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Common Canadian Slang Words You Need to Know

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Canadian slang words

The English spoken in Canada is quite different than the English spoken in the US, UK or Australia. Many of the words Canadians consider self-explanatory are in fact Canadian slang words, so be sure to familiarize yourself with these common terms before travelling.

Keep in mind that Canadian slang words vary from province to province, so it’s unlikely you’ll encounter them all on your Canadian vacation.

The Most Common Canadian Slang Terms


Eh?

Pronounced “ay”

This classic Canadian slang word can be translated in several ways.  The most common ways are using it at the end of a question in place of “right?” or “wouldn’t you agree?”, or using it to indicate confusion, similar to “huh?” “what?” and “pardon”?

Eh? in a sentence: “That was a great concert, eh?”


Oh yea, no, for sure

If a Canadian answers your question with “oh yea, no, for sure,” they are using slang for “yes”.

Oh yea, no, for sure in a sentence: “Would you mind helping me move the couch?” “Oh yea, no, for sure.”


Tuque  
Alternate spellings: toque, touque, tuke

Pronounced “too-hk”

A tuque is winter hat with or without a small brim. A tuque is often referred to as a beanie in the rest of the world.

Tuque in a sentence: “Don’t forget to pack your tuque in case it gets cold on your trip to Canada.”


Keener

A keener refers to an individual who is over-eager or extremely keen. This term is often used in schools and in the workplace. It can be interchanged with words such as “brown-noser”, “suck-up” and “overachiever”.

Keener in a sentence: “Bob is such a keener for making that dictionary of Canadian slang words.”


Timmies
Also called: Tims

Timbits, slang for doughnut holes, and a coffee from the Canadian coffee shop, Tim Hortons
Timbits, slang for doughnut holes, and a coffee from the Canadian coffee shop, Tim Hortons

The slang word Timmies refers to the coffee shop Tim Hortons, which was named after a famous Canadian hockey player.

Timmies in a sentence: “I’m on my way to Timmies, can I get you something?”


Double-Double

A double-double is Canadian slang for a regular coffee with two creams and two sugars. This term originated at Tim Hortons, Canada’s most popular coffee shop.

Double-double in a sentence: “Would you mind picking me up a medium double-double on your way home?


Timbits

The Canadian term used for doughnut holes, which are a specialty at Tim Hortons.

Timbits in a sentence: “I’d like a box of assorted Timbits with my coffee.”


Kerfuffle

Originally a British slang word, Kerfuffle is used in Canada to refer to a disturbance, commotion, argument, or fight caused by conflict.

Kerfuffle in a sentence: “This years elections have caused quite the kerfuffle in Canada.”


Mountie

Royal Canadian Mounted Police on horseback
Royal Canadian Mounted Police on horseback

A Mountie is a term used for a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), which is Canada’s federal police force.

Mountie in a sentence: “My favourite part of the parade was seeing the Mounties on horseback.”


Stag or Stagette

Stag and stagette are Canadian terms for bachelor and bachelorette parties.

Stagette in a sentence: “I’m excited to go to Jane’s stagette this weekend.”


Pop

Pop is the Canadian term for carbonated beverages. Elsewhere in the world pop is often referred to as a “soft drink” or “soda”.

Pop in a sentence: “What types of pop do they serve at the restaurant?”


Canuck

The term Canuck is a slang word for a Canadian person. Not to be confused with the Vancouver Canucks hockey team.

Canuck in a sentence: “There were so many Canucks on the airplane from Toronto.”


Loonie & Toonie

Loonies and toonies are Canadian slang for $1 and $2 coins. The loonie got its name from the loon on the front of the coin, while the toonie got its name to rhyme with the loonie and to indicate it’s worth two dollars.

Toonie in a sentence: “I can’t believe my luck, I found a toonie on the ground!”


Freezies

Coloured ice pops or freeze pops, which are known as freezies in Canada
Coloured ice pops or freeze pops, which are known as freezies in Canada

Freezies are icy summer treats which come in a clear plastic tube.  Often called ice pops or freeze pops, freezies are made of frozen water and flavouring (often fruit juice).

Freezies in a sentence: “My kids love eating freezies to cool down after playing outside.”


Two-four

The Canadian slang term two-four refers to a case of 24 beers. Don’t confuse this with May 2-4, a long weekend in May which celebrates Queen Victoria’s birthday.

Two-four in a sentence: “Don’t forget to pick up a two-four for our May 2-4 camping trip.”


Mickey

A mickey is a Canadian term used to describe a 375ml bottle of liquor which is often shaped like a flask.

Mickey in a sentence: “I stopped by the liquour store to pick up a mickey of rye.”


Texas mickey

A Texas mickey is Canadian slang for a 3 liter (101 ounces) bottle of alcohol usually containing vodka, rum, or Canadian rye whiskey.

Texas mickey in a sentence: “He was quite the hit when he showed up at the party with a Texas mickey.”


Klick
Alternate spelling: Click

The Canadian term “klick” is used in place of “kilometre”, which is a unit of length in the metric system. A kilometre represents 1000 meters.

Klick in a sentence: “There’s a gas station up the road, I think it’s about three klicks away.”


Give’r

Meaning to exert a great deal of effort or energy into a task, Give’r is a Canadian slang often used in sports and the workplace.

Give’r in a sentence:  “You can do it! Just give’r!”


Runners

Runners which are Canadian slang for athletic footwear
Runners, a Canadian slang word for athletic footwear

A term used in Canada when referring to running shoes, sneakers, tennis shoes, or any type of athletic footwear.

Runners in a sentence:  “My runners got wet when I tried to jump over the puddle.”


Dart

In Canadian slang, a dart is a cigarette.

Dart in a sentence: “Excuse me, can you spare a dart?”


Gotch(ies)
Also called: ginch(ies), gitch(ies) or gonch(ies)

Derived from the word “gatky” (Ukranian for underwear), gotchies refer to tight men’s underwear. They are typically called “tighty-whities” in other countries.

Gotchies in a sentence: “My husband insists on wearing his gotchies even after they get a hole.”


Homo milk

In Canada, milk with 3.25% fat is called “homo milk”, which is short for homogenized milk.

Homo milk in a sentence: “I need to stop by the grocery store to pick up some homo milk for the baby.”


Beauty

A Canadian term used to describe someone great, or something that is well done.

Beauty in a sentence: I’ll need to thank your Mom for the casserole, she’s such a beauty.”


Screech

In Newfoundland, Screech is a type of dark rum sold containing 40% alcohol by volume.

Screech in a sentence: Bob got a bottle of Screech for his 19th birthday.


Screech-in

A Canadian term for the ceremony performed on non-Newfoundlanders which involves a shot of Newfoundland Screech, a short dictation, and the kissing of a cod.

Screeched-in in a sentence: Adam’s new wife felt unsure about being screeched-in at the next family reunion.


Pencil crayons

Pencil crayons, a Canadian term for coloured pencils
Pencil crayons, the Canadian term for coloured pencils

In Canada, pencil crayons is another term for coloured pencils.

Pencil crayons in a sentence: “The teacher passed around the pencil crayons for the students to share.”


Washroom

The Canadian term for bathroom or restroom.

Washroom in a sentence: “There was no paper towel left in the washroom.”


Kitty-Corner

A slang term used by Canadians when referring to two locations (usually business or house) that are positioned diagonally opposite one another.

Kitty-corner in a sentence: “The burglars targeted the store kitty-corner to the casino.”


Hang a Larry

When a Canadian uses the term “hang a Larry” they mean take a left turn.

Hang a Larry in a sentence: “Hang a Larry at the next stop sign”


Hang a Roger

A Canadian slang way of saying take a right turn.

Hang a Roger in a sentence: “Hang a roger on the next street.”


Knapsack

Knapsack, Canadian term for backpack
A knapsack, which is the Canadian term for a backpack

In Canada, a knapsack is another term for a backpack.

Knapsack in a sentence: “Mary lost her knapsack on the field trip.”


LCBO
Also called: Lick-bo

An acronym for the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, the LCBO is the name for a provincially owned store licensed to sell alcohol in the province of Ontario. Most provinces have their own provincially owned retail outlets licensed to sell alcohol. Their acronyms are as follows: SAQ (Quebec), NBLC (New Brunswick), NSLC (Nova Scotia), NLC (Newfoundland), PEILCC (Prince Edward Island), YLC (Yukon), NWTLC (Northwest-Territories) and AGLC (Alberta).

LCBO in a sentence: “Be sure to take your wallet with you to the LCBO, you might get ID’d.”


Dep

An abbreviation for the French word dépanneur, which is the term for convenience stores in Quebec.

Dep in a sentence: “I’ll need to grab some milk from the dep on my way home.”


Hydro

In Canada, the term hydro refers to electricity.

Hydro in a sentence: “We were shocked at the cost of our hydro bill last month.”


The Habs

A term used when referring to the Montreal Canadiens hockey team.

The Habs in a sentence: “The Habs are playing the Leafs at the Scotiabank Arena tonight.”


Gong show

A gong show is Canadian slang for an event that gets out of control.

Gong show in a sentence: “Once they started drinking it became a total gong show.”


Snowbirds

The Snowbirds in flight

Definition #1 – The name of the aerobatics or air show flight demonstration team belonging to the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Snowbirds in a sentence: “The audience was in awe watching the Snowbirds perform.”

Definition #2 – A slang term used to describe Canadians who travel south during the cold of winter.

Snowbirds in a sentence: “Her parents are snowbirds. In fact, they bought a condo in Florida last year.”


Now that you know some of the most popular Canadian slang words you are ready to strike up a conversation with any Canadian. Go for it!

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What other Canadian slang words do you know? Tell us about them in the comments below!


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2 thoughts to “Common Canadian Slang Words You Need to Know”

  1. Nice post, my family and I will be traveling to Canada next month. Knowing the slang will be helpful especially when asking for directions! If someone tells us to hang a larry or hang a roger I will know what they mean! I’m also looking forward to getting some Timbits:)

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