10 Canadian Slang Phrases Every Newcomer Should Learn Before Moving To Canada

You wouldn't want to be caught off guard, eh? 🇨🇦

Trending Associate Editor
The Canadian flag at Banff National Park.

The Canadian flag at Banff National Park.

There are a lot of things you have to learn from scratch if you're thinking about moving to Canada, and Canadian slang is just one of them.

In fact, there are some phrases that are so unheard of outside of the country, you might very well think Canadians are speaking their own language!

From loonies and toonies, to the classic double-double, here are some phrases all newcomers in Canada should acquaint themselves with ASAP to avoid major confusion.

After all, you don't want to be caught off guard, eh?


Canadians love their coffee and a double-double is a probably one of the most essential Canadian slang words to get acquainted with!

To put it simply, a double-double is a regular coffee with two creams and two sugars. And, it's delicious.

It's usually used in connotation with Tim Hortons, so if you ask for a double-double at other coffee shops, there is a chance you'll be met with a blank stare.

Loonies and toonies

These words may sound like the names of cartoon characters but, loonies and toonies actually refer to Canadian coins.

That's right, a loonie refers to a Canadian one-dollar coin. Why? Because it actually features a loon — a North American bird — on it.

Similarly, toonie refers to a two-dollar coin. And yes, it basically combines the words "two" and "loonie." Cute, right?

The 6ix

Thinking about moving to Toronto? You better get familiar with the term The 6ix pretty quickly!

The term is slang for the city of Toronto. And, while I can't be completely confident about where the term originated, it's widely believed to be from 416 — the area code for the city of Toronto.

It does help that Drake popularized the term, too.

While you're at it, don't forget to look up how Toronto is pronounced. Note: it's not Toh-ron-to!

Timmies and Tims

It may seem pretty obvious but since it's bound to come up, get used to these various iterations of Tim Hortons.

From Timmies to Tims, Canada's favourite coffee chain has quite the fan following, and nicknames are just part and parcel of that.

You might also hear Timbits quite a bit, and they're basically the coffee retailer's version of donut holes.

Just roll with it.


Another one that's bound to come up during your time in Canada.

Canuck is simply slang for Canadians. While I haven't actually heard it said out loud too often, it's pretty common in Canadian media.

Be wary though, it's a word best saved for Canadians referring to themselves!


If someone in Canada offers you a pop, they're not offering you a lollipop.

Actually, they're referring to soda. That's right, pop is just another way to describe a fizzy drink here.


Considering how cold it gets in Canada, you might want to acquaint yourself with winter gear, and its various names, pretty fast.

For instance, long johns is basically a replacement for thermals, and toque is just another way of saying beanie.


This one is pretty easy to understand.

Canadians really are friendly people and hearing "bud" or "buddy" is totally normal.

In fact, you don't even have to be friends with someone for them to call you bud. It's perfectly normal to hear it from a complete stranger!

Yeah, no and no, yeah

This one seems a bit confusing, but context, tone of voice and facial expressions are everything.

Saying "yeah, no" or "no, yeah" is super common in Canada. Just don't mix those two up as they mean the exact opposite.

Still confused? One Canadian TikToker explained exactly how it's done.


And, finally, while this isn't slang in a traditional sense, you might just hear it a lot when you move to Canada.

It's a simple way to emphasize something, and pretty self-explanatory, eh?

Of course, these are just some of the most popular slang words in Canada.

If you're looking to do a deep dive into the topic, different provinces also have their own slang, which even people from Canada aren't always aware of!

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Janice Rodrigues
Trending Associate Editor
Janice Rodrigues is an Associate Editor for Narcity Canada’s Trending Desk focused on Canadian immigration and passports, and is based in Scarborough, Ontario.
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