Before heading to the Great White North, there’s something you should know – we talk funny. Not in the humourous sense, but because of our copious use of Canadian slang. We use slang words to refer to countless things, sometimes we don’t even realize it’s slang because they’re words we’ve grown up using like “double-double” and “give’r” in our daily vocabulary. Us Canadians find solace in our vernacular because it’s truly what separates us from those “hosers” down south and instills a sense of pride when we fellow Canucks use our slang in movies and shows. To help you adjust to “Canadianese,” here’s a translation of the top 10 Canadian slang words.
Less cultured folk might refer to a winter hat as a “beanie,” but cold weather headwear is strictly referred to as a toque in Canada.
Example: “Eh there, ‘ya think I need a toque for the walk to Timmies?”
Technically a couch, but a chesterfield is so much more. Chesterfields are intrinsically designed with floral patterns and can usually be found in your grandma’s living room.
Example: “Get your feet off the chesterfield!”
Anyone from Newfoundland is a Newfie and is a denotation the people of “The Rock.”
Example: “I’m not a Newfie, I’m from Nova Scotia!”
It sounds like an insult but it all depends how you take it. Keener essentially means you’re a “try-hard.”
Example: “I don’t care if the test is three weeks away, I need to start studying tonight!”
Perhaps one of the most colloquial of Canadian slang words, it means trying very hard in a noble or impressive feat.
Example: “I’ve never snowboarded off a jump before, but I’m just gonna give’r!”
It means a coffee with two milks and two sugars, but can only be used at Tim Horton’s. If you say this cherished Canadian slang word at a Starbucks, they will smugly respond with the long-form…
Example: “Why drink an ice cap when I can have a double-double?”
A toonie is a two-dollar coin, which replaced our red two-dollar bill in 1996.
Example: “Eh bud, can you spare a toonie?”
No, not Mickey Mouse. A “mickey” is a 375 ml (26 oz) bottle of liquor.
Example: “Pick me up a six pack of ‘Canadian’ and a mickey of Canadian Club at the LCBO!”
A kerfuffle is an innocent way of referring to a fight, an argument or any kind of conflict.
Example: “That Leafs game was just one big kerfuffle for three periods.”
A word made world-famous by Bob and Doug Mackenzie, essentially means a foolish or stupid person.
“Wow, can you believe that hoser!?”
Now that you’re well-versed in Canadian slang, head on up to Cowtown, Gastown or the Big Smoke.