Canadian Slang Words that Immigrants Need to Know
New immigrants who are fluent in the English language encounter challenges when talking to Canadians. This is because Canadians use slang words in casual conversations.
So, I listed 15 Canadian slang terms and their meanings to help immigrants and even visitors during their first few days in Canada.
You’ll usually hear this Canadian slang at a coffee shop. This is the popular Tim Hortons brewed coffee with two creams and two sugars.
Canadians love their coffee. So here are additional terms that may help you. Regular is brewed or black coffee with one cream and one sugar. If you have a sweet tooth, triple-triple is for you. As you may have guessed, this is brewed coffee with 3 creams and 3 sugar.
Canuck is a shorter version for a Canadian. In British Columbia, Canucks may also refer to Vancouver’s Hockey Team.
Eh? (pronounced “ay”)
When you go to souvenir shops, you may find mugs or shirts with the words “Canada, eh?” printed across it. I guess it’s one of the most popular, if not the most popular, Canadian slang words.
Eh is usually added to the end of a sentence. It can take the place of the words right, don’t you, or huh. For example, “It was an awesome party, eh?”
The word lineup is synonymous with a queue and means a line of people or vehicles awaiting their turn. In Canada, you can see people line up at fast food chains, banks, bus stops, and many other places.
Loonie and Toonie
In this case, a loonie does not refer to an illogical or insane person. So, don’t be offended if you hear this term.
A loonie is a Canadian one-dollar coin while a toonie is a two-dollar coin.
Mountie is a colloquial term for a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or RCMP. The Mounties have been Canada’s national police service since 1873.
This is the popular carbonated drink called soda or soft drink in other countries.
This is a dish composed of French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. It has been available in rural Quebec since the 50s. Then, it became popular throughout Quebe and the neighboring province of Ontario by the 1980s. Poutine has become Canada’s most iconic dish and is now served even in fast food restaurants.
Snowbirds are not real birds. This is the slang for Canadians who head south during winter to escape the cold but stay in the country during warm months. Snowbirds travel to sunny destinations with sandy beaches and tropical waters.
Tap may not precisely be a slang word. But, in Canada, a faucet is usually called a “tap”.
Toque (pronounced “too-uk” or “tuke”)
A toque is one of every Canadian’s best friends during the winter season. This is the warm hat worn during the cold season. It may be used interchangeably with a beanie, though some internet articles mention slight differences such as the presence of pom-poms or materials used. But, that’s fine, no one will mind if you call your warm hat a toque or a beanie.
Timbits are the perfect match for Double-Double. These are Tim Horton donut holes like Dunkin Donuts’ Munchkin Donut Hole Treats.
You would probably learn the Canadian slang words, Double-Double, Timbits, and Timmies at the same time. Timmies is the nickname of the beloved coffee chain, Tim Hortons. It is an icon of the Canadian culture.
This is probably one of the first Canadian terms you need to learn as you may need it when filling out forms. Zed is simply the last letter of the English alphabet, Z (Zee).
I hope these Canadian slang words help lessen your confusion during our first few days or weeks in this beautiful country. If you are looking for more resources to live your life in Canada to the fullest, remember to visit my YouTube channel or read the rest of my articles.
All the best!