Why do Canadians say anyway

27 Canadian Slang Words You Need To Know

While Canada may have two official languages, the country has a third, more unofficial, language: Canadian slang. With an influx of tourists (looking at you, Canadian dollar) and new residents (looking at you, America, and your somewhat roaring presidential race), you need a cheat sheet on everyday jargon in the Great White North. Here is your Toronto survival guide; add these to your back pocket and you fit in like a local. Pretty cool huh?

Eh?

Pronounced "ay". This word is the classic term used in everyday Canadian vernacular. Used to indicate that you don't understand something, can't believe something is true, or when you want the person to respond. Similar to "huh", "right?" And "what?" Common in US vocabulary.

"We're going tobogganing today, aren't we?"

"The Beer Store AND the LCBO were closed today."

"Eh ?!"

frozen Canada cold tropical warm

Loonie (toonie)

A loonie, the Canadian 1 dollar coin, takes its name from the image of the Canadian bird, the loon appearing on one side of the coin. A toonie, the name for the $ 2 coin, was given a similar nickname to match the sound of the loonie. Spoiler Warning: These loonies and toonies are not the same as the well-known American childhood cartoon.

"Yo, I'm a toonie for the TTC for a minute."

"All I have is a loonie. Should we use Uber instead?"

Loonie | © davebloggs007 / Flickr

Timmies

Timmies refers to the popular (if mediocre) fast-food coffee chain Tim Hortons, which takes its name from a famous Canadian hockey player. If you don't know or love Timmies, you're not a true Canadian. And don't forget the amateur timbits or donut holes that go perfectly with the popular double-double (see definition below).

"I'll go to Timmies quickly and get a box of timbits."

Double double

This bad boy is a Tim Hortons favorite: regular coffee with two creams and two sugars. And don't forget to roll the rim to win (an annual competition).

"Mmm ... I can't start my day without my morning double-double and jelly duckie."

Celebrities

The 6ix

The 6ix refers to the cities that make up the Great Toronto Area (or GTA) but is mostly used when talking about Toronto. Thanks to Drake, "Hogtown", "Big Smoke" and "Tdot" are out while "The 6ix" is in. Also as #TheSix and # The6. Just imagine, Drake.

"Shit is hip in the 6ix right now."

Two four

Usually used for a case of 24 beers. Don't be surprised if a friend asks you to get one on the way.

"I'm on my way to the beer shop to get a two-four."

Cheezburger Eisbier Canada

toque

Pronounced: "too-uk" or "tuke". Derived from the Arabic language, it found its way into the medieval French language in the 15th century. Canada's French influence is predominant in this word, which refers to a cap with a small brim or without a brim entirely (i.e. a cap). It is usually worn when it's cold or in spring ... so most of the year.

"Grab your toque. You never know when an ice storm might hit ... this is Canada."

Mickey

A word that refers to a bottle of liquor. You can find these at the LCBO or ... actually this is the only place you can buy one. Fits perfectly in a handbag or in the hand.

"Just have a Mickey. We're keeping it down tonight."

pop

Refers to soda, the delicious carbonated drink that mom is rarely allowed to give you.

"Let's do a few poppies on Chesterfield."

Canuck

Colloquial language for Canadians. You may have heard this before in the sports world (the Vancouver Canucks), but we Torontonians only know the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"Look at those crazy canucks!"

Zed

The word for the letter "Z", in the alphabet. "Zee" is also acceptable, but if you want to follow British tradition, go for the zed. You will fit right in.

"Your name starts with Zed."

Click

This term refers to kilometers, the unit of length in the metric system corresponds to 1000 meters. (Psst, America - a kilometer is about 0.6 miles!)

"There's a moose going! It's about two miles away."

Keener

This word is used to denote someone who makes an effort to please others or is overly enthusiastic. Similar to "Nerd", "Brown-Noser" and "Geek".

"Don't be so sharp!"

Give'er

A slang term that means giving everything you have when all else fails. Used in relation to work, drinking, exercising, and other activities that require bending down and getting ready.

"I feel under the weather today."

"Just give it."

* Shotguns beer *

Kerfuffle

A riot or riot, usually caused by a disagreement or disagreement (most often during or after sports games).

"There was a turning point when Montreal beat the Leafs."

Deer / stagette

The Canadian version of the pre-wedding bachelorette party. A night (or weekend) of partying with your same sex pals before "losing your freedom" at your upcoming wedding. Often includes poker and booze for guys. Girls do it pretty much like a bachelorette; expect some combination of spa days, beverages, mock bridal accessories, and so on.

"We got Dan's stag this weekend. Make sure you take a sixteen along with you on the way."

runner

The word for running shoes. Can also be used for street shoes.

"Bring your runners. We're not going to take TTC today."

Running shoes | © Timothy Takemoto / Flickr

beauty

A phrase that refers to something that has been done well or an exceptionally great person.

"Your mother left me a pack of timbits. She's a beauty."

Pencil crayons

THIS (see below).

"I have a stack of pencil crayons that are perfect for this Drake coloring book."

A variety of colored pencils | Evan-Amos

Snowbirds

A word that refers to Canadians who go south in winter to get away from the cold. Destinations always include sandy beaches and tropical waters.

"My parents always come up against my father who leaves for Florida every winter."

"He's a snowbird, isn't he?"

Goodbye, goodbye and out

What are you saying?

Used when you ask what someone is doing. Similar to the sentence: "What are you going to do?"

"What do you say tonight?"

"Not much, just chill out on the Chesterfield and have a Mickey."

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These are jokes

Used when you want to say something, hilarious or funny.

"I saw a nephew ride a moose the other day."

"That's kidding!"

funny laugh bored hilarious selfie

True

A term instead of "OK". (Note: not used to indicate that anything is valid or true.)

"Sorry, I'll be late. TTC has been delayed."

"True."

TTC | © John Maynard

Chesterfield

A word that refers to a couch or sofa. Usually used by older people (hey, grandma).

"Go ahead and eat your elephant ears on Chesterfield. I'll sit down with you as soon as I get these runners out of bed."

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Snake

Refers to a range of people who are waiting for something, be it at the cinema, the bathroom, or a Leafs game. Queue and line-up are used synonymously.

"The queue in Canada's Wonderland is massive, isn't it?"

A large queue is waiting in Canada's Wonderland | amusement park © TMBLover / WikiCommons

Whale tail

Another word for the famous Canadian treat, beaver tails, which are made from fried batter (which are sometimes smothered in toppings like delicious Nutella). Also called elephant ears.

"I'm going to get in that queue for a whale tail. I hear you are a beauty."

Mandatory #beavertail Ottawa photo | © Connor Turner / Flickr

napkin

A term for a napkin.

"Can you grab me a napkin? I spilled all of my Molson during this kerfuffle."

cheezburger beer spilled germany spilled


Author: Joshua Nash

Joshua Nash is a 37-year-old journalist. Friendly beer specialist. Incurable Twitter evangelist. Bacon fanatic. TV ninja.