55 Canadianisms

An interesting survey of fifty-five different Canadianisms. The results are not statistically valid, but probably roughly align with reality.

Since I’ve lived in Toronto for three-and-a-half years now, I thought it would be interesting to tally up the words that I’m familiar with. I’ve heard about half of them. Some of the unfamiliar may be due to the fact that I live in Toronto and not Canada proper. Others may be due to not having traveled in wider social circles (e.g., back in my younger drinking days, I probably would have known what a forty-pounder was). And of course due to diegogarcity, over the next week I’m sure to hear many of the ones I had thought were unfamiliar.

My experience with these words:

Familiar and Used:
tuque
runners
parkade
eavestroughs
Garburator
pencil crayon
bachelor apartment
whitener
Robertson screws/screwdriver
keener
mickey
two-four/flat
all-dressed
gotch
hydro
skookum
fill your boots
pogey
chocolate bar
track pants
thongs
college
brown bread
pissed
dish cloth
two-way ticket
chesterfield

Familiar but not used
donair (I recall the rare occasions I’ve seen this word from previously encountering doner kebabs in Germany)
chip truck
take off (only from Doug and Bob MacKenzie)
serviette (seen on labels, but I’ve never heard anyone utter the word)
rubber (I know it as a Briticism, but I’ve never heard a Canadian refer to one as such)

Unfamiliar:
ABM (I’ve probably passed by signs that use it and heard people utter it, but never noticed)
homo milk (I’m 100% certain I would have noticed this had I seen it)
gasbar
icing sugar (I don’t bake)
fire hall
Jiffy marker
hooped
twenty-sixer/twixer
forty-pounder
sixty-pounder
Texas mickey
give’r
BFI bin (I’ve seen the bins, but never heard anyone call them that)
kangaroo jacket
freezies
stagette
turfed out
bugger the dog (I am familiar with fuck the dog, but from my language studies, not as a Canadianism)
housecoat

Other:
Pablum (I’ve only encountered it in metaphorical/historical use, and then that was in the States)
lineup or queue (I’m familiar with queue, but I’ve never heard lineup)
no-see-ums (familiar from the States; I’ve never heard a Canadian utter this word)

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