How Many Canadian Slang Words Do You Know?

Heather Cahill

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Are you ready to prove that you're a true Canuck? Every country (and every region of every country, for that matter) has its own local slang. Canada is no different!

While most Americans are familiar with the occasional "eh" at the end of a sentence, there's so much more color to the Canadian vernacular! 

Have you found yourself on the wrong side of a heated "kerfuffle?" Do you know what stands-in for the term, "bodega?" Do you know what word a Canadian might use for "robe?" We bet you don't know the linguistic history of the word "boonies," but if you do, you're definitely not a "hoser!" If someone says they're going to "head'er," do you know what they're doing? And if you're in Saskatchewan, and your friend is about to "head'er," and it's cold outside, you should make sure they have their "bunny hug" and "toque!"

Whether you've lived in Canada for all your life, have merely visited, or are somewhere in between, this quiz will tell you how much Canadian slang you know. So sit back, grab a "pop," and find out!

What is a "Canuck?"

A "Canuck" is another word to refer to a Canadian. Did you know that one of Canada's NHL teams is called the Vancouver Canucks? Their mascot is Fin the Whale.

What is a bunny hug?

A bunny hug is a term that is mostly used in Saskatchewan (a Canadian province) for a hoodie. The word is more often used for sweaters that do not have a zipper on them. It's not clear why sweaters earned this nickname in Saskatchewan.

What would you put on if you were going outside in Canada?

Runners is another term for sneakers/tennis shoes that is used in Canada. You might also hear the word running shoe for the same thing if you're in Canada.

What word is used to refer to alcohol?

A two-four is a term that refers to alcohol, specifically the amount of beer in a pack. Two-fours typically contain 24 bottles (a case.) It's not an entirely different concept than saying you're going to pick up a forty in the United States.

What is the slang word that refers to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police?

The slang for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is "mounties." "Mountie" is also used when referring to just one member of the that specific police force.

Where would you wear a toque?

A toque is a warm knit winter hat that is worn on your head that fits snugly. In America, these are typically referred to as beanies. In Canada, they're named after a type of European hat (mostly worn in France) that was popular from the 13th through 16th century.

Which of the following is a term for measurement?

"Klick" is a term of measurement used in Canada to refer to a kilometer. When used in a sentence, you could say: "We're going about 30 klicks." It's also used by the United States military when communicating with other countries about distance, as the United States isn't on the metric system.

If you're told to "give'er," what should you do?

If someone tells you to "give'er" in Canada, it means to get going. The word is commonly used when referring to driving, but also is used when referring to things like partying and extreme sports.

What is a "kerfuffle?"

A kerfuffle is used to describe a messy situation. When used in a sentence, you can say: "Keep yourself out of any kerfuffles!" In the United States, where the word is also used, it means a commotion caused by conflicting views.

What is a "Chesterfield?"

A Chesterfield is the word used for a couch in Canada. The word refers to anything that is larger than a loveseat. A Chesterfield actually refers to a specific type of sofa design from England, but, like Kleenex essentially means "tissue" in the United States, it has come to represent couches in general.

Which of the following is a term used for "bathrobe" in Canada?

The term for "bathrobe" in Canada is "housecoat." Although Canadians use a different name, there are no physical differences between the items.

This word is typically used at the end of a sentence in Canada. What is it?

The term "eh" is commonly used at the end of sentences by Canadians. It can mean a few different things, including "right?" or "what?"

Which word can be used for someone who tries hard?

"Keener" is the word used for this type of person in Canada. It is synonymous with the American term "brown-noser" or even just "try-hard." It's not a flattering term.

What word is used to refer to a large bottle of alcohol?

The word "mickey" is used to refer to a 375 ml bottle of alcohol, mostly spirits like vodka. The word can also be used in the phrase "Texas mickey" which refers to a liter (1000 ml) of alcohol.

What phrase is used to say that you're going for a drive?

If you're out for a rip, then you're out for a drive. When you're out for a rip, your friends usually tag along for the ride. It's similar to the American idea of taking a joyride.

What does it mean to "chirp" someone?

To "chirp" someone is to make fun of them in Canada. Using this term in a sentence, you could say: "Bob chirped Ethan today." You can also use the word "beaking" in Canada to much the same effect.

What are pencil crayons?

In Canada, colored pencils are called pencil crayons. Don't forget that in Canada, colored is actually spelled "coloured" with the letter "u." It's the British spelling rather than the American spelling.

If you ask for a "double-double," what will you receive?

Asking for a "double-double" in Canada will get you a coffee. The term is used at the coffee shop chain, Tim Hortons, to order a coffee with double cream and double sugar.

If someone asked you for a "dart," what should you give them?

A "dart" is Canadian slang for a cigarette. When used in a sentence, you could say: "Hey Lisa, can you pass me a dart?" It's also one of the slang terms for a cigarette in Australia.

What does the word "dep" refer to?

The word "dep" is most commonly used in Quebec as a slang word for "dépanneur." This word is used to refer to convenience stores and corner stores. It's like "bodega" in New York.

What is a "snowbird" in Canada?

A snowbird is a term used by Canadians to refer to someone who vacations away from home in the winter, usually traveling somewhere with a warm climate. It allows them to escape the cold winters in the north.

Which word is used for sled in Canada?

In Canada, the word toboggan is used when talking about a sled. It can be also used as a verb, for example: "Jane and I are going tobogganing." Toboggans were actually traditionally used by indigenous groups in northern Canada as a form of transportation.

Which of the following is a synonym for "hoser?"

The word "hoser" is typically used to refer to someone as a loser in Canada. When used in a sentence, you could say: "Bill is such a hoser."

What is a tap?

A tap is the word that Canadians use to refer to the faucet. When used in a sentence you can say: "Make sure the tap is turned off!"

Which of the following might you take to school in Canada?

A knapsack is a word used for a backpack in Canada. Growing up in Canada, it's likely that your parents may tell you to pack you knapsack! Oddly enough, the "knapsack problem" is a famous computational math problem.

What is the parkade?

In Canada, the parkade is where you would park your car, specifically a parking garage. Typically, these garages have multiple stories that provide more room for parking.

What is the value of a loonie?

The value of a loonie is one dollar. It gets it's name from the bird depicted on it, the loon. The two-dollar coin is called a toonie, a portmanteau of "loonie" and "two."

If someone tells you they're going to "head'er," what does that mean?

To "head'er" means that you're going to leave or head out. When used in a sentence, you can say: "It's been fun, but I think it's time for me to head'er."

Which of the following words is used for a letter?

The word "zed" is the word used for the letter "Z" in Canada. In America, it's more likely that you'll hear the common "zee" pronunciation.

Which of the following is a slang term for a certain type of dairy product in Canada?

Homo milk is a short form of homogenized milk, which is used in Canada. The difference is that homogenized milk does not have cream on top, while non-homogenized milk does.

If a Canadian needed to relieve themselves, what might they ask for?

Canadians refer to the bathroom or restroom as the washroom. Although there are different words for it, Canadians will still understand the other terms.

What is a "Chinook?"

A "Chinook" is a wind-based weather system that often blows through the Rocky Mountain area of North America. The temperature of the winds is usually warm. For those of you in Southern California, they feel similar to the Santa Ana winds.

What does it mean to be out in the boonies?

To be out in the boonies means that you're in the middle of nowhere. It is a slang word for "boondocks," which means the same thing. It actually is a based on a Tagalog word for mountain, "bundok."

What word is used for napkin?

A napkin in Canada is called a "serviette." A serviette is typically made of cloth, but it can be made from paper, as well. Interestingly, in the UK, the term "napkin" is seen as upper class vernacular while "serviette" is seen as common vernacular. This is because in the UK, napkin refers to the cloth version, and serviette refers to the paper version.

If a Canadian asks you for a pop, what do they want?

In Canada, soft drinks (or soda) are called "pop" instead. Don't forget to crack out the pop at your next party or gathering!

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