English is officially spoken in many countries. It is the official language in Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other smaller countries.
This creates room for many different dialects of English that vary not only by country but also by a certain region within that country.
That also means that each region forms its own slang. Slang is used more commonly in informal conversations, such as talking to your friends.
In this article, we will focus specifically on Canadian slang.
Here are 10 popular slang phrases and words Canadians often use when they chat with their friends or participate in other casual conversations:
1. Kudos to You
This is a popular phrase in Canada that is similar to saying "good for you". It is used to praise someone, someone's accomplishments, a good position, or someone's advantage over others.
There are a few ways to use this phrase in a sentence:
"If you already have your work done, then kudos to you."
"You've paid off all your debt? Man, kudos to you!"
It's a simple or slang name for Tim Horton's, a popular Canadian fast-food place with cheap coffee.
Here would be a good example of a conversation between friends who are choosing a place to stop for food and drinks:
- I'm hungry and sleepy. I definitely need some food and coffee.
- Where do you want to go? Starbucks or Timmies?
- I'm on a budget, so Timmies it is then.
This is a simple word for coffee with 2 sugars and 2 creams. With the same pattern, you may know what a triple-triple is; a coffee with 3 sugars and 3 creams.
These names for coffee are most common at Timmies. You can order, for example, a small double-double, a medium double-double, or a large double-double.
For a better example, here's a conversation between the cashier at Timmies and a customer:
Cashier: Hi, what can I get for you?
Customer: 1 medium coffee with 2 sugars and 2 creams, please.
Cashier: A medium double-double?
Customer: Yes, please.
This is, I guess, is the most popular, the most stereotypical expression in Canada.
The expression "eh" is pretty much universal, and it's regularly used by Canadians. It's used to continue the conversation, to answer someone, to show that you don't get something if you don't believe something.
The phrase "eh" is basically a Canadian synonym for more common phrases such as "What?", "Right?", "No way!", and "You get it?"
Here are some examples of how "eh" can be used and interpreted:
"Nice concert we had last night, eh?"
In this case, the expression "eh" is used to continue the conversation, and to get an opinion of the other person about the concert.
Since the usage of expression "eh" is universal, it can be used to confirm something. This makes "eh" a synonym of the question "right?"
"Are you finished, eh?"
"Mike is going to be in downtown by 5, eh?"
5. "She", "Her"
In regular conversations, the words "she" and "her" don't necessarily mean anything or anyone of feminine gender. These words can be used to indicate anything, the weather, the place, a job, you name it.
I've heard "she" and "her" a lot from my friends from my one of my previous job. "She's beautiful outside!" This phrase would definitely mean that the weather is beautiful, not some lady who is standing outside.
Another example would be the phrase "Give her a go," instead of "Give it a go." I'm pretty sure you have an idea about its meaning.
Canadians love beer, just like their neighbors down South, Americans. Hence, "two-four" is a Canadian name for a stash of 24 beer bottles.
So, if you're going to a party with your Canadian friends, and they ask you "to bring a two-four," you know what they meant.
7. A Smoke/Smokes
"Can I have a smoke?"
"I gotta buy a pack of smokes."
When you hear these phrases, it's pretty obvious that "smokes" in Canada are cigarettes.
Personally, I've heard these words quite often from my ex-coworkers, since they're heavy smokers.
Another popular name for "smokes" is "darts".
In Canada, besides telling that someone is attractive, this phrase is used to praise somebody as well, almost like the phrase "kudos to you."
Here's an example to show you how this slang is used:
"Alice helped me to organize the banquet last night. She's a beauty!"
9. A Mickey
A mickey is a 375 ml bottle of alcohol beverage that has a shape similar to a hip flask.
"After work, go to the liquor store and grab a mickey for tonight."
This expression means to give some task a maximum amount of effort. It basically means "Give it your best shot." Mostly, you would hear Canadians using this phrase when talking about work or sports activities.
I believe that you've also noticed that the phrase "give'er" uses the expression "her", which we talked about earlier.
These are some of the popular Canadian slang words and phrases that are used in casual conversations, such as talking to friends. I'm pretty sure that it's a great start for chatting with your Canadian friends.
Do you live in Canada and know more Canadian expressions? Feel free to add them in the comment section below.
I am German and I was born in Russia in 1995. I spent 14 years in the English speaking environment, including 5 years in Canada from 2014 to 2019. I enjoy traveling and learning about foreign countries, cultures, and languages. I also enjoy blogging and perfecting my skills in it.
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