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The Most Popular Canadian Slang Words For You

Canadian Slang

Despite officially speaking English and French, most Canadians use a lot of Canadian slang in their conversations. Find out about the most popular ones.

Canada is an officially bilingual country. English and French are the two official languages of the country. Of course there are a lot of other languages spoken by indigenous people and immigrants but there are only two official languages. But if you ask Canadians, they will tell you that there is a third “unofficial” official language. That language is the Canadian slang. If you want to visit Canada or want to move to Canada, just knowing English/French might not be enough. You will be better off learning these Canadian slang words as well. Especially if you want to survive in the Great White North. Let’s get started, eh?

Essential Canadian Slang Words For You to Learn

Eh

How could we start our list of Canadian slang with anything but this, eh? Pronounced ‘ay’ and used in 99.99% of sentences uttered by Canadians, it is the most versatile of the Canadian slang words. Most popularly posed as a question to mean ‘pardon?’ or ‘don’t you agree?’, it can also be used to affirm or emphasize just about anything it follows.

Snowbirds

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s a term which is directly related to Canadian winters. It’s no secret that winters in Canada can be some of the longest and coldest on the planet. And like the birds who migrate seasonally to warmer climates, some Canadians escape the snow by flocking south in search of sand and sun. Hence the nickname ‘snowbirds’.

Darts

Canadians like cigarettes and this is the Canadian slang for them. Literally means smoking darts.

Deke

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s short for decoy, a hockey term that refers to an athletic move where the player controlling the puck fakes out or deceives their opponent.

Dep

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s short for dépanneur, the term for a convenience store in the French-speaking province Quebec. Translated literally as “troubleshooter”, the abbreviation has also joined the lexicon of anglophones in reference to corner stores across the country.

Beauty

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s an expression used when referring to something, or someone, exceptionally good. For example: “Too bad you missed the show last night. It was a real beauty”.

British California

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s about British Columbia, the southwesternmost Canadian province, known for its warmer winters, laidback lifestyle, and high-quality marijuana. Hence, the California of Canada.

Clicks

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s a quicker way to say ‘kilometers’ (or ‘kilometres’) when referring to distance and directions. “Suzie lives about 10 clicks away.”

Cowtown

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s a nickname for Calgary, a city in the western Canadian province of Alberta, known for its Old Western heritage and world-famous Calgary Stampede—an annual rodeo, exhibition, and festival.

Double-double

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s a common way for a Canadian to order their coffee—double cream, double sugar.

Gong show

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s a situation or event that is a disaster or gets way too out of control. “That party last night got really out of hand. It was a real gong show.”

Gotch (or Gitch or Gonch)

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s used to describe underwear. Specifically the tight men’s cotton briefs also known as tighty-whities.

Habs

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s short for les habitants (the residents, in French) and is the nickname of the Montreal Canadians hockey team. The use of the term goes back to 1914 when a local paper reported a 9–3 victory over the rival Toronto Maple Leafs.

Hang a Larry

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s not to be taken literally. If you’re driving a car in Canada and the navigation system tells you to ‘hang a Larry’, it simply means to turn left.

Hang a Roger

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It shouldn’t be taken literally like the previous one. This slang just means, turn right.

Homo milk

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s not a secret gay joke. It’s probably the most surprising thing (happy) tourists notice in Canada when visiting the local grocery stores. It’s simply short for ‘homogenized milk’ or whole milk with 3.25% fat.

Canuck

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s an informal term for an individual from Canada, instead of the more formal ‘Canadian’. Also, the nickname of the professional hockey team from Vancouver.

Chirping

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s not the sound a bird makes, but making fun of someone or trash-talking the opposition during a competition. “Those annoying fans wouldn’t stop chirping the whole game.”

Hoser

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s a term popularized in the early ‘80s on Great White North, a comedy sketch by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas on the television show SCTV. A hoser is slang for a dumb person, but in a sort of polite and endearing way unique to Canadians.

Jambuster

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. This one will make your mouth water. It’s a doughnut filled with jam. Yummy!

Parkade

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s a multi-story parking lot, also known as a parking garage.

Pop

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s the common name for soda, a soft drink, or any flavored carbonated beverage.

Poutine

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s a savory dish that originated in the French Canadian province of Quebec, made of french fries and cheese curds covered in gravy.

Jesus Murphy

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s used to avoid the guilt and shame of blasphemy yet retain the satisfaction of cursing—usually after clumsily hurting themselves—Canadians cleverly replace the name of Christ with Murphy.

KD

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s short for Kraft Dinner; the non-perishable, cardboard box-packaged macaroni and cheese which many consider the de facto national dish of Canada.

Fill yer boots

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. This hospitable saying comes from the island of Newfoundland off the east coast of the Canadian mainland, meaning ‘do whatever you want’ or ‘help yourself to as much as you’d like’.

Freezie

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s a nostalgic summertime treat consisting of ice, sugar, and food-coloring that comes in a clear plastic tube.

Git’r done

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s a phrase of encouragement when trying to finish something, as in: “You’ve got a bit more beer left in your glass, git’r done.”

Give’r

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s another phrase of encouragement to give it all you got, particularly when it comes to sports and athletics. “Get out on the ice and give’r.”

Goal suck

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s a sports term, also known as a cherry picker, that refers to a player who neglects their defensive duties by staying near their opponents goal while waiting for easy opportunities to score.

Keener

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It described a person who is extremely eager or keen to please others, not in a good way. Synonymous with a brown-noser or overachiever.

Kerfuffle

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s used to describe a situation when two (or more) Canadians disagree or have a difference of opinion, a kerfuffle may ensue. It refers to everything from a small fuss or commotion to a full-blown hockey fight.

The Peg

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s the nickname for the city of Winnipeg, the capital of the province of Manitoba. The“Gateway to the West” is known for its extremely cold winters and mosquito-infested summers.

Timbits

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. These are Donut holes. So named because of the famous Canadian coffeehouse Tim Hortons.

Timmies

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. This term is used to describe Tim Hortons, Canada’s largest—and favorite—fast food restaurant chain specializing in coffee and doughnuts. It doesn’t get much more Canadian than ordering a double-double and timbits at Timmies.

Ketchup chips

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s a Canadian food staple. Classic potato chips covered in a salty ketchup seasoning that leaves a red stain on everything it touches—fingers, tongues, clothing, and upholstery.

Loonie and Toonie

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. In 1987, when the Canadian dollar bill was replaced by a coin stamped with an image of a bird—the common loon—it wasn’t long before the nickname ‘loonie’ took hold. This set the stage less than a decade later, when it came time to name the newly released two dollar coin—the ‘toonie’.

Mickey

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s not the name of the iconic Disney mouse, but a flask-sized bottle of liquor (usually Canadian whiskey) that easily fits into a person’s hand, purse, or pocket.

Molson muscle

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s used to describe a popular brand of Canadian beer, and the muscle being referred to is the belly. Essentially, Beer + Belly = Molson + Muscle.

Mounties

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s used to describe the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the federal and national police service of Canada. Colloquially known as the ‘Mounties’, they are famous for their distinctive dress uniform accentuated by a scarlet tunic and wide, flat-brimmed campaign hat.

Out for a rip

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It has two meanings. One is going out for a drive, usually something a bit extreme like offroading or snowmobiling. The other refers to hanging out with friends—kicking back, taking it easy, and having a good time.

Puck bunny

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s used to describe girls that “hang out” with hockey teams. They aren’t much interested in what happens on ice, focusing instead on what happens on the bed.

Rink rat

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s a person who spends most of their time at the skating rink. It can be a hockey parent who is always watching their kid practice and play, or a youth who has no social life outside of the rink—playing hockey or not.

Runners

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s used to describe running shoes or any other casual athletic shoes like sneakers or tennis shoes

Shit-kickers

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s a term used for cowboy boots or a heavy pair of shoes you don’t mind getting covered in dirt and mud.

Texas mickey

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s a 3-liter bottle of liquor. This supersized 101 ounces of alcohol lends credence to the unofficial state slogan that “everything is bigger in Texas”.

The 6ix

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It was originally made famous by hip-hop artist Drake, ‘The Six’ refers to his hometown of Toronto. Contrary to common assumptions, the nickname comes from the 6 boroughs of the city, not the 416 and 647 area codes.

Toque

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s pronounced ‘too-uk’, and is a warm, brimless, knit hat—often with a tassel or pom-pom on top—which people outside of Canada usually call a ski hat or a beanie.

Two-four

This is the next Canadian slang you should learn. It’s a case of twenty four beers. A common courtesy to bring over to a friend’s house and a great way to stay warm in the winter.

Washroom

Concluding our list of the Canadian slangs that you should know, is Washroom. It’s the Canadian term for a bathroom or restroom.

So those were some of the most widely used Canadian slang words. Include them in your day to day informal conversations if you want to sound more like a Canadian.

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