Idioms are a fun and quirky way to express oneself, and Canada is no exception when it comes to having its own unique idiomatic expressions. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most commonly used Canadian idioms, their meanings, and where they come from.
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An idiom is a phrase or expression that has a figurative, rather than literal, meaning. Understanding idioms can be challenging for non-native speakers, as they often don’t make sense when translated directly into another language. Idioms are an important part of any language, as they reflect the unique culture and history of the people who speak it. In Canada, there are many idioms that are used exclusively in Canadian English. These idioms reflect Canada’s diverse history and unique regional cultures.
A toque is a knitted cap that is commonly worn in Canada during the winter months. The term “toque” is unique to Canadian English and is derived from the French word “tuque”. The toque has become a symbol of Canadian culture and is often used in advertising and marketing campaigns. In addition to keeping one’s head warm, the toque is also used as a fashion accessory.
A Chinook is a warm wind that blows across the Canadian prairies. The term “Chinook” is derived from a Native American word meaning “snow-eater”. The Chinook wind is known for its ability to rapidly melt snow and ice, and it is often a welcome relief during the long, cold Canadian winters.
3. Loonie and Toonie
A loonie is a one-dollar coin, while a toonie is a two-dollar coin. These terms are unique to Canadian English and were introduced in the late 1980s to replace the one and two-dollar paper bills. The loonie gets its name from the image of a common loon, a bird native to Canada, that is featured on the coin. The toonie, on the other hand, is a combination of the words “two” and “loonie”.
A double-double is a popular coffee order in Canada that refers to a coffee with two creams and two sugars. The term was popularized by the coffee chain Tim Hortons, which is known for its ubiquitous presence in Canadian cities and towns. The double-double has become a symbol of Canadian culture and is often used to describe the unique preferences and tastes of Canadians.
A Canuck is a term used to refer to a Canadian. The term has both positive and negative connotations, depending on the context in which it is used. It is derived from the Chinook Jargon word “kanaka”, which means “man” or “person”. The term is most commonly used in Western Canada, particularly in British Columbia.
Give’r is a term used to encourage someone to go all out or give it their all. The term is most commonly used in relation to outdoor activities such as skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking. The origins of the term are unclear, but it is believed to have originated in Western Canada.
7. Rink rat
A rink rat is a term used to describe someone who spends a lot of time at a hockey rink. The term is most commonly used to describe young hockey players who spend their free time playing and practicing at local rinks. The term is also used to describe adults who are passionate about hockey and spend a lot of time at rinks watching games and coaching.
A Mickey is a small bottle of alcohol that is often smuggled into events or gatherings where alcohol is not permitted. The term is unique to Canadian English and is believed to have originated in Ontario in the 1960s. The term is often used to describe a small, discreet bottle of liquor that can be easily hidden.
A hoser is a term used to describe someone who is considered to be a bit of a fool or a slacker. The term is often used in a joking or teasing manner and is not intended to be overly negative. The origins of the term are unclear, but it is believed to have originated in Ontario in the 1980s.
A parkade is a term used to describe a multi-level parking garage. The term is unique to Canadian English and is believed to have originated in Western Canada. The term is commonly used in British Columbia and Alberta, but is less commonly used in other parts of the country.
Canadian English is full of unique idiomatic expressions that reflect the country’s rich history and diverse regional cultures. Understanding these idioms can be challenging for non-native speakers, but it is important for anyone looking to fully immerse themselves in Canadian culture. Whether you’re a fan of hockey, coffee, or just looking to expand your vocabulary, Canadian idioms are a fun and quirky way to express yourself and connect with the local community.
- Are Canadian idioms only used in Canada?
Most Canadian idioms are unique to Canadian English and are not widely used outside of Canada.