15 Real Canadian Slang Terms And What They Actually Mean

Vernacular, yo.

1. 1.

Definition: An enthusiastic brown-noser.

Example: “Eric pulled an all-nighter studying for that history test on the War of 1812. He’s such a keener.”

3. 2.

Definition: Give it all you got. Apply 110% of your effort (usually to partying, working, and/or extreme Canadian sports).

“How are you planning to get down the triple black diamond run when you’ve never snowboarded before?”

“I’ll just give’r.”*

*This is not an endorsement for poor decision-making in amateur snowboarders.

5. 3.

Definition: A knit cap worn in winter. Or spring, fall, and during freak summer snowstorms. It’s cold in Canada.

Example: “Grab your toque. I know we were suntanning yesterday, but…you know…Canada.”

Calgary’s summer snowstorm of 2014. Toques required.

7. 4.

Definition: A flask-size bottle of liquor bought on occasions when you need to keep things low-key.

Example: “I’m just grabbing a mickey for tonight. I have to work in the morning.”

9. 5.

Definition: A term used to describe Calgary, Alberta. Surprisingly, often used by those who actually live in Calgary, Alberta.

“There’s a cowboy on a paddle board on the river.”

“Well, this is Cowtown.”

This really happened…

11. 6.

/pab-luh m/
Definition: Invented in Canada in 1931 as an answer to vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, Pablum was traditionally baby’s first solid food. Canadian grandmas everywhere like to tout the virtues of pablum.

Example: “Dear, he’s 6 months old now — give him some pablum! He’ll sleep all night!”

13. 7.

/ˈdəb(ə)l/ /ˈdəb(ə)l/
Definition: A coffee order at Tim Hortons. Two creams, two sugars.

Example: “Mmm I love my double-double in the morning…HOLY S*** did you see that moose!?”

CityCaption / Via reddit.com

15. 8.

Definition: Vancouver’s first neighbourhood. Named after “Gassy Jack” Deighton. Arts, media, technology, and tourist hub.

Example: “I want to try that new restaurant in Gastown, but it’ll probably be full of tourists.”

East West Homes / Via eastwesthomes.ca

17. 9.

Definition: A commotion or fuss, often caused by a disagreement.

Example: “Edmonton Oilers fans got angry when the Calgary Flames beat the Oilers 5-0. It caused quite the kerfuffle.”

19. 10.

/staɡ/ /stæɡˈɛt/
Definition: A bachelor party/bachelorette party.

Example: “Henry and Jane are having their stag/stagettes this weekend. You’d better pick up something bigger than a mickey.”

21. 11.

Definition: A couch. In your grandma’s living room.

Example: “Have a seat on the Chesterfield, Dear. Just shoo Puddles off and sit next to my knitting basket.”

Heather Blair / Via joyfulchallenge.com

*Not my actual Grandma

23. 12.

/mə-ˈskō-kə/ /CHer/
Definition: An outdoor wooden lounge chair. Named after the Muskoka Lake region of Cottage Country in Ontario, Canada.

Example: “I can’t wait to get up to the cottage. We just bought two Muskoka chairs and I’m going to sit in front of the lake all weekend!”

Karin Lewis / Via Flickr: karinlewis


25. 13.

Definition: Non-dairy coffee creamer.

“This isn’t a double-double!”

“Sorry, I got you black coffee.”

“Ugh. Now I have to add whitener.”

27. 14.

Definition: Athletic shoes used for running. Also used as a term for street shoes.

Example: “There’s a moose on the loose. Better grab your runners.”

29. 15.

Definition: Great, fantastic, good. Regional to British Columbia.

Example: “I got a skookum deal on this zamboni!”

31. You are now versed in Canadian vernacular.


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