Are you traveling to Canada? Do you like learning how different countries around the world speak? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it might be a good idea for you to dive into Canadian slang.
They may be just north of the United States, but Canada still has its own set of slang words that many Americans have never heard of. Because we love the nuances of language and how we can make it our own, we've put together a listCanadian slang words and phrases.
Let's take a closer look...
Table of contents
Canadian slang words and phrases (in alphabetical order)
- (noun): Beauty in Canada does not necessarily refer only to the attractiveness of something. In fact, it is often used to refer to someone or something that is of high quality.
- Example: “My girlfriend did KD for me last night. I think she's a beauty."
- (verb): To screw up and possibly injure yourself while doing something sporty. If you're in the US, you might recognize this phrase as some sort of obscure skater slang.
- Example: “He got bitten while skating last night and had to go to the emergency room.
- (noun): A term applicable to all English speakers in Canada.
- Example: "Kate is a dork, so you should avoid speaking French around her."
- (noun): A person native to the province of New Brunswick.
- Example: "He is a Bogtrotter born in Fredericton."
- (verb): Find someone who can provide you with alcohol. Sometimes called "pulling".
- Example: "After work we boot so we can slosh."
- (noun): The groupies of the rodeo. An offensive term for women who hang out at rodeos because they are drawn to the contestants rather than the sport itself.
- Example: "The cowboy's wife was once a hare who followed him to all his competitions."
- (noun): What Canadians call American money. If you live in the US, you've probably heard this term before.
- Example: "That's thirty dollars."
- (noun): Another word for a non-zip hoodie.
- Example: "I hate bunny hugs because they always mess up my hair."
- (noun): If you're used to ordering Caesar salads in the US, you might want to be more careful with this salad when visiting Canada. Caesar in Canada often refers to an alcoholic beverage similar to a Bloody Mary.
- Example: "I ordered a Caesar at the bar and they gave me a salad!"
- (noun): When someone wears jeans on top and jeans on bottom.
- Example: "Parker showed up in a Canadian tuxedo to his cousin's wedding. His cousin wasn't pleased."
- (noun): A slang term for Canadians in general.
- Example: "There's a group of Canucks at the mall."
- (noun): Someone who is from a specific town in Nova Scotia called Cape Breton.
- Example: "He asked where I was from, so I told him I was a caper."
- (noun): If your age is the same number as the day of your birthday. For example if your birthday is on September 27thth, then your champagne birthday is when you turn 27. In the US, this is called your golden birthday.
- Example: "Willow is celebrating her champagne birthday this weekend."
- (noun): Slang term for sofa used by seniors in Canada.
- Example: "I plan to relax at the Chesterfield after work."
- (noun): Wind that is unusually warm for the season in question.
- Example: "The chinook that blew across the prairie today gave me a touch of warmth."
- (verb): Taunting or badmouthing opposing teams or players during competitions.
- Example: "I'm going to tweet at the game tonight."
- (noun): Generic term for any candy bar that contains even the smallest amount of chocolate.
- Example: "Elia asked us to pick him up a candy bar at the store."
- (noun): Abbreviated version of the word kilometer. You can also spell it as clicks.
- Example: "The library is about 4 clicks west of here."
- (noun): An affectionate term referring to the city of Calgary, Alberta.
- Example: "I was born in Cowtown and still live there today."
- (noun): Canadian slang term for cigarettes.
- Example: "I got a pack of darts from the register."
Also read:slang for cigarettes
- (verb): Abbreviation of "decoy". It originally came from ice hockey, where players tricked each other. Nowadays you can say that it refers to anything you want to miss or skip.
- Example: "I dropped out of Zara's party because her meetings are always boring."
- (noun): A slang word for convenience store, derived from the French word "depanneur."
- Example: "Will you stop by the pickup station on your way home from work and get me a candy bar?"
- (verb): When your wallet is hit with an unexpected expense.
- Example: "I was charged $30 for an overdraft on my checking account."
- (noun): A special way of preparing your coffee with two types of milk and two types of sugar. You can generally order this from Tim Horton's, a Canadian coffee chain.
- Example: "If you go to Tim Horton's, will you get me a double-double?"
- (Expression): You've probably seen Canadians in the media parodied by ending every sentence with "eh?" It's basically a way of confirming what they said, like ending a sentence with "right?"
- Example: "That's a good beer, huh?"
- (noun): That's what Canadians call rubber bands.
- Example: "I need a rubber band so I can close this bag."
- (adjective): A stressful word popular in northern Canada. You can use it similar to how you would say "really" or "very".
Stuff your boots
- (expression): You might say this to encourage someone to do something.
- Person 1: "May I get another beer from the fridge?"
- Person 2: "Sure, fill your boots."
- (noun): An icy treat that's basically just flavored ice cream in a plastic tube. Some areas in the US also call them Freezies.
- Example: "Nothing makes my kids happier than a freezie on a hot day."
- (phrase): A term usually shouted at during games to encourage someone to do their best.
- Example: "I could hear my father yelling 'dealer' from the seats, and to be honest it was quite embarrassing."
- (noun): This is what a Canadian would call Tighty Whities, a type of men's underwear.
- Example: "Personally, I think men look great wearing a goth."
- (adjective): A suspicious or untrustworthy person.
- Example: "Ian is a sleazy guy, so be careful with him."
- (noun): Individuals who are part of the Liberal Party in Canada.
- Example: "I'm a proud Grit!"
Interestingly, grits have a very different meaning in Alabama. Read our guide on how to do thisAlabama slang words, idioms and phrasesto learn more.
- (noun): If you're into gaming, you might think that GTA refers to the Grand Theft Auto series... not so in Canada. This acronym actually means Greater Toronto Area.
- (noun): A colloquial term derived from the French expression "les habitants". You can use it to refer to the Montreal Canadien ice hockey team.
- Example: "I'm cheering for the Habs tonight."
- (noun): Nice nickname for Halifax.
- Example: "She's from Halifornia, but she often likes to call it Hali."
Hang a Larry
- (Expression): Turn left.
- Example: "When you get to the end of the street, hang up a Larry and you'll see my house."
Hang a Roger
- (Expression): Turn right.
- Example: "So if I were to hang a roger, would I be going the wrong way?"
- (noun): No, that's not a Canadian insult to a member of the LGBTQ community. It's the Canadian term for homogenized milk. Don't be confused if you see this on milk cartons in Canada!
- Example: "Why do all milk cartons in the shop say 'Homo-Milk'?"
- (Adjective): Drunk.
- Example: "Jennifer got hosed down in the bar last night."
Also read:British slang for drunk: 122 words with examples
- (noun): An old-fashioned Canadian slur referring to when people have historically stolen gasoline. It's not really used by the average Canadian these days.
- (noun): Another old-fashioned term that refers to a nice bathrobe you wear around the house.
- Example: "I love my soft dressing gown."
- (noun): A word that stands for "humidity index." This is a method Canadian meteorologists use to tell Canadians what the temperature outside actually feels like based on humidity.
- Example: "Technically it's 25°C outside, but with the Humidex it feels closer to 30."
- (noun): In Canada, they get their electricity bill from the hydroelectric company. The word "hydroelectric" is a way of referring to almost every energy bill they receive.
- Example: "Did you pay for hydroelectric power?"
- (noun): That's what a Canadian baker probably calls their powdered sugar.
- Example: "I like to use powdered sugar to make frosting for my cupcakes."
- (noun): A term commonly used to refer to people of Prince Edward Island.
- (noun): donuts filled with jam.
- Example: "Whenever she goes to the bakery, she orders a jamster with her coffee."
- (Expression): A sanitized Canadian version of "Jesus Christ". You say "Jesus Murphy" instead when you want to swear, so you don't say the Lord's name in vain. It's basically like saying, "Oh my god."
- Example: "Jesus Murphy, you scared me!"
- (noun): Casual Canadian term for tennis shoes.
- Example: "I bought a new pair of sweatpants to work out in."
- (noun): An acronym that stands for "power dinner." This one is pretty self-explanatory — it's a classic Kraft Macaroni and Cheese dinner.
- Example: "I did some KD last night and it was incredibly calming."
- (noun): A snobbishly intelligent person and a jerk. It's like saying "teacher pet".
- Example: "It's so annoying to be in class with Kylie because she's such an insufferable zealot."
- (noun): Cute term for a disagreement between two Canadian citizens. It can be used to describe a slight disagreement or an actual fistfight.
- Example: "Kevin and Zane had a little mess after the game last night."
- (Adjective): When something is adjacent or diagonally across from something else. Usually used in relation to buildings and directions. This term is also commonly used in Minnesota.
- Example: "The department is in the corner of Tim Horton's apartment."
Learn more slang:30 Minnesota Slang Words, Sayings and Phrases
- (noun): Affectionate Canadian nickname for McDonald's.
- Example: "Can we stop by McD*ck's on the way home?"
- (noun): A bottle-sized portion of alcohol usually carried in a pocket, purse, or hand.
- Example: "Victor always carries a Mickey, even when he's at work."
- (noun): A beer belly. This term comes from Molson, a popular Canadian beer brand.
- Example: "Paul began to develop a giant Molson muscle after a long quarantine."
- (noun): Short name for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
- Example: "Derek retired from the Mounties last week."
- (noun): Slang used in northern Canada to describe whale skin and blubber.
- (noun): If you are in Canada and for any reason are trying to order an Adirondack chair, you must use the Canadian term for it: a Muskoka chair.
- Example: "We have a couple of Muskoka chairs to relax on our patio."
- (noun): A person from Newfoundland.
- (Adjective): How you describe yourself when you get up and do things, usually outside your home.
- Example: "She was out during the day running errands."
Out for a rip
- (expression): driving a car, driving off-road or just hanging out with friends.
- Example: "He took his ATV and went out last night."
- (noun): The Canadian term for a multi-level parking lot.
- Example: "I couldn't find where I parked my car in the parking garage."
- (noun): What the Canadians call crayons.
- Example: "Her favorite medium was colored pencils."
- (noun): The state of unemployment. Often used in relation to unemployment benefits.
- Example: "Jasper has been on Pogey since the pandemic began."
- (noun): Carbonated drink or soda. You will also sometimes hear this term in the Midwestern United States.
- Example: "Would you like a can of pop with your burger?"
- (noun): A popular Canadian comfort food consisting of french fries smothered in cheese curds and gravy.
- Example: "I heard the restaurant has world famous poutine."
- (noun): A somewhat offensive term for women who follow hockey teams with a romantic interest in the players. See Buckle Bunny.
- (noun): A line of people, usually customers in a store.
- Example: “There is a long line at the bar. Shall we go somewhere else?”
- (noun): Someone who spends a significant amount of time on ice hockey rinks, whether as a spectator or player.
- Example: “Peter proudly calls himself a hockey rat. He spends as much free time as possible at the local ice hockey rink.”
- (noun): See joggers.
- (noun): What you might hear when Canadians call Bigfoot.
- Example: "Can you believe that Drew enjoys hunting the Sasquatch in his free time?"
- (Adjective): See Greasy.
- (noun): French word for napkin.
- Example: "I need a napkin to clean up the mess on my table after I've eaten all that poutine."
- (noun): A durable pair of boots to wear to work or in the mud.
- Example: "He wears a pair of fucking candles to the rodeo."
- (adjective): Common British Columbia word for anything amazing.
- Example: "You look skookum today!"
- (adjective): Another word for drunk. See hosed.
- (noun): Term used for people who migrate south to warmer climates in winter to escape the cold. This is common for retirees.
- Example: "Hugo and his wife Layla are a couple of snowbirds who spend their winters in the United States."
- (interjection): We've all heard the cliché that Canadians are too nice. It's not uncommon for Canadians to apologize for a slight inconvenience.
Sour Toe Shot
- (noun): The infamous sour toe shot is a shot you can take at a certain bar in the Yukon. It's exactly what it sounds like: a shot of alcohol with a toe in it. You must drink without touching your toe.
- Example: "Shelby threw up trying the sour toe shot on her birthday."
- (noun): term for a resident of the Yukon who resides there year-round. Sort of like the opposite of a snowbird.
- (noun): A bachelor/bachelorette party. Unless you're from somewhere, bachelor and bachelorette parties are parties that brides and grooms parted the night before their wedding.
- Example: "Jonah's bachelor party was crazy! He did the sour toe shot!”
- (phrase): An uncommon term meaning "take it easy." You won't hear this one across Canada - it's specific to Ontario.
- Example: "See you later. Tactic."
- (noun): A faucet.
- Example: "Can you get me a glass of water from the tap?"
these are jokes
- (expression): You say this when you're trying to show that you found something funny. For example, you could say this in response to a joke your friend told you.
- (noun): A term popularized by Drake. It describes six cities that used to make up what is now Toronto.
The Big Smoke
- (noun): Nickname for Vancouver, although some use it for Toronto as well.
- Example: "Xander always said his heart belonged to the Big Smoke."
- (noun): slang for the oil industry in the province of Alberta.
- (noun): Short and cute nickname for Winnipeg, a city in Manitoba.
- Example: "Were you born in the Peg or did you move here?"
- (noun): Generalized word for reservations where indigenous people live.
- (noun): Don't assume this means underwear! Tangas are called flip flops in Canada.
- Example: "Do you like my new thongs?"
- (noun): slang word for donut holes.
- Example: "I love starting my morning with some Timbits."
- (noun): Canadian nickname for Tim Horton's, Canada's most popular coffee and donut chain.
- Example: "Would you like to stop by Timmies on the way to school?"
- (noun): A sledge.
- Example: "In the winter, children across Canada take out their sleds to slide down snow-covered hills."
- (Adjective): Short form of the word "tough". Use it to describe any difficult situation.
- Example: "That text last week was tof, so I bet I failed."
- (noun): Term for a $2 coin in Canada.
- (noun): A knitted hat. If you're a hipster, maybe you wear one all year round, not just in winter!
- Example: "His outfit isn't complete until he has a bonnet on his head."
- (noun): This is something like the Canadian version of "heard" or "bet". It basically just means "okay".
- Person 1: "I'm coming home late from work because I'm stopping at the pickup station."
- Person 2: "Right."
- (noun): A 24-pack of beer. The term only refers to the digits in the number of beers in the pack.
- Example: "Can you grab a two-four for the weekend?"
- (Noun): House without a basement, whose floors and rooms are rented out to tenants.
- (noun): In some specific provinces, this term may be used in reference to chocolate milk.
- Example: “I love drinking a tall glass of vi-co after work. It's my guilty pleasure."
- (noun): This one is pretty obvious because you'll hear it in the US sometimes too. Washroom is the term for bathroom in Canada.
- Example: "Make sure you use the restroom before we leave."
- (noun): Fried Canadian snack made with batter covered in toppings. These are also often called beaver tails or elephant ears.
- Example: "My favorite snack is whale tails."
- (verb): In the early stages of a romantic relationship with someone. It's like the old-fashioned term "courting," only on a much looser basis.
- (Expression): Canadians often express their agreement to something by saying "yes, no."
- (noun): How Canadians refer to the letter “z”.
- Example: "She can now say the whole alphabet, from a to zed."
As you can see, Canada has a number of phrases to call its own, even if they are close by. It's never a bad idea to research the local lingo when planning a trip to another country for the first time.
Even if you're traveling within the US, slang can vary greatly from state to state. Hawaii, for example, has an incredibly unique dialect. Find out more in our comprehensive guideHawaiian slang and pidgin phrases.