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Canadian Words

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


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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.


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.


Photo of the Toonie

Following on the popularity of the loonie, in 1996 Canada introduced the toonie, 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.


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."


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.



Photo © Nicholas Eveleigh / Getty Images
Interchangeable with "sofa" or "couch," chesterfield is a British import and is probably fading in use in Canada as time goes on. Chesterfield in the United States is a brand of cigarettes.

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 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 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.

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