English/Canuck Dictionary

Never realised there were so many differences…

  • Chips – Fries
  • Crisps – Chips
  • Linseed – Flaxseed
  • Sweets – Candy
  • Lollipops – Suckers
  • Porridge – Oatmeal
  • Ice lollies – Popsicles
  • Courgettes – Zuchini
  • Coriander – Cilantro
  • Biscuits – Cookies
  • Scones – Tea biscuits
  • Squash – Not widely available, called Cordial and usually restricted to Roses Lime
  • Fish fingers – Fish sticks
  • Prawn – Shrimp
  • Rocket – Arugula
  • Swede – Rutabago
  • Pasta – Noodles
  • Coffee – Tim’s :-)
  • Soft drink – Pop
  • Sieve – Sifter
  • Nappies – Diapers
  • Pooh – Poop
  • Pushchair – Stroller
  • See-Saw – Teeter-Totter
  • Trousers – Pants
  • Trainers – Runners
  • Plasters – Band aid
  • Cello-tape – Scotch tape
  • Tissue – Kleenex
  • Toilet – Washroom
  • Garden – Yard
  • Rubbish – Garbage
  • Bin – Trash
  • Lorry – Truck
  • Fire-engine – Fire-truck
  • Fire-station – Fire hall
  • Dollar – Buck, Loonie
  • Chemist – Drugstore
  • Off-licence – LCBO (Govt run liquor store)
  • The Doctors – The Clinic
  • Pavement – Sidewalk
  • College/University – School
  • Break time – Recess
  • Holiday – Vacation
  • Carpark – Parking lot/parkette
  • Multi-storey carpark – Parkade
  • Boot – trunk
  • Bonnet – hood
  • Wing – Fender
  • Estate car – Stationwagon
  • Saloon car – Sedan
  • Small car (Fiesta, Golf etc.) – Compact
  • Gearbox – Transmission
  • Manual – Stick shift
  • Indicators – Turn signals
  • Windscreen – Windshield
  • Rental car – Hire car
  • Central reservation – Median
  • Motorway – Interstate
  • Number plate – Licence plate
  • Kilometre – Click
  • Give way – Yield
  • Petrol station – Gas bar
  • Lollipop Man/Woman – Crossing guard
  • Post – Mail
  • Electricity – Hydro
  • Prison - Hoosegow

Some random slang…

Bad – Brutal, as in, “Man that hockey game last night was brutal”

Double-double – a cup of coffee from Tim Horton’s with two creams and two sugars

Johnny-on-the-spot – Portaloo

“On the pogey” – on unemployment benefits, welfare

Travel Tips on raveable

14 Comments

  1. Excellent reading! Keep it up. K sent me the link. Until recently, I worked with him and I kept reminding him that “annual leave” is “vacation” in Canuck speak! Timothy

    Reply
    • Thanks Timothy :-) That’s another one to add to the list! It doesn’t matter how many times you remind K, he will still stick to his terms – it’s the same scenario with his socks and the laundry basket I’m afraid, no amount of re-education has any effect.

      Reply
  2. I think you’ve got one in the wrong order – “rental car” is Canadian and should therefore be listed after “hire car”. And, really, you call a crossing guard a “lollipop man/woman”?!?!?!

    Reply
    • Hey Monica! I’m going on what they called it when we picked it up from the airport on our first day here! Then again, maybe they were an American company, and as for crossing guard, imagine my surprise…

      Reply
  3. I agree with Monica, hire car is not a usual saying. It would be rental. I’ve heard hire car over here though.

    Reply
    • Thanks Melissa, maybe it’s more a personal preference thing than a cultural thing – unless the term Hire Car is from the US and has permeated the global consciousness through the medium of TV & Film! Thanks for signing up, great to have you on board :-)

      Reply
  4. I will always remember my first day of working in Canada in 1979. I was sent downstairs to the coffee shop to buy coffee and muffins. I looked high and low for “muffins” but all I could find were “buns” ;) Returning without them, a patient but amused colleague had to take me back down again and explain what “muffins” were in Canada.

    Reply
    • Hi Julie, thanks for the anecdote, I can imagine the mirth having experienced it a few times myself when a linguistic perplexity has occurred. But this is a new one on me – please explain, are the buns plain or the currant variety and called muffins? Or are muffins known as buns? I have noticed that people here often eat muffins cut open with butter spead on them, that was an eye-opener. They seem to be viewed more as a type of bread than a little cake. :-S

      Reply
      • Muffins are different from English buns. They’re usually made with oil, rather than butter or margarine and should be less sweet, although as you have observed there’s far too much sugar in most things here. And yes, some people do butter them, but then some Brits put butter on fruit cake and cheese with apple pie!

        Reply
        • Good point – I have been known to put butter on certain “loaf” cakes myself, but, Apple pie with cheese??!! I have a Belgian friend who advocates cheese and jam (blackcurrent works wonderfully – don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!) but cheese with apple pie is something I have never heard of!

          Reply
  5. Must just be my Yorkshire relatives, lol!

    Reply
    • They have been known to do things a little differently “up North”! ;-)

      Reply
  6. Very interesting info !Perfect just what I was searching for!

    Reply
  7. Thanks for the pingback, your rendition of a Scot made me smile! Oh, and loved the Dublish version of the 3 Little Bigs!!!!!

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. I’m leaving…. in 6 months | expatlogue - [...] reading confirmed it scored high on Education and Healthcare, there was no new language to learn (or so we …
  2. English As She Is Spoke* « ExpatriateLife - [...] here from an English speaking country (the UK).  Aisha, a more recent arrival, wrote a great blog post listing …
  3. The Supermarket Experience | expatlogue - [...] first is the language difference. Many of them are covered in an earlier post on this blog called English/Canuck Dictionary, things …
  4. A is for Awesome | expatlogue - [...] present day – phat, sick If you’d like some more help with Canadian verbiage, have a look at …

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge