Grif.Net

04/07/17 Grif.Net – Neighborly Language

04/07/17 Grif.Net – Neighborly Language

In =
addition to our “old words/phrases” of the past couple days =
we see a different side of language from Canada. “Yanks must be =
pretty confused when we tell them that a Coffee Crisp costs about a =
Loonie, pretty good deal eh?
Or, I’d like a dozen Timbits =
with a large double double.
” What on earth does that =
mean?  Here are a few of the staple Canadian words YOU should know =
if you want to be a good neighbor to our south.

 

1. =
Eh

This is =
our most popular Canadian saying that we receive the most flack =
about from the rest of the world. Everyone always makes fun of us. They =
mock us by using “eh” in the most ridiculous phrases and =
they never get it right. So I am going to give you a quick lesson on how =
to use the word “eh”. It is so simple to use and anyone can =
do it. All you have to do is make a statement like “It is a very =
nice day out today.” If you add “eh” to the end of =
that statement, you can turn it into a question that will require a =
friendly reply from the person you are talking to. For =
example…”It is very nice day out today eh?” To which =
the other person will reply “Yes it is.” See how easy it is? =
Now before coming to Canada, you can practice your use of the word =
“eh” and fit right in once you get =
here.

 

2. =
Loonie

By far =
the silliest word for currency on the planet. When our one-dollar coin =
came out in the early nineties. Nobody really knew what to call it. You =
can’t exactly call it a dollar-bill any more, and a dollar coin =
just didn’t roll off of the tongue. So obviously a Loonie =
would be the next choice right?  Ok, I am kidding, it doesn’t =
make sense at all. That is until you see the coin. It has a picture of a =
Loon on it. So naturally we all =
decided to call it a Loonie. And of course when the two-dollar coin came =
out with a picture of a Polar Bear on it we called it a Bearie or a =
Polie right? No way…we ended up calling it a Toonie, because it =
rhymes with Loonie and we Canadians like things that =
rhyme.

 

3. =
Tuque

I went =
my entire childhood and a large portion of my adult life not realizing =
that this was a word only used in Canada. I watched Bob and Doug =
Mackenzie as a kid wearing their tuques =
telling each other to “Take Off Eh” and never =
thought anything of it. Then I started traveling and made statements =
like “Its cold tonight, I should have brought my tuque” =
People looked at me like I was from another planet. It is simple a tuque =
is a knitted hat (stocking cap) used to keep the head warm. The Edge =
from U2 often wears a tuque and Jacques Cousteau always wore a tuque. =
Now you know.

 

4. =
Washroom:

When I =
first started to travel the world. I was surprised to see the word =
Toilet used so much. In Canada we call it a washroom. To us, toilet =
sounds a bit vulgar. I don’t think that I have ever heard the term =
washroom anywhere else except for Canada. In the U.S. They use bathroom, =
and restroom, I have seen water closet, the loo… But I never see =
washroom. I like washroom. I think I will keep using =
washroom.

 

5. =
Double Double:

Ok, I =
could do an entire post on how Tim Hortons =
has shaped our coffee drinking as a nation. Mediocre coffee that we are =
all mysteriously addicted to. We have even opened a Tim Hortons in =
Afghanistan for our troops overseas. “I am going to Timmies to =
grab a box of timbits and a large Double Double.” That is what you =
say when leave the house to order an assortment of tasty doughnut =
centres (donut holes in America) and an oversized cup of coffee with 2 =
creams and 2 sugars at Tim Horton Doughnuts. Yummy. Tim Hortons by the =
way was founded by hockey legend Tim Horton. We love our hockey almost =
as much as we love our Timmies.

 

6. =
Two-Four

I know =
you don’t drink, but this favourite phrase is uniquely Canadian. =
This is our phrase we use when we go to buy beer. I am going to get a =
2-4 of Canadian at the Beer Store. Yes, we buy our beer at the Beer store in =
Canada and a box of 24 beers is simply shortened to the words “two =
four.” Our favourite holiday is Queen Victoria’s Birthday on =
May 24th. Not because it is the Queen’s birthday. It is because it =
is a holiday to celebrate our great Canadian Beer. We all call it May =
2-4 Weekend, because that is exactly what we do. Grab a 2-4 of beer and =
go to the cottage to work on our “Molson Muscle.” A Molson =
Muscle is our endearing term for the beer bellies we have developed over =
years of drinking Molson Canadian Beer. Yee Haw!

 

7. =
Chinook

I had =
heard this word as a child. Being born in Alberta, Canada my parents =
often talked about Chinooks blowing in and how nice it was. I had =
no idea what this meant until I was older. It is quite amazing actually. =
I learned today on the CBC that it is an Inuit word for “The snow =
that melts.” What a Chinook is, is a warm wind that comes over the =
mountain in the dead of winter and instantly melts the snow and raises =
the temperature. It is needed because Alberta can be extremely cold. My =
mom and dad love to tell the story of a pair of boots that my =
grandmother sent to them to keep warm in the winter. Well, my dad wore =
them out on one cattle drive and it was so cold that his boots cracked =
right open and shattered.

 

8. =
Chocolate Bar

Canadians call our candy bars =
Chocolate Bars and I like it. That is what they are made out of. =
Chocolate, therefore they should be called chocolate bars. I rest my =
case. A very typical Canadian chocolate bar is a coffee crisp. We have a =
commercial where the announcer asks, “How do you like your =
coffee?” Naturally, we like it crisp. Here’s a fast fact. =
Canada has its own version of M&M. We call them Smarties and we like =
to eat the red ones last.

 

9. =
Knapsack

This is =
what we Canadians call our Backpack or =
Rucksack. To us it is a knapsack. All through my school years I would =
pack my Knapsack with my schoolbooks. When I first started traveling 10 =
years ago, I said to myself, “Well, I better buy a new Knapsack to =
carry everything.” I now use the term Backpack more often but I =
haven’t been able to say the term Rucksack, it is just odd to me. =
I really miss my knapsack days.

 

10. =
About

No, we =
don’t say aboot. If I hear one more person say “Oh your =
Canadian, do you go oot and aboot?” I’m going to sock it to =
em. Canadian’s don’t say aboot, we say Aboat. And I =
like the way we say about. The American pronunciation is more like =
a-bow-t. (as in take a bow) Why people think we say aboot is beyond me. =

 

~~

Dr Bob =
Griffin

bob@grif.net www.grif.net =

"Jesus Knows Me, This I =
Love!"