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Canadian Words

You'll have to come to Canada to hear the following typically Canadian words.

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Language in Canada | Top 10 Myths & Misconceptions about Canada | Don't Do This When You Visit Canada

Canadian English is a combination of American and British speak and some words and phrases that are exclusive to Canada.

Familiarize yourself with the following Canadian words that are unique to Canada.

Loonie

Photo of Loonie

The loonie is the Canadian one dollar coin. Gold in colour, the loonie bears a picture of Queen Elizabeth II on one side and the loon bird on the other - a familiar symbol of Canada.

The loonie may even be referred to as the Canadian currency as a whole, as in how the Canadian loonie is trading against the U.S. dollar.

The Canadian loonie was introduced in 1987, replacing Canada's paper dollar bill.

Toonie

Photo of the Toonie

Following on the popularity of the loonie, in 1996 Canada introduced the toonie or "twoonie," a two-dollar coin. The bi-metallic coin has a round, golden coloured interior bearing the Queen's resemblance on one side and a polar bear on the other and a nickel surround.

Tuck one of these attractive coins in your pocket to bring home to kids as a keepsake.

Garburator

Photo © Scott McLean

"Garburator" always elicits a giggle from people who are unfamiliar with the word because of its garbled sound - onomatopoeia perhaps?

Rhyming with "carburetor," garburator is the Canadian term for a sink garbage disposal unit.

Timmy's / Double Double

Photo © Tim Hortons

Tim Horton's, or, "Timmy's," as it is popularly known has spawned a lexicon all its own.

The popular coffee chain offers a variety of beverages and foods, including a coffee with two creams and two sugars - a "double double" - and little donut morsels known as "Timbits."

Toque

Photo © Verity Smith/Nonstock / Getty Images

Pronounced toowk (rhymes with "duke"), this woolen, winter hat that fits tightly to the head is known by this name exclusively in Canada, but elsewhere as a beanie, stocking cap or skull cap. It may also be spelled tuque.

A toque outside of Canada generally refers to a white chef's hat.

Two-Four, Mickey, 26'er

Photo © Michael Cogliantry/Getty Images

The world of liquor offers up its own unique Canadian terminology.

The 375 ml. (13 oz.) bottle of liquor is commonly known as a mickey. Going up a size, a 26'er is 26 ounces (0.750 litre) of alcohol; 40 ounces may be similarly called a 40 ouncer but also a 40 pounder and the same with 60 ounce bottles of alcohol. Finally, a two-four is a case of 24 bottles or cans of beer.

Victoria Day is also referred to as the May Two-Four Weekend, partly because it celebrates Queen Victoria's birthday on May 24th and a lot of beer goes down on this early summer party weekend in Canada.

Interac

Interac logo © Interac
Interac is Canada's national debit card service for the purchasing of goods and services. Interac terminals are available at most stores, restaurants and points of sale. In order to complete a purchase, the Interac user enters a personal identification number and then, if it's available, the purchase amount is deducted from the user's bank account.

CBC / TSN

CBC is short for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and is Canada's national public radio and television broadcaster. Radio-Canada is the French-language broadcast.

CBC is available across the country, providing both national and local shows.

TSN is the acronym for The Sports Network, Canada's leading English-language sports channel.

Bloody Caesar

Photo © Getty Images/Lauri Patterson

The Bloody Caesar is a delicious concoction of unlikely ingredients. Much like the Bloody Mary, a "Caesar," as it more commonly known, is mixed using vodka and spices but uses Clamato juice instead of tomato juice; it is often garnished in wonderfully creative ways.

A Caesar is especially popular as a brunch or afternoon cocktail.

Check out our recipe for the perfect Caesar.

Brown Bread

Photo © Carolyn Taylor Photography/Getty Images
If you're at a restaurant in Canada, your waitress may ask if you prefer white or brown bread. Brown bread is the same thing as whole wheat.

Serviette

Photo © Getty Images/Bix Burkhart
Serviette is the French word for "napkin" but is used in English-speaking Canada as well as French-speaking. It can mean both the more formal cotton or linen kind or the paper.

Washroom

Photo © Vast Photography/Getty Images
The term "washroom" is used in Canada to refer to what is known in the U.S.A. as the restroom. "Bathroom" is commonly used in both countries, but more so in reference to the room in a person's home.

When out in public, Canadians will often ask for the washroom, ladies room or men's room.

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