If you’re a millennial living in the 6ix, chances are you’ve adopted some Toronto slang words. Whether you want to admit it or not, the vocabulary used by Toronto icons such as Drake is taking over the city in a big way thanks to it’s rising pop-culture profile.
According to Derek Denis, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto Mississauga, Drake’s endless promotion of Toronto has had a significant impact on the city’s growing slang-culture. “Drake didn’t create any of these words, but we can definitely point to his global influence as a catalyst,” Denis told City News. “When he starts using these words, whether people want to admit it or not, it brings a sort of pride to this city.”
So, what slang words are unique to Toronto? Well, there are lots, but highlights like “waste yute” and “nize” are quickly becoming a part of the city’s culture.
Amongst those words come a whole list of others that are used on the daily by the city’s younger generation. Sadly, using the city’s homebrewed words hasn’t become a total symbol of pride yet, which Denis hopes to change with his study on the 6ix’s growing vocabulary.
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“There’s kind of this shame around it because there’s this association that people who use it are the kind of kids who are goofing off on the bus,” explained Denis, according to The Toronto Sun.
“I’d like to flip that association and highlight the fact that it’s something to be proud of, and it’s something that has features from languages all over the world,” he added.
Denis later added on Twitter that the shame involved with Toronto slang is often connected to “Blackness” and the fact that in settler-colonial Canada, a link to black culture is sometimes viewed as a bad thing.
This is the "shame" I mentioned. What I wasn't clear about in the interview is the shame is rooted in raciolinguist… https://t.co/CDs5343Aqr— 🕯Derek Denis💀🌙 (@🕯Derek Denis💀🌙) 1571147963
However, as Toronto slang continues to rise in the 6ix, it's no surprise that one of Toronto's own pop icons Drake has helped us form this vocabulary over the years.
Narcity has reached out to Denis for further comment on the subject.