Part of being Canadian involves engaging in a set of behaviours and speech that are clear identifiers of our unique northern heritage. Whether you were born in the country or not, knowing these regional or national cultural customs are helpful for living and understanding the Canadian way of life.

Below are a set of 30 words, phrases and mannerisms that every Canadian should know the meaning of. Some may only apply to a certain part of Canada, while others may apply to all Canadians nationwide.

Since these forms of speech and behaviour are a part of our heritage, we Canadians should want to familiarize ourselves with them! How many of them do you recognize?


Words

Phrases

Mannerisms


For words, click Next.


Words

Hoser

A foolish or uncultivated person.

Timbits

A bite-sized fried dough treat sold at Tim Hortons.

Toque

A close-fitting knitted hat; a beanie.

Mickey

A small 375 mL bottle of liquor.

Loonie/toonie

A Canadian one-dollar and two-dollar coin, respectively.

BeaverTail

A fried dough pastry made to resemble a beaver’s tail.

Pogie

Government financial relief given to the unemployed; welfare.

Bunny hug

A sweatshirt with a hood.

Give’r

A contraction of ‘give’ and ‘her’ meaning to give one’s best efforts.

Beaut

A short form for ‘beautiful’.

For Canadian phrases, click Next.


Phrases

“I’ll have a double-double”

A typical coffee order that involves two creams and two sugars.

“Pick up a two-four”

To grab a case of beer containing 24 cans.

“Pass the all-dressed”

A potato chip flavour combining barbecue, sour cream and onion, ketchup, salt and vinegar.

“Canadian tuxedo”

To wear an outfit consisting of all denim, from the shirt and jacket to the pants.

“Can I borrow your pencil crayons”

The Canadian equivalent to the American ‘colored pencils’.

“Hang a Larry”

Turn left.

“Hang a Roger”

Turn right.

“Out for a rip”

To go out for a drive.

“We’ve got a supply teacher”

The Canadian equivalent for the American ‘substitute teacher’.

“Going for a Timmies run”

To go to Tim Hortons for food.

For Canadian mannerisms, click Next.


Mannerisms

Holding the door for someone still far away

Because it’s the overly polite thing to do.

Rolling up the rim to win

Most of the time with your teeth.

Ending statements with ‘eh’

As a way to get affirmation (or just because).

Saying ‘sorry’ when you don’t need to

Even to inanimate objects you accidentally bump into.

Wearing a poppy every November 11

As a sign for respect for our army veterans.

Stirring the bottom of an iced cap to melt it

Indisputably the worst part of drinking an iced cap.

Removing mittens to text in the winter

And risking frost bite.

Always complaining about the weather

Even when there’s really nothing to complain about.

Checking the windchill before heading out

Because Canadian winters might kill you if you don’t.

Which ones did we miss?

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