Proud to Be a Canadian

Canadian flag superimposed on map of Canada
janeb13 on Pixabay

I’m having a bit of writer’s block, plus it’s never a bad time to be proud of being a Canadian, so I thought I would share with you a little bit of Canadian fun.

“Eh?” is the classic Canadian add-on to pretty much any sentence.  Personally I don’t actually say it very often, and no, that’s not just me being in denial.  I think it’s more of a rural thing than an urban thing.

Speaking of how we talk, I don’t say about as a-boot instead of a-bout, nor does anyone I know, so I’m calling BS on that rumour about Canadian-speak.

We have not all had sex in a canoe.  I have never tried, and I suspected if I did it would result in me drowning in a lake.  If you wish to know how to go about it, the New York Times gets the scoop from a Canadian expert.

One of my favourite Canadian slang terms is “hoser”, meaning an unsophisticated person.

We’ve got a few alcohol-related terms.  A two-four is a 24-pack of beer, a two-six is a 26-ounce bottle of hard liquor, and a mickey is a 13-ounce bottle of hard liquor.

We are mostly metric, except when it comes to people’s height and weight, and then we rock it old school with the Imperial system.  I have no idea what 70ºF is, but I also haven’t a clue how many kilos I weigh.

Some Canadians buy milk in bags.  Where I am, this hasn’t been around since I was a kid, but it’s still going strong in some parts of eastern Canada.  Oh, and you just might choose homo milk, which is our term for whole milk, not milk with a sexual preference.

Tim Hortons is a Canadian institution best known for doughnuts and coffee.  There was no Timmy’s in the little town where I grew up, so it wasn’t until I was older that I learned that a “double double” was the classic Canadian order of a coffee with two creamers and two sugar.  There’s also a brilliant creation known as the Timbit – these are scrumptious doughnut holes.

The Canadian tuxedo is a not-so-stylin’ outfit involving denim both top and bottom.  When I was working at a community mental health team there was a dude who worked at a nearby shelter who always rocked the Canadian tuxedo.  It was all very unattractive, but also the source of much curiosity.  Did he wear denim underwear?  Was he going to wear denim at his wedding?  And who agrees to marry someone who lives in a Canadian tuxedo?

Hockey is Canada’s favourite sport, and with that comes hockey hair (mullets gone wild!) and puck bunnies (the hockey equivalent of groupies).  I was a wannabe puck bunny as a teenager – not actually cool enough to hook up with a hockey player, but would have been ready and willing should the opportunity have spontaneously arisen.

Canadians get creative when talking about men’s underwear.  The classic tighty whities may be referred to as gotch, ginch, or gonch, with the preferred term varying regionally.  My Dad grew up in a gotch area of the country, so that was the term used in our family home.  Personally, I think it sounds gross, but my perception may be tainted by the fact that Dad always did like to wander around in his underwear (shudder).

Canadians are generally a pretty polite bunch, and if you bump into someone they will almost certainly apologize to you.

Somewhere in Canada, at this very moment, there is a moose on the loose.  Just sayin’.

So that’s a taste of quirky Canada for you!  What are some of the oddities of your neck of the woods?

48 thoughts on “Proud to Be a Canadian”

  1. Nice! I’m in Southern California, not a native, but I’ve lived here since 1983. Many people do fit some of the stereotypes of being shallow and obsessed with looks and money, but not everyone is like that. There are also lots of animal lovers, nature lovers, poets, artists, etc.

    One thing I’ve never gotten used to is the horrendous traffic and how long it takes to go short distances in rush hour or whenever there’s a holiday or jam. Yet people will always say things are “20 minutes” away ~ nothing is 20 minutes away!

    The beaches are really beautiful but almost always super crowded and it’s hard to find parking. Rents are insane. Near the coast (where the jobs are), houses and even condos are priced out of reach for normal people.

    There are tons of fun things to do in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas. 🙂

    1. California seems like a pretty tolerant and diverse place for the most part. I haven’t been to Southern California aside from Disneyland as a kid, but San Francisco is fabulous.

  2. Love this! I live in Virginia, which is allegedly the south according to the Civil War. I say “y’all” which allegedly sounds southern. People who talk too fast stress me out haha. I’m not aware that I sound “southern” until I travel north.

  3. Love it!! I’m from Northern Indiana (anyone born and raised in Indiana consideres themselves the term “Hoosier”). And from what I’ve heard, we say “ope, sorry” when we bump into someone (or we say “ope” when we drop something or anything similar). But anyways, Indiana is well known for their enormous love for basketball and everyone goes crazy when Indy 500 is on. So I would say we are pretty…weird, haha!

      1. To be honest with you, there’s a lot of debate on where the term “Hoosier” came from, but it started in 1840 from a poem called “The Hoosier Nest.” Ever since that poem was published, it became a common term (if that makes sense). There’s a university (Indiana University or otherwise known as IU) located in Bloomington (it’s about an hour and a half away from Indianapolis) that their mascot is “Hoosier.” They usually where white with red stripes pants and a red shirt that says “Indiana.” It’s so weird, haha

  4. This is such a great post!! You should get writer’s block more often!!

    I live in Louisville, KY and I was so pissed off as a kid by Ann M. Martin’s portrayal of Logan Bruno, boy babysitter, who had moved to Stoneybrook from Louisville. Logan came from a horse farm (as so many of us do… NOT), and he couldn’t speak straight English. He pronounced his girlfriend’s name, Mary Anne, as Myree–Eye-un. Which, you know, is downright lewd. We Louisvillians do not speak that way. We say Mary Anne.

    Then, there was a small-budget movie made that took place (and was filmed) here in Louisville, with lots of local sights. In one point, the main character was driving down Frankfort Avenue, and he couldn’t get anything on the radio but country. Um. All of our radio stations play top hits, with a few classical thrown in.

    I mean, I get that we have the Derby, which I’m excited about. (The fireworks were last night.) But we aren’t a horse-driven city! AAAAAUUUUGGHHH!! There are no ponies!! Not anywhere! We drive cars!! Freakalutin’ cars!!

    However, I’m the only person who can properly pronounce Louisville. I say Louie-ville. Others, lazy people, say Lou-ah-vull. As if we’re not named after King Louis (not King Lou-ah).

    1. Ah, the good old Babysitters’ Club. I remember Logan, but it didn’t stick in my mind that he was from Louisville.
      It might be more fun if there were horses and ponies wandering around town. In India they have cows wandering around freely because they’re holy. One time an old lady shoved me aside because I was in the way of an oncoming cow. Sure, why not?

  5. I love this post! I have always wanted to visit Canada too 🙂 I am from Wales and I am proud to be Welsh because we have some pretty beautiful spots here amongst other things I love about Wales xxx

    1. I used to work with a guy who was Welsh and he would use random Welsh words in sentences and be surprised no one knew what he meant! It sounds like a cool language.

    2. Wales is a wonderful place!! One of my best mates lives in Cardiff. My favorite spot is the bay on the perfect spring day 🙂 x

  6. Lol…
    I totally drink milk from a bag!! The moose are definitely on the loose in Northern Ontario licking the salt from the side of the highway while we wait for all this snow to melt.
    So proud to be Canadian 🇨🇦

  7. Theres a moose on the loose! I love it! Now I wanna see a moose! I looked them up to hear what they sound like! Damn noisy buggers they are! I have always wanted to visit Canada though! tim hortons, I want to try there coffee!

  8. Great insight into Canadian culture! Not wanting to dwell on tighty whiteys (also a British thing) have you heard of ‘budgie smugglers’?

  9. This is great! Being from northern New Jersey, there are plenty of stereotypes of what people are like from the most densely populated state in the U.S. I’ve been teased for how I pronounce towel and dollar, and only true Jersey-ites are allowed to talk about going to the beach as “down the shore.” It’s not all highways and exits in NJ, though and, although I don’t live there anymore, I always like returning.

    I’ve been to Canada a few times, but not lately. Reading your post makes me want to visit again!

  10. Here in Oz we have the bogan – who also rocks a mullet, wears plaid shirts, lives in the poorer suburbs and likes car racing. We buy our beer as a slab (48 cans or stubbies = short stubby bottles). There are too many beer glass sizes to list, as each state is different, but includes pot, middy and schooner. People are given nicknames which are opposites eg a red-head is “Blue”, a tall person becomes “Shorty”. Tight, brief men’s underwear or swimsuits are called “budgie smugglers” and a previous prime minister’s red budgie smugglers were a sight which would have you running for the eye bleach.

  11. “Eh” was one of the funniest things heard when I was working at the steel company. All the Canadian truck drivers would have to meet with me first before loading trucks… All my guys would walk around all day saying “Eh!” It just never got old. LOL!
    Quirky in New Jersey, USA = A constant! I swear, nothing in this state makes a darn bit of sense to me. The only things good about NJ is that we are close to NYC, mountains, lakes, and the ocean. Other than that… Our drivers suck, we have jug handles to make turns, and we are overpopulated! For someone that hates crowds and likes privacy, this is not the state to reside in. LOL!

  12. It’s interesting that Canadians call liquor a mickey because in America that is another term for a roofie.
    I live in Pennsylvania so where I live it’s a mix of rural/suburban customs and Philadelphia slang (a lot of people from Philly move to my tiny city). When I spent a semester of uni in Philly I knew all of the local words since we used them all the time when I worked at Wendy’s!

  13. Lol! I don’t think I can share slang without giving more info about where I’m from than I’m comfortable with, but we don’t have that much slang anyway. My school does have some words that are specific to our school as far as I can tell, and my family has basically our own dialect, too. 🙂 That’s fun.

      1. Oh cool! Haha a making up words phase. I don’t know if I went through a making up words phase, but there was a time when I added a bunch of made up endings onto words. I made up some cool nicknames, too. 🙂

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