Visitors to Canada might expect some communication barriers in this bilingual country if they aren’t up on Quebecois French. However, some of the Canadian English lingo might throw you for a loop as well. With a rich cultural heritage and linguistic diversity, there are a number of words, terms and products that are uniquely Canuck. Even Canadians don’t necessarily know these words aren’t universally understood. Of course, there are generational and regional variations whether you’re in PoCo, Cowtown, Toontown, The Jaw, The Peg, The Soo, The Big Smoke or on the Rock. Here are 22 Canadianisms as an essential glossary of Canadian terms – and there isn’t a hockey word among them.
1. Homo Milk
This one often draws giggles from visiting Americans. It just stands for whole homogenized milk, and its printed (in both French and English, of course) on most milk cartons and bags in the dairy aisle. Yes, bags. Milk is often packaged in plastic pouches that fit into pitchers. It’s a lightweight, efficient packaging option found in Canada and parts of Europe, but not in the US.
2. Double Double
Tim Hortons is an institution in the Canadian coffee/donut realm. Just like there’s a cultish insider vocabulary to use when ordering a cup of joe at Starbucks (grande, venti, skinny etc…), Timmy’s has its own vernacular. For example, a “double double” is Canadian code for two creams, two sugars. Try ordering that south of the border and you will be met with furrowed brows of confusion.