburn of both arms from mid-bicep and lower. Also used in the US.
  • farmer turn: a manoeuvre executed while driving an automobile in urban areas. A right turn that starts by veering to the left, often crossing into the adjacent lane before completing the (often slow) right turn. Name refers to the driving habits of rural farmers accustomed to large vehicles and unused to city traffic.
  • farmer vision (also peasant vision, country cable or TFC - Three Friggin' Channels): The basic three broadcast TV channels that can be picked up almost anywhere (Global, CBC, CTV).
  • Fish Police (also tree cop and critter cop): Derogatory reference to Federal or Provincial Fisheries or Wildlife Officers.
  • flat: An Atlantic Canadian term used to refer to a box containing 24 bottles of beer. (see also, 2-4) Central and Western Canadians usually use the term 'case' to identify this quantity, although the term flat is also sometimes used for the same thing in Western Canada. Also slab. ("Flat" is almost never used to mean "apartment" in Canada, even though this usage is common in both the UK and some regions of the US.)
  • floater : See Goal Suck
  • flowerpots: See The Rocks.
  • flippin: increasing in use; also Friggin as alternate use for fucking.
  • fuck the dog: A term used to indicate doing nothing (e.g. I fucked the dog all weekend). May be referred to as Making Puppies in polite company. Also refers to slacking off at work or getting paid to do nothing.
  • forty pounder (forty ouncer) — a 40 oz. bottle of alcohol (see 40).

G[edit]

  • Garden City: Richmond, British Columbia's official sobriquet. Often mistakenly applied to Victoria
  • Gastown: the old part of Vancouver and the original colloquial name of the settlement , a contraction of "Gassy's town" after steamboat captain-cum-bartender "Gassy" Jack Deighton. Sometimes used to mean Vancouver in general in the way that Hogtown and Cowtown are used for Toronto and Calgary respectively, and also often mistaken or at least fudged to include the Downtown Eastside of that city, which includes Gastown proper.
  • ghetto: someone whose behaviour is perceived as acting or posturing a gang-like image even if unassociated with a street gang "Mike is ghetto" or a residence in a state of disrepair and very dirty "they live so ghetto", growing usages in Ontario, not unique to Canada.
  • ghetto blaster: a portable stereo system. The term was common throughout North America at one time, but is still common in Canada.
  • gitch: see "gotch"
  • givin' 'er: used to describe any act carried out with extreme exuberance or to its fullest potential. "We were just Giv'n'r last night." Often used to describe heavy alcohol drinking and partying. Short for "giving her (hell). Variation "Give 'er" used on east coast ('I'm gonna just give 'er in tonight's game' or 'We really gave 'er last night at the game.')"
  • goal suck: In ice hockey, somebody who stays around the opposing teams goalie and does not play defence. (see "Cherry Picker")
  • goof: 1: cheap sherry or fortified wine ("I could buy the Indian chiefs off with a case of goof," – Ed Havrot, chair of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, Toronto Globe and Mail, May 16. 1975); 2: a major insult, often precipating violence.
  • Goolie: In Manitoba, a derogatory term for someone of Icelandic descent. From Islendigur, meaning Icelander.
  • gotch, ginch or gonch: underwear, especially men's briefs. A "gotch-pull" or "gonch-pull" is another name for a wedgie.
  • Gouge-and-Screw Tax: Goods and Services Tax (Canada) (GST).
  • Grit: a member of the Liberal Party of Canada. In British Columbia, a neo-Grit is a new-era BC Liberal (distinct in character from the pre-1970s BC Liberal Party), although Grit is commonly used in the media, though usually to mean the federal Liberals only.
  • gripper: a former 66 imp fl oz (1/2 U.S. gal) or a 1.75 L (61.6 imp fl oz) bottle of liquor. So named for either having a looped handle on the bottle neck, or matching indented "grips" on the body of the bottle.
  • Grocery Police: A Canadian Customs and Revenue Border Agent.
  • GTA: frequently used acronym for the Greater Toronto Area
  • Gut Bomb: Slang for a McDonald's hamburger e.g., "I went to Rotten Ronnie's for a Gut Bomb".

H-J[edit]

  • Habs: Historical Quebec: Habitants - Nick name of the Montreal Canadiens NHL team.
  • had the biscuit: Dead, broken, spent, "My old car has had the biscuit".
  • half-sack: A six pack of beer.
  • half-case: A 12 Pack of beer.
  • Hali: Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • Haligonian: a resident of Halifax (and of its namesake in the UK).
  • The Hammer: Hamilton, Ontario
  • The Hat: Medicine Hat, Alberta
  • head 'er: Used as a verb, to leave. eg. I guess I'd better head'r.
  • Here Before Christ: The Hudson's Bay Company (founded 1670).
  • Hog Town or Hogtown: Nickname for Toronto.
  • Hollywood North: a reference to Hollywood, California, used to describe Toronto and Vancouver as two major sites of Canadian film production.
  • Hongcouver: Derogatory reference to the large number of immigrants from Hong Kong in the city of Vancouver
  • Honger or Hong: Derogatory name for immigrants from Hong Kong used by Mandarin-speaking and Canadianized Chinese. NB "Hong Konger" is not derisive.
  • hoodie: A hooded sweatshirt with or without a zipper.
  • Horny Tim's: Tim Hortons doughnut chain
  • hose: used as a verb 'to hose' meaning to trick, deceive, steal, etc.
  • hosed: Broken or not working. e.g., "There was a power surge and now my TV's hosed." Can also mean "drunk" as in "I went out and got hosed last night".
  • hoser: a stereotype and a mild insult; exploiter; from Depression era prairie gasoline thieves.
  • The Hub City: the city of Moncton, New Brunswick, the city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia
  • Inside Passage: a "marine highway" linking BC's south coast with the Central Coast and North Coast/Prince Rupert via a chain of channels. The route is "inside" because it is sheltered by the coastal archipelago.
  • The interior: used (without further description) by residents of British Columbia to describe essentially the entire province outside of Greater Vancouver, the Islands and the North Coast. Often seen in compound forms, Central Interior and Southern Interior especially (which almost mean the same thing, but not quite).
  • The island: Vancouver Island, in common British Columbia usage; other islands are referred to directly by name, except in context.
  • The islands: in BC, the Gulf Islands. In a general sense can be used to include Vancouver Island. In the capital 'I' sense this refers generally to the inhabited islands of the Strait of Georgia, usually the southern Gulf Islands; does not usually include the archipelagos Desolation Sound, Discovery Passage, the Queen Charlotte Strait or Inside Passage.
  • jambuster: a jelly-filled doughnut, generally covered with icing sugar (Manitoba, possibly Ontario)
  • jawbone, as in to give jawbone: backcountry expression referring to giving credit at a store or bar. "He gave me jawbone" means the storekeeper or merchant advanced credit.
  • Jesus Murphey: a common exclamation
  • jib: methamphetamine or crystal meths (West/Central Canada).
  • joggers: a term used for jogging pants or sweatpants

K-M[edit]

  • Kentucky Fried Pigeon and Kentucky Fried Rabbit: disparaging term for Kentucky Fried Chicken, due to suspect quality of poultry used in preparation of this food.
  • ketchup potato chips: a common flavour in Canada for potato chips but difficult to find in much of the USA, as is the most common Canadian chip flavour, Salt And Vinegar.
  • Kraft Dinner: A popular brand of macaroni noodles, often used to describe any macaroni or macaroni-like noodle meal, especially when abbreviated as K.D.
  • KV: A term for the Kennebecasis Valley, which consists of two towns, Rothesay, New Brunswick and Quispamsis, New Brunswick, which are affluent suburbs of Saint John, New Brunswick.
  • Lakehead, The Lakehead: Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • Language Police: A Quebec provincial government body titled the 'Office de la Langue Française' who under Bill 101, the controversial language law passed in the 1970s, were charged with ensuring that Quebec businesses feature the French language at least on par with English on signs, menus etc.
  • L.C.: Slang for Manitoba Liquor Control Commission (MLCC), the government-run liquor stores in Manitoba; also for Nova Scotia's 'Liquor Commission'. Abbreviated as the 'Mission. In Ontario, it is the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) government run liquor stores. In British Columbia the same reference is now L.D.B. - Liquor Distribution Branch (formerly L.C.B. - Liquor Control Board; L.C.B. is still heard despite the Board's renaming)
  • liquor store: A specific reference to a government operated liquor store, as privately owned liquor stores are uncommon or illegal in Eastern Canada. A private liquor store is generally referred to as a Cold Beer & Wine Store or off-sale.
  • Left Coast: term used to refer to British Columbia; the phrase is often applied in the United States to California; both are a reference to left-wing politics and used to describe the more liberal attitudes of those regions in comparison to the rest of the country. An early user of the phrase was Allan Fotheringham, then writing for Vancouver Sun. It also occurs in the title of the Left Coast Review, a Vancouver-published magazine.
  • Lord Stanley or Lord Stanley's Mug: slang reference to the Stanley Cup, awarded annually to the champion team of the National Hockey League.
  • Lotus Land: British Columbia, especially the Lower Mainland around Vancouver, British Columbia; often in reference to the absurd theatrics of BC politics and political personalities, and also including at times political life in the provincial capital of Victoria, British Columbia. Sometimes written as one word. Originally coined by Vancouver Sun columnist Allan Fotheringham; derived from the Homeric "Land of the Lotus-Eaters". The California cognate, on which Lotus Land was styled, is La-la Land, for Los Angeles, California.
  • Lower Mainland; the Greater Vancouver-Fraser valley area of BC, apposite to "upcountry" (q.v), the Interior, the North, and the North Coast. The origin of this term is that the Fraser delta-Vancouver area is virtually at sea level, vs. the extreme heights of nearly all the communities on the Interior Plateau, the "upper mainland" (though it is never called such).
  • mackinaw cloth, mackinac, pronounced Mackinaw and sometimes spelled that way. A plaid Melton jacket, typically red or green, at one time a hallmark of the Canadian workingman. Later popular in artists and fans of the grunge movement.
  • mainlander: Used by Newfoundlanders, Prince Edward Islanders and Cape Bretoners to refer to a person from mainland Canada; often used in the derogatory. Also used by Vancouver Islanders, especially Victorians, in the same way but primarily referring to residents of the Greater Vancouver/Lower Mainland area rather than those from the Interior or Upcoast.
  • Maritimer; Used to describe residents of the Maritime provinces on Canada's east coast. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward's Island make up the Maritimes, but not Newfoundland due to climatic and geographic differences.
  • member; Used by the RCMP to refer to fellow Mounties in place of the usual "officer" or "constable" (or equivalent) in other police forces. Mounties have their own lexicon of special terms and usages, which are familiar the general public because of their use on-air by RCMP press relations officers. Sample usage: "the member approached the suspect with caution".
  • mickey: a small (13 oz.) bottle of liquor, shaped to fit in a pocket, much like a hip flask. Also fits conveniently alongside the calf of a cowboy boot or rubber boot.
  • monster house: In Vancouver, a newly-built and very large, post-modern residence taking up nearly all of a city lot, often overshadowing neighbouring houses and usually in a bland stucco out-of-character with the older flavour of the neighbourhood. The term has fallen into disuse as "politically incorrect".
  • Mountie: a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Mother Corp: The CBC. Originally coined by then-Vancouver Sun columnnist Allan Fotheringham as the Holy Mother Corporation.
  • Mtl:spelled out M.T.L. means Montreal
  • muni, the muni : in British Columbia, a municipal government and its bureacracy. "The Muni won't allow that to go through", "He works for the muni".

N-R[edit]

  • 'Nammer: Derogatory term for Vietnamese young adults with died hair and unconventional fashion. Used mostly in the Vancouver area.
  • N.D.G.: refers to the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce district of Montreal
  • Newfie, Newf: a person from Newfoundland; occasionally derogatory if used by someone other than a Newfoundlander.
  • New West: New Westminster, British Columbia.
  • the Oilpatch, or the patch: the local term of the oil industry of Alberta, especially the part involved directly with drilling.
  • out east: A summary term used in Western Canada (BC specifically) to classify anyone born and raised east of Manitoba- used with less negative connotation as "Torontonian." See Back East.
  • out west: Term used to describe the general direction towards anywhere in Western Canada west of the Manitoba/Ontario border.
  • parish: In New Brunswick, although now defunct along with counties, they are equivalent to townships inother provinces. They are now only geographical expressions (as are counties) and exist outside of incorporated municipalities (towns, cities & villages, as well as the new Rural Communities).
  • The Peg and Peg City: Winnipeg, Manitoba.
  • The Peninsula: Refers to New Brunswick's Kingston Peninsula, a rural stretch of land surrounded by the Saint John River on 2 sides, the Kennebecasis River on 1 side, and Kingston Creek on part of one side. Also used for the northern suburbs of Victoria, British Columbia, which are on the Saanich Peninsula.
  • pepper, pepsi: derogatory term used to refer to francophone Quebeckers
  • Pile O' Bones: Regina, Saskatchewan (the latin word for Queen, named for the Queen, and pronounced like vagina); this was the name of the site of the future city when it was selected as the site of the capital of the North-West Territories.
  • Poco: Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, one of the "Tri-Cities" or "Northeast Sector", which includes Coquitlam, and Port Moody.
  • PoCoMo: The region of Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, and Port Moody, the "Tri-Cities" or "Northeast Sector".
  • poutine: a plate or box of french fries covered with poutine sauce (commonly known as "gravy") and cheese curds.
  • poverty pack: a six-pack of beer. Used in Southern New Brunswick.
  • Prairie nigger (derogatory) — A person of aboriginal descent.
  • puck bunny: (AKA 'Puck Slut', or just 'a Puck') In disparaging terms, a young girl who pursues hockey players; a groupie of hockey players.
  • Queen City: Regina, Saskatchewan.
  • Queen's Hotel: local or county jail
  • rancherie: In British Columbia, an Indian Reserve, specifically its residential section and often specifically the oldest residential neighbourhood of a reserve. Pronounced with a "hard" /ch/ and accent on the last syllable. Derived from Californian Spanish rancheria.
  • reservation rocket: nickname for vehicle generally seen travelling towards or away from native reservations, typically an old Camaro or Trans-Am, frequently overloaded and over-speed.
  • the rez: A First Nations reserve, particularly its residential area. Found across in Canada, generally used by First Nations English-speakers.
  • rice king and rice queen: In British Columbia, non-Asians who date only Asians, often immigrants from another part of Canada moved here for that reason.
  • rink rat— Term used to describe people who work at a hockey rink and maintain the building/ice surface.
  • rippers: term for strippers or exotic dancers. Derived from the fact they rip their clothes off (eventually). They perform in Ripper Bars. See Peelers.
  • The Rock: Newfoundland. Also, in Greater Victoria, British Columbia, for Vancouver Island .
  • Rockhead: A resident of the small town of St. George, New Brunswick, which is affectionately called the "Granite Town".
  • The Rocks: The Hopewell Rocks, in Hopewell, New Brunswick, where the highest tides in the world are found. Also referred to as the Flowerpots.
  • Rotten Ronnie's: McDonald's restaurants. Also McScumolds, McDick's, or in Quebec, McDo's.
  • '(The) Royal City: New Westminster, British Columbia. Often mistakenly used for Victoria, British Columbia. Also used when referring to the city of Guelph, Ontario.

S[edit]

  • Sack Vegas: Another name for Lower Sackville, a lower to upper middle class suburb of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Known for a significant concentration of used car dealerships and at least seven separate Tim Horton's doughnut shops serving the population of around 30,000, one of the highest ratios in the country.
  • saltchuck: In British Columbia, the chuck is a reference to water, usually the straits and other inland waters between Vancouver and Vancouver Island from the Chinook Jargon and commonly used in marine English and in weather forecasts, e.g., "It'll be fine out on the saltchuck tomorrow." Also chuck.
  • Saskabush: Saskatchewan or in some circles, Saskatoon
  • sasquatch: A creature similar to Bigfoot or Yeti, from the Halkemeylem word sesqac. In British Columbia often used, especially in the short form Squatch (rhymes with "botch"), to mean someone tall, large and shaggy or bearded. Also a Saskatchewan driver in Alberta, or an Albertan teen with Saskatchewan licence plates.
  • Sauga: Mississauga, Ontario, short form.
  • Scarberia: Scarborough, Ontario, a suburban part of Toronto, a derogatory reference to its desolation. Also known as Scompton, in reference to its perceived similarities with the Compton, California neighbourhood in Los Angeles.
  • Scare Canada: a derogatory term used with regard to national air carrier Air Canada. Originally this was coined in British Columbia as Scare BC (for Air BC).
  • scivey: (Pronounced SKY-vee) an untrustworthy person; or someone who is considered un-generous or stingy. Used in Nova Scotia, and with similar meaning to sketchy.
  • screech: a particularly potent type of Newfoundland rum.
  • (The) Shwa: Local slang (generally derogatory) for the city of Oshawa, Ontario.
  • side-by-each: A term common among French Canadians meaning "next to each other"
  • sixty-sixer: A term for a sixty-two ounce (1.75 L) bottle of liquor (from the old 1/2 U.S. gallon size, 66.6 imp fl oz).
  • sketch'd right out of 'er: Extreme form of sketchy used in New Brunswick.
  • skid: a reference to people who appear down and out with raggedy clothing, sometimes homeless but not always. Derived from skid road.
  • slack: Term for low quality, disappointment, etc. Often prefaced with ever, as in Ever slack, eh? To slack off is to work slowly and minimally.
  • Slurrey: Derogatory name for Surrey, British Columbia.
  • snokked or snocked: drunk, as in really drunk.
  • snowbirds: a reference to people, often senior citizens, who leave Canada during the winter months to reside in southern states of the U.S. (particularly Florida.) Also the name of the Canadian Forces aerobatics team.
  • The Soo or The Sault: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
  • Speedy Creek: Swift Current, Saskatchewan
  • spinny: when used in reference to a girl or woman, this means a certain kind of talkative, dizzy, not-all-there kind of personality, as in "man, she's a spinny chick, huh?" and "I dunno man - she's pretty spinny." See also Surrey girl (though the terms are nowhere near synonymous).
  • spudhead: a person from Prince Edward Island, in reference to the province's abundance of potato farming
  • square head/English muffin: Words used to describe English/Anglo Canadians, the former in French is "Tête Carré." "English Muffin" is often heard in New Brunswick schoolyards with its counterpart, "French Fry." In British Columbia and Alberta, squarehead invariably is a derisive term for an ethnic German, i.e., someone who still has their accent and old-country hardliner attitudes.
  • stagette: the female equivalent of a stag party.
  • Steeltown: Hamilton, Ontario, in reference to the city's main industry
  • Stinktown: Sarnia, Ontario, in reference to the smell from the petroleum refineries.
  • stubble jumper or stubblejumper: Someone from Saskatchewan, or from the prairies in general. Relates to the province's vast farmlands that when harvested, leave stubble.
  • suitcase: Case of twenty-four cans of beer. The handle is located such that the case carries like a suitcase.
  • Surrey girl: something more than just a stereotype, evocative of the character and "culture" of Surrey, BC ("Canada's Brooklyn"). See "Slurrey" and "Whalleyworld".
  • swish: Homemade low-quality liquor. Made by taking leftover, used, liquor aging barrels and swishing water in them to absorb the alcohol from the wood. Absolutely terrible. In BC, the British context of swish can be heard, as in slickly presented or fancy/fashionable, having a little too much showiness, if not effeminacy. "He's kinda swish, doncha think?" might imply the individual in question is homosexual, or at least tending that way (as well as well-dressed).

T-Z[edit]

  • takitish:used in conversation as slang for "take it easy" mostly in cenral Canada, more specifically Southern Ontario
  • t-Bar: refers to female underwear visible above the pants at rear end.
  • take off: expression of disagreement or command to leave, similar to "get lost" ("Take off, you hoser!"). Used by TV characters Bob & Doug McKenzie.
  • telecaster: Term used in Nova Scotia to refer to a newspaper TV listings publication. Sometimes used in BC media English interchangeably with "broadcaster."
  • (The) Terminal City: Vancouver, BC.
  • texas mickey: A 3 litre(or 3.78 litre) or larger bottle of liquor, despite the Texas reference, this is a purely Canadian term.
  • thongs: Summer sport sandles with a pair of straps anchored between the big and second toe, then across the toes. Referred to as "Flip-Flops" in modern trendspeak.
  • Tim's, Timmy's, Timmy Ho's, Timmy Ho-Ho's: Tim Hortons doughnut chain; female employees of same are sometimes (affectionately) known as "TimTarts." or in a more derogatory context, a Timmy's Ho (as in 'whore').
  • timbit: A round bite-sized treat made from what is left over of a doughnut after the hole is cut out from the middle. The term was coined by the Tim Hortons doughnut chain, but the term "timbit" is used to refer to the same treat served at different doughnut locations, such as Country Style or Dunkin Donuts, though these chains do not officially refer to their version of the treat as "timbits".
  • tipper: A 3.75 litre bottle of liquor, sold with a metal frame used to support the bottle when pouring.
  • T.O.: Toronto
  • Toon Town: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • towney : In Newfoundland, to describe someone from St. John's. The term is heard variously in BC by rural residents to refer to town residents nearby.
  • T Dot: Toronto
  • TransCan, T-Can: reference to the Trans-Canada Highway, also called the Number 1. Begins in Victoria, British Columbia, ends in St John's, Newfoundland. Is also the world's longest national highway at 7821km.
  • Trash-cona: (derogatory) Nickname for Transcona, an sub-burb of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Transcona is referred to this not because of sanitation reasons but because the perception of women from that area as having loose morals.
  • Trash-cona girl: a woman that lives in transcona, winnipeg, manitoba.
  • twenty-sixer or two-six: a 26 oz bottle of alcohol like vodka etc. (see 2-6)Referred to as a "quart" in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
  • twofer, two-four: a case of 24 beer (see 2-4).
  • two-eight: a case of 28 beer (see 2-8).
  • upcountry: in BC anywhere on the mainland outside of the Lower Mainland, or if in the Southern Interior. points north. Not usually used for points up the Coast, in which case "upcoast" is used (as also "up the Coast"). May have its origin in the colonial-era usage "the upper country", meaning the Interior. See also "bush", as in "the bush"
  • upriver: Refers to northwestern New Brunswick (Edmundston, Grand Falls, Florenceville, etc) in reference to it location from Saint John, at the southern end of the river.
  • VanVancouver, British Columbia. Local short form used to refer to certain districts and suburbs of Vancouver, e.g., East Van, North Van, West Van. Also used by itself in the other suburbs in the context "are you going into Van today?". The form Van-City, originally and still a credit union's brand name, has become fashionable in texting usage among the young and also in trendy business names.
  • Vancouver special: A house with little or no basement having the main living area above the first floor. The first floor is often renovated as a suite and rented out. References both the construction in the Vancouver area (bed rock prevents deep basements) and the high housing cost requiring people to rent out half their homes.
  • Vico: Synonymous with "chocolate milk." Used primarily throughout Saskatchewan and Quebec.
  • Waste Island: refers to Montreal's West Island.
  • West Island: Western portion of the Island of Montreal
  • wheels: A vehicle, usually a car. Tire is usually used when referring to the actual wheels "Where are your wheels parked?"
  • Winterpeg: Winnipeg, Manitoba.

See also[edit]