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13 Canadian Slang Words & Sayings You Should Know

Double double and a donut at Tim Horton's | © Morgan / Flickr
Picture of Hayley Simpson
Writer
Updated: 1 March 2017
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Every country in the world uses slang. But some slang words and sayings are a little bit different and harder to figure out than others. Here are 13 words or sayings Canadians say all the time, which may have visitors scratching their heads in confusion.

Toque

A toque is what other countries refer to as a beanie: a warm, winter hat. You definitely can’t visit Canada in winter without one!

In a sentence: “Don’t forget your toque; it’s freezing outside today.”

Toque weather
Pixabay

Keener

This refers to someone who is keen or eager to speak up and demonstrate their knowledge in a situation, such as in the classroom. It’s similar to a brown-noser or suck-up.

In a conversation: “I stayed up all night to finish the homework.” “What a keener, you make the rest of us look bad.”

Double Double

A “double double” is a coffee term in Canada, meaning two creams and two sugars. Tim Hortons is a Canadian coffee institution (also shortened to just Tim’s or Timmy’s), and this is where the term originated.

In a sentence: “Could you please get me a large double double at Tim’s?”

Double double and a donut at Tim Horton’s

Kerfuffle

Kerfuffle refers to a heated debate, argument, or even a fight. It’s originally a British slang term.

In a sentence: “A kerfuffle just broke out in the ice hockey game.”

Cowtown

Cowtown is the slang name for the city of Calgary in Alberta. It’s mostly people in Edmonton who call the city Cowtown; it refers to Calgary’s more prominent Western culture, and the fact that it hosts the Calgary Stampede annually.

In a sentence: “I’m heading down to Cowtown for the Stampede next week.”

Cowtown a.k.a Calgary

Mickey

Mickey is a Canadian slang term meaning a flask, or 375ml bottle, of liquor. Across the border in the United States, mickey means something completely different. It’s a slang word for a date rape drug.

In a sentence: “Please grab me a mickey of Jim Beam from the liquor store.”

Mountie

A Mountie refers to a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer. It’s a shortened version of the force’s name, which is one of the most well-known police forces in the world.

In a sentence: “Look out, the Mounties are coming!”

Stag/Stagette

A stag or stagette do is commonly referred to in other countries as a bachelor/bachelorette party or hen/buck’s do. The stag/stagette is the man/woman about to be married, whereas a stag/stagette do refers to the party that celebrates their final days of “freedom” before marriage.

In a sentence: “I can’t wait to go to Matt’s stag do next weekend.”

Pop

Pop is what Canadians call carbonated drinks, such as Coke or Pepsi. In other countries, it may be called a soft drink or soda. In the United States, the states of Michigan, Minnesota, and Washington also unconventionally refer to soda as pop.

In a sentence: “Can I please get a can of pop to go with my meal?”

Canucks

A Canuck is a slang term for a Canadian person. Although it’s unconfirmed where the term originated, Kanuck was first recorded in 1835 as an American term for a Dutch or French-Canadian person. It isn’t an offensive term, as Vancouver’s national ice hockey team are called the Canucks.

In a sentence: “I’m a Canuck from Toronto.”

Loonies and Toonies

Loonies and toonies are what Canadians call their one and two dollar coins, respectively.

In a sentence: “I tipped her a loonie.”

Deke

To deke or deke out is a Canadian term usually used in an ice hockey game. It refers to someone who moves stealthily or “fakes” to avoid contact with other players. A player may deke out the defense to shoot for a goal. It’s derived from the word decoy.

In a sentence: “Did you see that player deke right, go left and score?”

Freezies

Freezies refer to popsicles, or ice pops, that are purchased from the grocery store and come in small plastic sleeves.

In a sentence: “I need to eat a freezie to cool down; it’s warm today.”

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