7 Canadian Slang Words That Even People Born In Canada Might Not Understand

Are you wearing a ginch and a bunny hug on your way to the dep?

Trending Staff Writer
Canada's parliament building.

Canada's parliament building.

Canadians have a whole lot of wild but commonly-known slang words, from "toque" to "2-4".

But, given Canada is such a large country, there are plenty of unique, fun and regional Canadian slang terms that lots of Canucks probably have not heard of before.

Because, while there are loads of things that unite us, there are some phrases that are unique to certain provinces and regions. And if you've never been to those places or met someone from there, they might have you scratching your head.

From the obscene-sounding "lick-bo" to the Francophone-inspired "dep," here are some Canadian slang words that might confuse even Canadians.


Ever heard this before? If so, you might be from or have previously visited western Canada.

A "ginch" or "gotch" is a slang term for underwear, and sometimes more specifically refers to white briefs — more commonly known as tighty whities.

Example sentence: Oh man, it's so hot out, it makes me want to walk around in just my ginch!"


This slang term is used most notably in Newfoundland & Labrador and you could probably guess its meaning.

It's a shortened form of "boy" pronounced "by" and is a term of endearment and a way to address your buddies and friends. Think of it like "dude" or "man" but a bit different.

Example sentence: Hey, how's it goin' b'y?

Bunny hug

If you're feeling a bit cold in Saskatchewan, you might be in need of a "bunny hug."

What is it? Well, it's what people in parts of Saskatchewan call a hoodie or hooded sweatshirt. And frankly, it sounds incredibly cozy.

Who wouldn't want to hug a bunny?

Example sentence: It's so cold out I feel like I need to wear a bunny-hug on top of my other bunny-hug.


While some think of a cabin as a setting for a horror movie, many in B.C. and other western Canadian provinces think of it as a place for some summer fun.

A cabin is essentially any house that someone might have out on a lake or in the wilderness to get away from it all. Essentially it's the western Canadian word for "cottage!"

No horror movies here!

Example sentence: My friends and I are going up to the cabin this weekend to party it up!


While this might sound a bit obscene, it actually isn't. However, it is a bit more on the adult side of things.

"Lick-bo" has nothing to do with your tongue at all, and is actually connected to buying alcohol.

In Ontario, one of the few places you can buy alcohol is the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario). But, if said like a word rather than an acronym, it sounds like "lick-bo."

Strange people Ontarians are.

Example sentence: I need to head down to the lick-bo to get ingredients for my cocktail.


If you've been to Toronto, you've probably heard the word "mans" at some point.

But what exactly does it mean? Well, it comes from the heavy Caribbean-Canadian influence on the city and basically means "man" or "dude" but it also can mean "I" or "you."

You can use the term in a variety of ways as a singular or plural pronoun.

Example sentence: As Simu Liu once said: "So whatever your background or gender, even if it's Toronto Mans, everyone is fam,"


This list wouldn't be complete without some Francophone slang from Quebec.

If you're heading to the "dep," it basically means you're going to the convenience store.

The word comes from a shortened version of "dépanneur" — French for "convenience store."

Example sentence: Do you need anything other than chips and pop from the dep?

Of course, there are so many more Canadian slang words out there that we couldn't fit into this list!

After all, how can you fit all those words that make Canadians unique into just one article? Heck, there are so many that are specific to certain provinces such as Toronto-only slang words!

Now take off, eh!

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

Tristan Wheeler
Trending Staff Writer
Tristan Wheeler is a Staff Writer for Narcity Canada’s Trending Desk focused on money and budgets and is based in Toronto, Ontario.
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