How to talk to Canadians
They look like you, they even sound like you but what are they saying?? Here is your handy guide to understanding what Canadians are saying:
1. They may refer to your head-covering as a toque (touk) This is not an insult it is simply a French-Canadian term and means a stocking cap. If you visit any time from late October to March you might want to practice this one.
2. They may ask for a loonie or toonie as payment for something. Loonie is one dollar, toonie is… all together now… two dollars. They may also ask for a loonie or toonie on the street but that entirely depends on your generosity and the neighbourhoods you frequent.
3. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the a.m.? If not, you need to know the term double-double. Saunter up to the counter at Tim Hortons and feel confident that when you rattle off “I’ll have a double-double” you are going to get a coffee with two cream and two sugar.
4. Lucky enough to get invited to a cottage up north? You’d better high-tail it into the Beer Store and pick up a two-four. That’s twenty four cold ones and that spells a party.
5. If someone calls you a sook or a sookie-baby don’t smile and say thank you. It means that you are acting like a spoiled, sulking baby so adjust your attitude pronto.
6. During the steamy summer months there may be brown-outs. During the winter there may be frigid blizzards. Both of these conditions affect the hydro situation because hydro is electricity. It is a general term that refers to the electricity feed that is generated through water.
7. Good food abounds in Toronto. You may be offered poutine. Picture fantastically crispy french fries, smothered in cheese curd (a bastardized version may use mozzarella) and gravy. Run… find it.
8. You may be offered a Beaver Tail. Vegetarians relax, it is a deep fried, thin pastry that is coated in cinnamon sugar traditionally or more elaborate toppings. Again… run…find it.
9. After your indulgences in poutine and beaver tails you may feel the need to cut back a little. Ask for homo milk in your coffee instead of cream. You’ll get full-fat, 3% milk and a virtuous feeling so you can go back for more poutine.
Armed with this handy guide you should be able to navigate the tricky cultural situations that otherwise would embarrass.