Do You Really Know All These Canadian Slang Words?
Image: Yanis Ourabah/Moment/Getty Images
About This Quiz
So you speak Canadian, eh? If you encounter a world-traveling Canadian, you may hear the stereotypical "eh," "aboot" (which is really "about"), "beg" (or "bag") or the typical conversations about the (sometimes bitter) cold weather. Right?
Well, not exactly. There's so much more to Canada than just those three words; it's a pretty big country, after all. In fact, it's safe to say Canada has its own "Canadian" language, so to speak. Canada's two official languages are recognized as English and French. However, the country is home to more than 200 other spoken tongues. Among these, a few popular ones include Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi and Spanish, according to a 2011 Statistics Canada report.
Despite all these incredible languages, Canadians have managed to come up with their own language—let's say they speak in "Canadianisms." There are all sorts of words, or slang, that Canadians have come up with and communicate with on a daily basis.
Now, we've compiled a list to test your knowledge of Canadianisms. We are aware this list barely scratches the surface, but it's a good list with some of the most common Canadian slang words. Do you really know all these Canadian slang words? Take this quiz and find out!
If you're on the way to the beer store to pick up a two-four, what are you getting?
A two-four is commonly used to refer to a case of 24 beers. Now, if you're heading to a party with a bunch of friends, be ready to be asked to pick up a two-four on your way over! It ain't a party 'til it's a party!
"Your grandmother left a box of chocolates for me. She’s a beauty." "She's a beauty" implies what?
"Beauty" is often used as an expression to refer to something that was done well or an exceptionally great person. Next time you're in Canada and someone does something nice for you, make sure you let them know with this phrase!
If you bring your "runners" to the gym, what did you bring?
"Runners" is just another word for what Americans call running shoes. This word can also be used interchangeably to refer to street shoes or regular shoes you would wear on a day-to-day basis.
“I’m going to get in this queue for a whale's tail.” Are Canadians really eating whale's tail?
Whale's tail is just another name for the Canadian "beaver tails" treat—which might not make it sound more appealing. This treat is made from fried pastry dough, which is frequently topped with Nutella or other sweet ingredients.
What's another name for a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer?
"Mountie" refers to a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer. It's an abbreviation of the force's name, which, by the way, happens to be the most well-known police force in the world. Leave it to the Canadians to have nice forces!
"Pop," like in Midwestern states, refers to a what?
Pop is the word used to refer to a soda or a soft drink (like a Coke or a Pepsi, depending on your preference). So yeah, pass a pop and enjoy the refreshing beverage on your chesterfield!
If you're sitting on the chesterfield, where are you at?
"Chesterfield" is just a word referring to a couch or sofa; it's usually used by older people but is still recognizable by the younger generations because, hey, who doesn’t want to sit or lay on the chesterfield?
What's a "kerfuffle?"
A "kerfuffle" refers to a commotion or fuss, usually caused by a disagreement or difference in opinion. However, this term is most commonly found during or after sports games, hence the commotion (Canadians are very passionate about their sports!).
"Cowtown" is slang for the city of Calgary in Alberta. People in Edmonton are usually the ones who call the city Cowtown, referring to Calgary's more prominent Western culture and also to the annual Calgary Stampede.
"There's a bear on the loose! It's about five klicks away." How far away is the bear?
"Klick" is the term used to refer to kilometres, the unit of length in the metric system equal to 1,000 meters. This is the same measurement style used in Europe. So FYI, America, one kilometer is approximately 0.6 miles. That bear was close!
What's a "doeskin?"
Ha, a "doeskin" is just something you would wear during winter. To be a little more descriptive, it's a lumber jacket characterized by thick flannel in red and black or green and black.
"Did you see that player deke left, go right, stop and then score?" What's "deke?"
"Deke" or "deke out," derived from the word "decoy," is a Canadian term used in an ice hockey game to refer to someone who moves stealthily or pretends to avoid contact with other players.
"The queue at the movies is massive, eh?" What's a "queue?"
A "queue" refers to a line of people waiting for something (in this case, the movies). In Canada (and in parts of the U.K.), "queue" and "lineup" are used interchangeably, but at the end of the day, they both imply the same thing.
If you're a Canuck, what are you?
"Canuck" is a slang term for Canadians. You may have heard this before in the world of sports, but just as an FYI for anyone not from Canada, this can sometimes come across as derogatory in U.S. use—tread lightly!
How much is a "toonie" worth in Canada?
Well, if loonie is worth only $1, then a toonie is surely worth $2! That's right, the Canadian $2 is referred to as a "toonie." That kinda has an adorable sound to it. "I need a toonie!"
Her name starts with "zed." What's a "zed?"
"Zed" refers to the word for the letter "Z" in the alphabet, just like they say it in the U.K. "Zee" is also acceptable, but if you want to follow the tradition and not sound like an absolute outsider, you might want to go for "zed."
What's "The Rock?"
"The Rock" refers to Vancouver Island, also used in the Maritimes to refer to Newfoundland. It's located in the northeastern Pacific Ocean and is part of British Columbia, running 290 miles in length and 62 miles in width.
What's another term Canadians use for vacation homes?
Well, think about it: Canada, for the most part, experiences cold temperatures, and unless you're one of those snowbirds leaving for a hotter country, you're likely to escape to a cabin.
What's the Canadian version of the pre-wedding party?
The pre-wedding bachelor/bachelorette party in Canada is referred as the stag/stagette party. It's a night (or weekend) of partying with your friends of the same gender before you lose your rights and "freedom" at the upcoming nuptials with your beloved.
What does the slang term "give'er" stand for?
"Give'er" is a slang term meaning to give it all you got when all else fails. It's more commonly used when referring to work, drinking, sports (of course) and any other activity that requires you to … well, give it your all!
What does your boyfriend have one if he's wearing a "ginch?"
A "ginch," or "gonch," refers to a particular type of men's briefs that are threadbare. Hmm, might be a good time to take your boyfriend out on a shopping spree and get him a new pair of "ginch!"
Instead of "okay," what are Canadians more likely to say?
"True" is a term used instead of "okay." However, it's not used to express that something is valid or true (the actual, literal definition); it's just a replacement for the use of "okay."
In Canada, what would you say instead of "What are you up to?"
"What you sayin?" is used when asking what someone is doing. It's pretty similar to the phrase "What are you up to?" in that it inquires as to someone's plans or what they intend to do, especially if you would like to make plans with that same person.
If you're grabbing a "mickey" to keep it low-key on a Friday night instead of buying drinks outside, what are you taking with you?
"Mickey" is slang for a flask-sized bottle of liquor. You can only find these at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, and once you have a hold of it, it's the perfect bottle to fit in a purse or in one's hand to take out with you when you don't want to spend too much money buying drinks.
When are you likely to have a "freezie?"
A "freezie" is just a Popsicle or ice pop. These are easily purchased from the grocery store and come in small plastic sleeves to make it easy to consume and not get messy in the process of having this delicious and refreshing treat.
I can't start my morning without my "double-double" and a jelly-filled dutchie on the side to go with it! What does a double-double have?
It's a coffee with two creams and two sugars. This one is a favorite of Tim Hortons customers, and again, if you don't know this, your true love of Canada might be in question!
If a Canadian tells you "that's jokes," what are they implying?
"That's jokes" is used when you want to indicate something is hilarious or funny. Like Canada, the U.K. also uses this slang when trying to tell someone that they're being funny. Now, that's jokes!
If you're a "snowbird," what are you?
"Snowbird" refers to Canadians who head south during winter to escape the bitter cold. Typical destinations include sandy beaches and tropical waters because, if you’re going to escape the cold, you might as well make the trip worth it.
Don’t be such a "keener!" What's a "keener?"
"Keener" is a word used to refer to someone who tries hard to please others or is over-the-top enthusiastic about something. It's the same as calling someone a nerd, brown-noser or geek in the U.S.
If someone tells you to grab your toque on your way out during a snowy day, what are you getting?
A toque refers to a cap with a small brim, or without a brim entirely, like a beanie, and it's usually worn when it's cold or during springtime. The word is derived from Arabic and made its way into the Medieval French lingo in the 15th century.
If your friend asks you to pass the serviette while eating at the table, what are they asking you for?
Serviette is the term used for a napkin. This is where the French influence kicks in, as "serviette" derives from the old French word "servir," which means to serve or present something to someone.
Rapper Drake always refers to "the 6." What is it?
The 6 refers to the cities that make up the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) but is mostly used when talking about Toronto. Truly, we have to give credit to Drake for putting that term on our radar. I bet he’d be proud to see you "running through the 6 with your woes!"
If you're heading to "Timmies" to grab a box of Timbits, where are you headed to?
Timmies is the fast-food coffee chain, Tim Hortons, which gets its name from a famous Canadian hockey player who played for the Maple Leafs for 24 seasons. Every Canadian (the real ones, at least) know or love Timmies.
In Canadian slang, what's a "loonie?"
In Canadian slang, a "loonie" refers to a $1 coin. The loonie gets its name from the picture of the Canadian bird, the loon, that appears on one side of the coin. Very original and unique … if you ask us!
What's a "buckle bunny?"
A "buckle bunny" refers to a female rodeo groupie. The term is mainly popular in the Canadian Prairies and is used to refer to a person who is highly attracted only—or at least mostly—to rodeo cowboys.
About HowStuffWorks Play
How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!
Get smarter every day! Subscribe & get 1 quiz every week.
Playing quizzes is free! We send trivia questions and personality tests every week to your inbox. By
clicking "Sign Up" you are agreeing to our
years old or over.