Are you traveling to Canada? Do you like learning about the ways different countries around the world speak? If you answered yes to either of those questions, it’s a good idea for you to dive into Canadian slang.
They might be directly north of the United States, but Canada still has its own slew of slang words that many Americans have never heard. Because we love the nuances of language and how we each can make it our own, we’ve gathered a list of Canadian slang words and phrases.
Let’s take a closer look…
Canadian Slang Words and Phrases (in Alphabetical Order)
- (Noun): Beauty doesn’t just necessarily refer to something’s level of attractiveness in Canada. In fact, it’s often used to refer to someone or something that’s high-quality.
- Example: “My girlfriend made me KD last night. I think she’s a beauty.”
- (Verb): To mess up and potentially injure yourself while doing something athletic. If you’re in the US, you might recognize this phrase as kind of obscure skater slang.
- Example: “He biffed while skating last night and had to go to the emergency room.
- (Noun): A term that can be applied to English speakers as a whole in Canada.
- Example: “Kate is a blochead, so you may want to avoid speaking French around her.”
- (Noun): A person who hails from the province of New Brunswick.
- Example: “He’s a bogtrotter who was born in Fredericton.”
- (Verb): Searching for someone who can provide you with alcohol. Sometimes also called “pulling.”
- Example: “After work, we’ll boot so we can get sloshed.”
- (Noun): The groupies of rodeo. An insulting term for women who hang around rodeos because they’re attracted to the participants, and not the sport itself.
- Example: “The cowboy’s wife was once a buckle bunny who followed him around to all his competitions.”
- (Noun): What Canadians call American money. If you live in the US, you’ve probably heard this term, too.
- Example: “That will be thirty bucks.”
- (Noun): Another word for a pullover hoodie that doesn’t have a zipper.
- Example: “I hate bunnyhugs because they always mess up my hair.”
- (Noun): If you’re used to ordering Caesar salads in the US, you may want to be more careful with this one when visiting Canada. Caesar in Canada often refers to an alcoholic beverage that is similar to a Bloody Mary.
- Example: “I ordered a Caesar at the bar, and they gave me a salad!”
- (Noun): When someone wears denim on top and denim on the bottom.
- Example: “Parker showed up to his cousin’s wedding in a Canadian tuxedo. His cousin wasn’t pleased.”
- (Noun): A slang term for Canadian people in general.
- Example: “There’s a group of Canucks at the mall.”
- (Noun): Someone who’s from a specific town in Nova Scotia called Cape Breton.
- Example: “He asked where I’m from, so I told him I’m a caper.”
- (Noun): When your age is the same number as the day of your birthday. For example, if your birthday is on September 27th, 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 that’s common to senior citizens in Canada.
- Example: “I’m planning on relaxing on the chesterfield after work.”
- (Noun): Wind that is unusually warm for the season in question.
- Example: “The chinook blowing over the prairie today gave me a touch of warmth.”
- (Verb): To mock or trash-talk opposing teams or players during competitions.
- Example: “I’m gonna chirp at the game tonight.”
- (Noun): General term for any candy bar that has even the slightest amount of chocolate in it.
- Example: “Elijah asked for us to pick him up a chocolate bar at the store.”
- (Noun): Abbreviated version of the word kilometer. You can also spell it as klicks.
- Example: “The library is about 4 clicks west of here.”
- (Noun): An affectionate term that refers to the city of Calgary in Alberta.
- Example: “I was born in Cowtown, and I still live there today.”
- (Noun): Canadian slang term for cigarettes.
- Example: “I grabbed a pack of darts at the dep.”
Read Also: Slang Words for Cigarettes
- (Verb): Short for “decoy.” It originally came from hockey when players would fake each other out. Nowadays, you can say it reference to anything you want to miss or skip out on.
- Example: “I deked out of Zara’s party because her get-togethers are always boring.”
- (Noun): A slang word for convenience store that comes from the French word “depanneur.”
- Example: “Will you stop by the dep and get me a chocolate bar on the way back from work?”
- (Verb): When your wallet gets hit with an unexpected expense.
- Example: “I was dinged for 30 bucks when my checking account was overdrafted.”
- (Noun): A specific way of getting your coffee with two milks and two sugars. You can generally order this at a Tim Horton’s, which is a Canadian coffee chain.
- Example: “When 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 to confirm what they said, like ending a sentence in, “right?”
- Example: “This is some good beer, eh?”
- (Noun): This is what Canadians call rubber bands.
- Example: “I need an elastic so I can seal up this bag.”
- (Adjective): An emphasizing word that’s popular in northern Canada. You can use it similarly to how you’d say “really” or “very.”
Fill Your boots
- (Expression): You could say this to encourage someone to do something.
- Person 1: “You mind if I grab another beer from the fridge?”
- Person 2: “Sure, fill your boots.”
- (Noun): An icy treat that’s basically just flavored ice 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.”
- (Expression): A term usually shouted at games to encourage someone to give it their best effort.
- Example: “I could hear my dad shouting, ‘give’er’ from the seats, and it was honestly kind of embarrassing.”
- (Noun): This is what a Canadian would call tighty whities, a type of men’s underwear.
- Example: “I personally think men look great when they wear a gotch.”
- (Adjective): A suspicious or untrustworthy person.
- Example: “Ian’s a greasy guy, so be careful around him.”
- (Noun): People who are part of the Liberal party in Canada.
- Example: “I’m a proud grit!”
Interestingly, grits has an entirely different meaning in Alabama. Read our guide to Alabama slang words, sayings, and phrases to 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 slang term that comes from the French phrase “les habitants.” You can use it to refer to the Montreal Canadien hockey team.
- Example: “I’m cheering for the habs tonight.”
- (Noun): Cute nickname for Halifax.
- Example: “She comes from Halifornia, but she often likes to call it Hali.”
Hang a Larry
- (Expression): To turn left.
- Example: “When you get to the end of the street, hang a Larry and you’ll see my house.”
Hang a Roger
- (Expression): To turn right.
- Example: “So if I were to hang a Roger, I’d be going in the wrong direction?”
- (Noun): No, this isn’t some Canadian insult for 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 the milk cartons in the store say ‘homo milk’ on them?”
- (Adjective): Drunk.
- Example: “Jennifer got hosed last night at the bar.”
- (Noun): An old-fashioned Canadian insult that refers to when people stole gas in the past. 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 house coat.”
- (Noun): A word that’s short for “humidity index.” This is a method Canadian meteorologists use to tell Canadians what the temperature actually feels like outside based on the humidity.
- Example: “Technically, it’s 25c outside, but with the humidex it feels more like 30.”
- (Noun): In Canada, they receive their electricity bill from the hydro electric power company. Saying “hydro” is a way to reference just about any energy bill they receive.
- Example: “Did you pay the hydro?”
- (Noun): What a Canadian baker likely calls their powdered sugar.
- Example: “I like to use icing sugar to make frosting for my cupcakes.”
- (Noun): A term generally used to refer to people from Prince Edward Island.
- (Noun): Donuts that are filled with jam.
- Example: “Whenever she goes to the bakery, she orders a jambuster to go with her coffee.”
- (Expression): A sanitized Canadian version of saying “Jesus Christ.” You say “Jesus Murphy” instead when you want to curse so you’re not saying 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 joggers to work out in.”
- (Noun): An acronym that stands for “Kraft dinner.” This one is pretty self-explanatory – it’s a dinner made with classic Kraft mac and cheese.
- Example: “I made some KD last night, and it was amazingly comforting.”
- (Noun): A snobbishly intelligent person and a suck-up. It’s kind of like saying “teacher’s pet.”
- Example: “It’s so annoying being in classes with Kylie, because she’s an insufferable keener.”
- (Noun): Cutesy term for a disagreement between two Canadian citizens. It can be used to describe a mild disagreement of opinion, or an actual fistfight.
- Example: “Kevin and Zane had a small kerfuffle after the game last night.”
- (Adjective): When something is adjacent or diagonally across from something else. Usually used in reference to buildings and directions. This term is also commonly used in Minnesota.
- Example: “The dep is kitty-corner to the Tim Horton’s.”
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 flask-sized serving of alcohol that one usually carries in their pocket, purse, or by hand.
- Example: “Victor always carries a mickey on him, even when he’s at work.”
- (Noun): A beer belly. This term comes from Molson, a popular Canadian beer brand.
- Example: “Paul started to develop a huge Molson muscle after a long quarantine.”
- (Noun): Short term 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’re in Canada trying to order an Adirondack chair for whatever reason, you’ll need to use the Canadian term for it: a Muskoka chair.
- Example: “We keep a couple Muskoka chairs on our deck for relaxing.”
- (Noun): A person from Newfoundland.
Out and About
- (Adjective): How you describe yourself if you’re up and doing things, usually outside of your house.
- Example: “She spent her day out and about, running errands.”
Out for a Rip
- (Expression): Going for a drive, off-roading, or simply hanging out with your friends.
- Example: “He took his ATV and went out for a rip last night.”
- (Noun): The Canadian term for a multi-level parking lot.
- Example: “I couldn’t find where I parked my car in the parkade.”
- (Noun): What Canadians call colored pencils.
- Example: “Her favorite medium was pencil crayons.”
- (Noun): The state of unemployment. Often used in reference to unemployment benefits.
- Example: “Jasper has been on pogey since the start of the pandemic.”
- (Noun): Carbonated beverage or soda. You may sometimes hear this term in the Midwest in the United States, too.
- Example: “Would you like a can of pop with your burger?”
- (Noun): A popular Canadian comfort food that consists of French fries smothered in cheese curds and gravy.
- Example: “I’ve heard that restaurant has world-famous poutine.”
- (Noun): A somewhat insulting term for women who follow hockey teams with romantic interest in the players. See Buckle Bunny.
- (Noun): A line of people, usually customers in an establishment.
- Example: “There’s a long queue at the bar. Should we go somewhere else?”
- (Noun): Someone who spends a large amount of time at hockey rinks, whether as a spectator or player.
- Example: “Peter proudly calls himself a rink rat. He spends all the spare time he can at the local hockey rink.”
- (Noun): See Joggers.
- (Noun): What you might hear Canadians calling Bigfoot.
- Example: “Can you believe that Drew likes to go hunting for the sasquatch in his spare time?”
- (Adjective): See Greasy.
- (Noun): French word for napkin.
- Example: “I need a serviette to clean up the mess on my table after eating all that poutine.”
- (Noun): A heavy-duty pair of boots that you might wear to work or while out in the mud.
- Example: “He wears a pair of sh*t-kickers at the rodeo.”
- (Adjective): Common word in British Columbia for anything that’s amazing.
- Example: “You look skookum today!”
- (Adjective): Another word for drunk. See Hosed.
- (Noun): Term for people who go down south to warmer climates during the winter to escape the cold. This is common for retired people.
- Example: “Hugo and his wife Layla are a couple of snowbirds who spend their winters in the US.”
- (Interjection): We’ve all heard the stereotype that Canadians are too nice. It isn’t uncommon to hear Canadians apologizing for mild inconveniences.
Sour Toe Shot
- (Noun): The infamous Sour Toe Shot is a shot you can take in a specific bar in the Yukon. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a shot of alcohol with a toe in it. You have to drink without touching the toe.
- Example: “Shelby threw up while attempting the Sour Toe Shot on her birthday.”
- (Noun): Term for a resident of the Yukon who stays there year-round. Kind of like the opposite of a snowbird.
- (Noun): A Bachelor/Bachelorette party. If you’re not from somewhere who does this, Bachelor and Bachelorette parties are parties brides and grooms have separately the night before they get married.
- Example: “Jonah’s Stag party was crazy! He did the Sour Toe Shot!”
- (Expression): An uncommon term that means “take it easy.” You won’t hear this one all over Canada – it’s specific to Ontario.
- Example: “I’ll see you later. Takitish.”
- (Noun): A faucet.
- Example: “Can you get me a glass of water from the tap?”
- (Expression): You say this when you’re trying to indicate that you thought something was funny. For instance, you might say this in response to a joke your friend told you.
- (Noun): A term that was made popular by Drake. It describes six cities that used to make up what is now Toronto.
The Big Smoke
- (Noun): Nickname for Vancouver, although some people also use it to refer to Toronto.
- Example: “Xander has always said his heart belongs 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 that Indigenous people live on.
- (Noun): Don’t assume this means underwear! Thongs are what you call flip flops in Canada.
- Example: “Do you like my new thongs?”
- (Noun): Slang word for donut holes.
- Example: “I love to start my morning with a couple timbits.”
- (Noun): Canadian nickname for Tim Horton’s, Canada’s favorite coffee and donut chain.
- Example: “Do you want to stop by Timmies on the way to school?”
- (Noun): A sled.
- Example: “In the winter, kids all over Canada get out their toboggans to slide down snow-covered hills.”
- (Adjective): Shortened version of the word “tough.” Use it to describe any hard situation.
- Example: “That text last week was tof, so I bet I failed.”
- (Noun): Name for a $2 coin in Canada.
- (Noun): A knit beanie. If you’re a hipster, you might wear one year-round, not just in the winter!
- Example: “His outfit is never complete until he’s got a toque on his head.”
- (Noun): This is kind of like the Canadian version of “heard” or “bet.” It basically just means “okay.”
- Person 1: “I’m going to be late home from work because I’m stopping at the dep.”
- Person 2: “True.”
- (Noun): A 24-pack of beer. The term just references 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 that has floors and rooms rented out to tenants.
- (Noun): In a couple specific provinces, this term may be used in reference to chocolate milk.
- Example: “I love to have a tall glass of vi-co after work. It’s my guilty pleasure.”
- (Noun): This one is pretty obvious, because you’ll hear it sometimes in the US, too. Washroom is the term for bathroom in Canada.
- Example: “Make sure you use the washroom before we go.”
- (Noun): Fried Canadian snack made from dough that’s covered in toppings. These are also often called beaver’s tails or elephant ears.
- Example: “My favorite snack is whale’s tails.”
- (Verb): In the beginning phases of a romantic relationship with someone. It’s like the old-fashioned term “courting,” only on a much more casual basis.
- (Expression): Oftentimes, Canadians will voice their agreement with something by saying, “yeah, no.”
- (Noun): How Canadians refer to the letter “z.”
- Example: “She can say the entire alphabet now, a through zed.”
As you can see, Canada has a range of phrases to call their own, even though they’re close by. It’s never a bad idea to read up on the local lingo when you first start planning a trip to another country.
Even if you’re traveling within the US, the slang can vary widely from state to state. Hawaii, as an example, has an incredibly unique dialect. You can learn more about it in our comprehensive guide to Hawaii slang and pidgin phrases.