So you speak Canadian, eh?
For any Canadian who travels abroad, you may hear the stereotypical "eh," "aboot" (about), or worse — how do you survive living in an igloo all year?
But here, just like the diversity of our population, culture and local food we also have a long list of spoken languages, including our very own "Canadian" one.
Now even though our two official languages are English and French, the country is home to more than 200 other mother tongues including the most popular ones, Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi and Spanish, according to a 2011 Statistics Canada report.
But between our different dialects, provinces and home-grown businesses, Canadians have also come up with their own take on everyday words. Some of them are ingrained — we buy double doubles with loonies and toonies, we drink pop, go to the washroom and celebrate the end of the alphabet with a "zed".
So in honour of our wonderful land turning 146 on July, 1, we've pulled together a fun list of good 'ol Canadian slang, words and phrases — including a few that might surprise you.
And yes we know, this list is just scratching the surface, so tell us what your favourite "Canadian" words are in the comments below and we'll add them to our gallery.
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> A toonie is a $2 Canadian coin, which followed the cue of the loonie (named after the image of the aquatic bird that graces the $1 coin). <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "Hey buddy, can I borrow a toonie? I need to get a Double Double (see the next slide)."
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> A Double Double refers to a coffee (often from Tim Hortons) with two creams and two sugars. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "Yes, hi, I'd like to order a Double Double."
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> When food, however unappealing it is, is all you <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/05/10/newfoundland-tourism-video-gutfoundered_n_3254578.html" target="_blank">crave at the end of the day. Or, you're just very hungry.</a> <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> “Your mind wanders when it’s gut-foundered. Is it going to be take-out? Is it going to be pizza?”
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong>Shit-Kickers are nicknames for cowboy boots. Hee Haw! <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "I can't go to the Calgary Stampede without my shit-kickers."
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> Something that is in a diagonal direction from something else. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "The grocery store is kitty-corner to the school."
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> A warm wind that blows east over the Canadian Rockies, warming up Calgary in the winter. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "This chinook is giving me a headache."
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> A slang term for cigarettes <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "Get your darts out."
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> Stagette is another name for bachelorette party. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "Are you heading out to that stagette this weekend? There's going to be a stripper."
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> Cowtown is a nickname for Calgary. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "I've been living in Cowtown my entire life."
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> Another name for underwear used mainly in Saskatchewan and Manitoba and often referring to men's or boys' briefs. A gotch refers to women's underwear. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "Pull your pants up, I can see your gitch."
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> According to the Dictionary of Newfoundland, a bedlamer is a <a href="http://www.heritage.nf.ca/dictionary/azindex/pages/291.html" target="_blank">seal that is not yet mature.</a> <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "This harp seal is giving me a hard time, it's such a bedlamer."
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> A toque is a hat most people wear during winter months. And sometimes, you will see this hat reappear in the summer. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "Listen son, don't go out into this weather without your toque."
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> No, no one is getting married. In Western Canada, a matrimonial cake is another term for a date square or tart. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "I wish this coffee shop had matrimonial cakes."
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> Someone who loves spending time on an ice rink. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "I can't get any ice time, I have to deal with all these rink rats."
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> Slang for homogenized whole milk, but shockingly, this term is actually used on milk packaging. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "When you go to the grocery store, don't forget to pick up the homo milk."
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> Common slang for a case of 24 beers. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "Are you heading to the beer store? Pick me up a 2-4 of Molson."
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> The Canadian way of saying coloured pencil. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "Do you have a pencil crayon in that pencil case?"
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> Another word for soda. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "That can of pop has 200 calories."
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> Another word for bathroom or restroom. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "This washroom doesn't have any toilet paper."
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> Slang for "what are you doing" in Newfoundland. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "Did you just get in? Whaddya at?"
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> For the most part, a mickey is a flask-sized (or 375 ml) bottle of hard liqueur, but on the East Coast, a mickey is an airplane-sized bottle. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "We're going out tonight, can someone grab a mickey."
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> Not a slang term, but this is how Canadians pronounce the letter "Z". Not zee.
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> A hockey (surprise, surprise) technique when a player gets past their opponent by "faking it." It can also be used to replace the world detour. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "I am going to deke into the store after work."
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> Hydro refers to electricity, particularly on your energy bill. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "My hydro bill went up $10 this month."
<strong>WHAT IT MEANS:</strong> A mountie is a nickname for a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. <strong>IN A SENTENCE:</strong> "Stop speeding, a mountie will catch you."
NEXT: 50 Of the Best Canadian Foods
Poutine — French fries generously slathered in gravy and cheese curds — is a classic Canadian treat that is said to have originated in Quebec in the 1950s. Since then, it has been adapted in many weird and wonderful ways from <a href="http://crownsalts.com/gardemanger/" target="_blank">gourmet versions with lobster</a> and <a href="http://www.restaurantaupieddecochon.ca/menu.html" target="_blank">foie gras</a> to —believe it or not — a doughnut version. It's also inspired <a href="http://smokespoutinerie.com/" target="_blank">a crop of trendy "poutineries"</a> and a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/14/doughnut-poutine-psycho-donuts_n_2875921.html" target="_blank">"poutition"</a> to make it Canada's official national dish.
There are some snacks that define a nation, but not many that taste good to only those who live there. What do we love? The fact they leave our fingers dyed red after we've had a whole bag. Ketchup has never tasted so salty, non-tomatoey and outright good. Our U.S. friends may go nutty over Doritos, but we love our ketchup chips. Did you know that <a href="http://www.thestar.com/business/2013/02/28/heres_why_you_cant_buy_chicken_and_waffle_chips_in_canada.html" target="_hplink"> Lay's dill pickle and Munchies snack mix are also exclusively Canadian?</a>
What could be more Canadian than syrup that comes from the maple tree, whose iconic leaf has come to symbolize Canada and its national pride? Quebec is the largest producer of maple syrup in the world, accounting for about 75 to 80 percent of the supply. Maple syrup — <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1372549/Maple-syrup-joins-ranks-broccoli-blueberries-new-stop-shop-superfood.html" target="_blank">recently elevated to "superfood" status</a> — is a classic sweet topping on pancakes and waffles. Still, that hasn't stopped some people from thinking of surprising savoury pairings such as <a href="http://www.toromagazine.com/lifestyle/food/toro-tv/c3df4a2e-74ba-c154-9172-99d497567a76/Caplanskys-Maple-Bacon-Donuts/" target="_blank">maple-bacon doughnuts</a>.
It's no secret that Canadians are <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/15/tim-hortons-new-bacon-taste-test_n_2884834.html" target="_blank">obsessed with bacon</a>. The delicious cured pork product can be made oh so many ways, including ever popular strip bacon and peameal bacon, often referred to as "Canadian bacon" abroad. In fact, Canadians are so passionate about their favourite food that <a href="http://bacontoday.com/the-people-of-canada-choose-bacon-over-sex/" target="_blank">many would probably choose it over sex.</a>
A butter tart is a classic Canadian dessert made with butter, sugar, syrup and eggs — filled in a buttery (yes, more grease) pastry shell, and often includes either raisins or nuts. They can be runny or firm — so it's hard to mess them up when you're baking. <a href="http://www.canadianliving.com/food/baking_and_desserts/best_butter_tarts.php" target="_blank">Also, they never seem to go out of style.</a>
BeaverTails, or <em>Queues de Castor</em> in French, is a famous trademarked treat made by a <a href="http://www.beavertailsinc.com/" target="_blank">Canadian-based chain of pastry stands</a>. The fried-dough treats are shaped to resemble real beaver tails and are often topped with chocolate, candy, and fruit. These Canadian delicacies go hand in hand with skiing, and even <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/01/17/beavertail-at-inauguration_n_2495957.html" target="_blank">gained White House recognition during U.S. President Barack Obama's 2009 trip to Ottawa.</a>
These legendary Canadian no-bake treats originated in (surprise!) <a href="http://www.nanaimo.ca/EN/main/visitors/NanaimoBars.html" target="_blank">Nanaimo, B.C.,</a> and are typically made with graham-cracker crumbs, coconut, walnuts, vanilla custard and chocolate. Need we say more? Common variations include peanut butter and mint chocolate.
No one likes to think of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as dinner, but game meat is abundant in Canada and can be found in butchers, restaurants and homes across the country. Among other popular Canadian game is boar, bison, venison, caribou and rabbit.
B.C. Pacific salmon — commercially fished or farmed — includes many different species such as Chinook, Chum, Coho, Sockeye, Cutthroat, Steelhead and Pink. They can vary in colour and taste from Atlantic salmon, and are found in fishmongers and restaurants across Canada.
Believe it or not, Canada is the world's largest producer and exporter of <a href="http://www.marquecanadabrand.agr.gc.ca/fact-fiche/5318-eng.htm" target="_blank">wild blueberries</a>, also known as “lowbush blueberries,” mostly grown in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.
Blueberry Blossom Honey
Bees also love our blueberry shrubs! Pollinating blueberry shrubs with honey bees <a href="http://www.dutchmansgold.com/blueberryblossomhoney.htm" target="_blank">more than doubles the potential yield of this very Canadian berry</a>, according to Dutchman's Gold, which makes its honey from acres of blueberries growing in Ontario and New Brunswick. Although this honey is not actually blueberry flavoured, it does have a subtle aftertaste of the fruit.
Canadians can enjoy fresh oysters 12 months of the year. <a href="http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/aquaculture/sheet_feuillet/oyster-huitre-eng.htm" target="_blank">These famous little aphrodisiacs</a> are plentiful on Canada's Atlantic and Pacific coasts, from New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia to British Columbia.
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" may be an old English saying, but this nutritionally perfect food is quintessentially Canadian. Some of the most popular domestic varieties are McIntosh, Cortland, Gala, Fuji and Golden Delicious. According to Agriculture Canada, <a href="http://www4.agr.gc.ca/AAFC-AAC/display-afficher.do?id=1334147419910" target="_blank">apples were first brought over to the country by European settlers in the 17th century.</a>
P.E.I. potatoes (such as Russet, White, Red and Yellow) are famous across Canada and around the world. Prince Edward Islanders have been growing potatoes <a href="http://www.peipotato.org/why-pei-potatoes" target="_blank">since the late 1700s!</a> Apparently they're superior because of the land's ideal growing conditions, including red, sandy soil that is rich in iron.
Nova Scotia Lobster
The Atlantic province of <a href="http://www.novascotia.com/en/home/discovernovascotia/foodandwine/lobster/default.aspx" target="_blank">Nova Scotia is world-renowned</a> for its tasty crustaceans. They have some of the most fertile lobster fishing grounds on the planet.
The popularity of Alberta beef might have been a little tainted by the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/02/xl-foods-lawsuit_n_1934310.html" target="_blank">unfortunate E-coli outbreak at XL Foods in 2012,</a> but the province's AAA beef is considered among the best. Alberta is the cattle capital of Canada and <a href="http://www.raisedright.ca/CampaignStory.aspx" target="_blank">according to the province's farmers,</a> it has the fourth largest cattle herd in North America, behind Texas, Kansas and Nebraska.
You can call them the New York bagels of Canada, but Montreal bagels are often smaller and sweeter in taste. These O-shaped baked breads are paired deliciously with lox and cream cheese. Calorie-wise, bagels are equivalent to about three or four slices of bread, but you still might want to eat more than just one.
Arctic char is a freshwater fish species raised across Canada, in the <a href="http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/aquaculture/finfish-poissons/char-omble-eng.htm" target="_blank">Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and the Yukon Territory</a>, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Arctic char is a part of the salmon family, and looks similar to a salmon but is more genetically linked to trout.
Bannock takes its name from a traditional Scottish flat bread, adopted by North American Natives, including Canada's Innuit. It's recently received some gourmet treatment in the culinary world, <a href="http://www.oliverbonacini.com/OliverBonacini/media/pdfs/BannockMenu.pdf" target="_blank">as a focaccia-like substitute for sandwiches.</a>
Yes, Kraft Dinner is also Canadian. This dorm room staple and processed-cheese masterpiece has been <a href="http://walrusmagazine.com/printerFriendly.php?ref=2012.09-food-manufacturing-taste" target="_hplink">dubbed a Canadian classic.</a> And really, if you haven't tried a bowl of the instant comfort food yet, we recommend skipping the milk and going straight for the butter.
No, it's not a "Saved by the Bell" reference. Screech is a type of rum made in Jamaica, and bottled and aged in Newfoundland. It has a storied history <a href="http://www.screechrum.com/story" target="_blank">dating back to early trade between Newfoundland and the West Indian island</a> (when salt fish was shipped to Jamaica in exchange for rum.) We hear it tastes like any other rum, but it has an awesome name, doesn't it?
Tourtière is a traditional spiced and savoury meat pie from Quebec, made with diced or ground pork, veal, or beef. This French Canadian delicacy is typically made around Christmas time, but eclectic foodies enjoy it all year round.
Very similar to blueberries (but a fascinating alternative), Saskatoon berries are <a href="http://www.canadasfood.com/history_products/saskatoon_berries.php" target="_blank">native to the Canadian Prairies, British Columbia and Northern Canada</a>. They're also rich in antioxidants and considered one of the world's "superfruits."
Tim Hortons "Double-Double"
A "Double-Double" has become somewhat of a popular slang term for Canadians. It refers to a coffee with two teaspoons of sugar and two teaspoons of cream. How popular is it? In 2011, Tim Hortons even <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/08/30/tim-hortons-double-double_n_941875.html" target="_hplink">released a "Double-Double" flavoured ice cream.</a>
Fiddleheads are curly, edible shoots of fern, often consumed in many provinces seasonally across the country. And like your mother always told you, eat your greens: <a href="http://www.lesliebeck.com/ingredients/fiddleheads" target="_hplink">Fiddleheads are high in potassium and vitamin C. </a>
Also on HuffPost: