Interested in learning Canadian slang, eh? Aside from increasing your Timmies intake and becoming a rink rat, learning the right kind of Canadian slang will help you blend in wherever you go in the country.
The good news is that you won’t have to polish off a mickey just to feel confident enough to start using your new Canadian slang. We’ve got you covered. We spoke to a Canadian or two and compiled the top ten Canadian slang words you need to know if you’re heading there for a visit and want to impress a local (or at the very least not sound stupid).
If you’re looking for the proper pronunciation, then we definitely suggest listening to Will Arnett teach you Canadian slang. He’s got the pronunciation town like a true local from The Six.
If you’re not from Canada then it’s probably best you don’t use the Canadian slang word hoser around other people. While it’s practically harmless, it’s a bit of a cheeky way to call someone a redneck. You know, the die-hard hockey fans with a thick Canadian accent, likely always in flannel.
Okay, we’re about to throw more than a few Canadian slang words at you at once. You’re definitely going to want to get acquainted with Timmies, the slang word for Tim Horton’s. This is Canada’s Starbucks, only better. And, it’s also where they serve Timbits, which isn’t really slang, just the name of the delicious doughnut holes they serve. Now, for the big one. Double-double is the way most people take their coffee or at least a kind of coffee you can order at Timmies. It comes with two creams and two sugars.
Again, this is one you’re definitely going to want to learn, and fast. A two-four is what Canadians call a pack of beer. Specifically, it’s a 24-pack of beer. If you plan on studying abroad somewhere like Toronto, your Canadian classmates might tell you something like, “Hey, bud, can you make sure you bring a two-four to the party?” You’ll always reply yes and likely bring Molson Canadian.
A toque is just Canadian slang for a beanie, usually with a pom-pom on top. If you’re heading to Canada, you’ll want to make sure you pack a toque. Or, better yet, buy on there. You’ll be able to browse through hundreds of Canada-themed toques that have a cute little pom-pom on top to make sure you fit in.
If you’ve got great Canadian friends, then hopefully you’ll hear this slang word a lot. Give’r basically means to go for it or do it. It’s usually used in an encouraging sense, almost in the way that Americans are starting to use yas queen as an exclamation of support. If you tell your friend you’re thinking about packing up and moving to Paris for a new job opportunity, they might exclaim “Oh, give’r!”
Nobody complicates directions more than Americans, but Canadians do make things a little confusing with this slang word if you’re not from Canada. If you hear someone say that a place is just about “twenty clicks” up the way, they’re just using another term for kilometres. If you’re asking for directions to a restaurant and it’s five kilometres away, a true Canadian might tell you that it’s “just five clicks up the road.”
7. Rink Rat
Unless you’re headed to Canada as a professional hockey player, chances are that you’re not going to turn into a rink rat, which is someone who’s always at the ice rink. While it’s often used to describe someone younger who’s just got nothing else to do but hang around the rink, a rink rat can be of any age or gender, really.
We bet you’d never guess this one, which is why we’re giving you a heads up now. Gotch, gitch, or even gonch, depending on which Canadian you’re talking to, means underwear. If you’ve got your gotch all in a bunch then it means your panties are in a twist, as they might say in America. It’s a pretty popular Canadian slang word, so learn it well.
9. Loonies & Toonies
No, they’re not talking about anything related to the Looney Tunes. Loonies and toonies, at least in Canadian slang, refer to Canadian coins. Loonies are one-dollar coins and toonies are two-dollar coins. If your friend needs some spare cash right before heading to the store, they might ask you if you’ve got a couple of loonies or a toonie to spare them.
10. Hang a Larry/Roger
If you plan on driving with Canadians, then this is the best slang word for you to learn. For Americans, Brits, and pretty much any other nationality, hanging a Larry might sound a bit dark. Why are we hanging him? What did he do? However, to Canadians, it simply means to turn left. The same goes for Roger. When you hang a Roger, it means to turn right. Who knew?