You're Not A True Canadian Unless You've Used These 10 Slang Words At Least Once


​The Canadian flag. Right: A person stands in the snow.

The Canadian flag. Right: A person stands in the snow.

There are some things that are uniquely Canadian, including natural wonders, Canadian snacks, and even the words we say.

Canadian slang is a language all on its own, but can you really call yourself a true Canuck if you're not using the slang of the True North regularly?

From ways to describe our money to shorthands for our drinks, these Canadian slang words are hallmarks of any real Canadian.

How many do you actually say?


A Canadian classic, a Double-Double refers to a Tim Hortons original coffee with two shots of cream and two shots of sugar.

While you can certainly just say "two cream, two sugar," when ordering, it simply isn't the Canadian way.


Likely to confuse anyone not from Canada, a "Newfie" is simply a nickname for a person from Newfoundland.

As any Canuck will know, the word is a perfect time-saver for explaining that someone hails from the Atlantic province — instead of wasting time saying "oh yeah, they're from Newfoundland and Labrador."


"Mans" is a term more specific to Toronto, but any true Canadian will likely know what it means.

Per the words of Derek Denis, assistant professor of linguistics at U of T Mississauga, in an interview with the University of Toronto Magazine, the term for multiple pronouns is said to have been popularized by a 2016 appearance by Drake on Saturday Night Liveduring a skit called "Black Jeopardy," in which the singer says, "It’s really good to be here, dawg. I couldn’t take the TTC but mans made it over anyway."

While where "mans" comes from isn't 100% clear, Toronto slang words are said to be pulled from Arabic, Somali and Patois references, among others.

And while the term for may not be as prevalent in the rest of Canada, there's simply no other way to express the phrase "whose mans is this?"


\u200bA person wearing a toque stands outside.

A person wearing a toque stands outside.

Amanda Frank | Unsplash

If you're calling your winter hat a "beanie" or a "cap," sorry, but you're doing it wrong.

Any true Canuck will say "toque" (sometimes spelled "tuque") to refer to that classic knitted cap that always makes an appearance when temperatures drop.

The word comes from the French language, through Canadian French, according to the Canadian Encyclopedia. For any Canadian, it draws an image of a fitted hat, knit from wool, and with or without a pom pom.

Whether you spell it with a "u" or an "o," it's arguably Canada's most iconic piece of headwear.


\u200bCaptain Morgan rum.

Captain Morgan rum.

Alexpro9500 | Dreamstime

No, not the mouse. In Canada, a "mickey" is a term used to describe a 375 millilitre bottle of liquor, and is said to be a uniquely Canadian measurement.

A mickey is usually shaped like a flask, but slightly larger, and can be rum, vodka, or any other liquor. It's also just fun to say!


Most commonly used in the context of sports (hockey bros, eh?) and video games, "chirping" means insulting or taunting someone.

For instance, a hockey player might chirp their teammates, other players or even the referee for misplays or bad calls.

While the "chirp" itself isn't inherently Canadian, calling it a "chirp" definitely is.


If you don't use "eh" on the regular, they may have to revoke your citizenship.

According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, Canadians use "eh" more often than any other country, and the term is considered a hallmark of Canadian speech.

And really, how else would you seek confirmation from your fellow Canucks?

"It's a nice day, eh?"

"It's only 5 degrees, Luc."


A classic Canadian nickname (and also the name of one of our major hockey teams), "Canuck" is said to once have been an "example of American scorn," but contemporary use of the word is wielded with pride.

What is a Canuck? In short terms, a Canadian! There's probably one reading this sentence (and one wrote this story).


Another term more commonly used in sports, "beauty" is generally used to express something great or awesome, and can even be used to refer to people.

For example, a co-worker brings in Timbits for everyone at work. They're a beauty! Or the Toronto Maple Leafs score a sweet goal during a power play in over time. That's a beauty of a shot!

Essentially, the word should be used when "great" or "awesome" just won't cut it.

Loonie (and toonie)

A one dollar coin? A two dollar coin? While other countries may refer to currency this way, any Canadian knows it's loonie and toonie — nothing else.

The loonie gets its name from the single loon that can be found on the Canadian dollar.

The toonie, however, didn't get its name from its design, which features a polar bear on an ice floe. Rather, it's said to have gotten its nickname to match the loonie.

There you have it, 10 Canadian slang words that should absolutely be in your vocabulary (if you want to call yourself a true Canadian, that is).

Bonus points if you say them with a Canadian accent.

Katherine Caspersz
Katherine Caspersz is a Creator for Narcity Media focused on evergreen travel and things to do, and is based in the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario.