Ottawa is a really small city and almost everyone here knows everyone but I'm sure you've heard that before. Since this is the case, Ottawans have practically developed their own language; one that may be slightly questionable. Most of this language comes from the fact that there so many different ethnicities living here and some of their terms have caught on - even if they're not English. 

So, if you're native to Ottawa, or even if you been here for a couple years, then you definitely know this language that I'm speaking of. Here are 21 of the most common slang terms you'll hear when you visit Ottawa:


1. "Wallahi"

If you attended high school in Ottawa, then you've definitely heard this term. It translates to "I swear to God" in Arabic but it's used by Ottawans of all ethnicities. 


2. "Bucket" or "Bucktee"

This term is used to describe someone who is just plain whack. Essentially someone who doesn't really do anything and is extremely lame.


3. "Hooyo"

Another Somali term used to describe your mother. 


4. "Safe"

Ottawans use this term when they're securing something, confirming something, or agreeing to something. For example, if you were arranging plans to meet with someone at a certain time, you could state your agreement with "safe, fam." 


5. "Farrhaven"

Everyone knows just how far Barrhaven is; so far, it's gotten it's name changed to "Farrhaven" by the locals of Ottawa.


6. "Hop the bus"

OC Transpo bus fare just keeps raising in price, so it's safe to assume that many locals are going to start finding ways to avoid these fares and ride for free. Hence the term, "hop the bus" where you literally hop on any OC Transpo long bus through the back doors.


7.  "Getho"

The Ottawa local's slang term for marijuana. Used the exact same way you would use weed, bud, or green!


8. "Capcity"

Although no one outside of Ottawa knows this, Ottawa is the capital of Canada so of course, we refer to Ottawa as 'Capcity'. This is just a blend word of capital + city.


9. "Miskeen"

Used to describe a situation that is just plain sad, pathetic, or poor. Whether it's a person or a situation, the term comes from the Arabic language and it's normally used to place emphasis something unfortunate. For example, "That guy over there is so miskeen, he's never even been to a club".


 10. "Haram"

Another Arabic word used to describe things that would normally be (or should be) forbidden. You could use it to describe something that you find to be just plain wrong.


11. "Hundo P"

One hundred percent! Another way of securing or confirming something.


12. "Dhillo"

The Ottawa way to describe what Americans would call "a thot", basically. Definitely not something you would want to be called or would want to use but it's been thrown around quite a bit by Ottawans. A "dhillo" is usually a girl with a bad reputation who's been around and it's used by Arabs and Somalis.


13. "Ottawack"

Everyone has stated the words "Ottawa is so boring" at least once, whether they meant it or not. In fact, Ottawa has gained such a lame reputation that Ottawans started referring to it as "Ottawack".


14. "Puck bunny"

Although this is used by Canadians everywhere, it's HEAVILY used by Ottawans, especially hockey boys. They use this to refer to girls who just love hockey players; the ones who show up to every hockey game and are always in a relationship - with a hockey player. 


15. "Ferda"

For the boys! Ottawans use it to refer to something being done in order to benefit a group of boys. It can also be used as "FTB".


16. "Gahba"

A "gahba" is similar to a "thot" or a "dillo". It's used to describe a female who's been around or has a bad reputation; definitely not something you'd want to get called!


17. "Loafer"

You know that person you see chilling at the Rideau St. McDonalds every single day, for hours on end, without fail? Yea, they're a loafer. Ottawans use this to describe people who just loaf around for no good reason.


18. "Athi/ Caadi"

Similar to "safe", athi is used the same way the term "alright" would be used. You're essentially just showing your agreement or satisfaction with someone else's answer.


19. "Kowaal"

The Ottawa way of saying you're just trolling! This comes from the Ottawa Somali population and jokes or trolls are normally followed by someone shouting "KOWAAAALDDD!" So, if you hear this and it's being directed at you, you're probably about to get roasted.


20. "Jam/ Jam 6"

Used when you want someone to just chill out or relax. If someone is tripping out or wilding out, or just even pissing you off, you would tell them to "jam".


21. "Dank"

Although this can be used to describe weed, once again, it's also used to describe something that smells or tastes good: "this kush is dank" or "that pizza smells dank AF!"

Start the Conversation
Account Settings
Notifications
Favourites
Log Out