One of the best parts of being an international student is getting to know a whole new culture and experiencing its traditions. However, even if you are proficient in English, you might be faced with some challenges in understanding the slang used in each country. Canada is one of the English-speaking countries that might seem to have the same slang as the USA, but it’s actually quite different. So, as an international student, if you want to immerse yourself in your new home, get to know these popular Canadian slang words.
There are many international students in Canada; however, you’re bound to make at least one friend who is canuck. Don’t be surprised, it’s not a bad word! ! That’s what Canadians use to call themselves. It’s also used in the world of Canadian sport as part of team names such as the Vancouver Canucks.
It is not an alien code! If a fellow student asked you this in Canada, they’re just offering you a beverage! That’s right, what’s normally known as ‘soda’ is called a ‘pop’ in Canada, which will come in handy to know when you’re ordering takeout!
What’s a freezie, you ask? It’s what Canadians call a popsicle or ice pops.
Canadians have unique slang terms to refer to their money; the $1 Canadian coin is called a ‘loonie’, a word that comes from the bird “the Loon”, which is drawn on the tails of the coin. They also refer to two loonies (a $2 coin) as a toonie, which came from combining the words “two” and “Loonie”.
If you spend a lot of time in hockey arenas, you will be known by Canadians as a ‘rink rat’ because hockey fans are just too normal!
Living in student accommodation in Canada might mean there are extra bills to pay, or maybe not?! Don’t be confused when someone asks you if you paid the hydro bill; it’s what they call the electricity bill in Canada.
“ A kitty-corner” is a way to describe directions. Yes! You read that right! While discovering your new Canadian city, if a Canucks tells you ‘It’s a kitty-corner from here’, don’t be confused. This means it is right across the street from you.
This is a word that ends almost every sentence in Canadian conversation. In fact, it’s used for all kinds of purposes; to say hello, to end a question, to assert a statement, and to show surprise. Get used to hearing this while you’re conversing with any Canucks and who knows; you might find yourself using it as well, eh!
No, Larry and Roger aren’t famous Canadian celebrities! These are expressions also used in giving directions! They are usually used while driving; ‘hang a larry’ means to turn left, and ‘hang a roger’ to turn right!
You’ll definitely hear this from fellow students either early in the morning or during a study session! A Double-double simply refers to a cup of coffee with two creams and two sugars!
Speaking of Coffee, you should know that the most famous coffee shop in Canada is Tim Horton’s coffee shop. However, our fellow Canadians refer to it as Timmie’s, something you should also do to blend in with your colleagues; no one says the actual full name!
Only a true Canadian knows the meaning of KD, and because we want you to fit right in with your classmates, we’ll let you in on the secret. KD is the abbreviation for Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, a good old fashioned packaged macaroni and cheese that is considered the go-to dish in Canada, a groundbreaking secret, isn’t it?!
It’s almost always cold in Canada, so terms for winter-specific objects are important to know. Canadians, for example, say toque to refer to a knitted cap AKA beanie in America.
Yes, that’s what Canadians call any multi-level parking structure, a parkade.
This is another winter clothing term in Canada that sounds as warm and fuzzy as the item itself. A bunnyhug is a pullover sweatshirt with no zipper. Tell your roommate to always wear his bunnyhug in Winter!
One of the funny-sounding Candian slang words is skookum which means exceptional or impressive.
Another slang term you may hear while taking directions from a Candian is the word Klick/Click which means kilometres and is used like “The university is 10 klicks away.”
This one might not be as obvious until you hear someone actually use it in a sentence. A Knapsack is what Canadians use to refer to a backpack. It definitely rhymes with Backpack, though, right?
The word Chinook refers to snow that melts and creates a warm wind that comes over the mountain during winter, making the weather much warmer. Use Chinook with a flatmate once and see what they think it is!
While they are usually called a restroom or toilet in most countries and ‘the loo’ in Britain, bathrooms are referred to as washrooms in Canada.
Don’t be so confused when you say something funny and your Canadian friend replies with this phrase. It’s a typical response when you see or hear something funny. Try using it yourself; it’s fun!
We know that this word isn’t specifically a slang word, but in Canada, it’s the slang for ‘ok.’ So don’t be surprised when you give a statement and hear it in response. It isn’t to express that something is valid; it is just a confirmation. Here’s how you might hear it:
“I might be late for class today.” “True. I will give you my notes afterwards.”
This is one of the strangest terms in Candian slang. Chesterfield is what is used to refer to a couch or sofa! However, it’s mostly used by older people.
A gong show is used to describe any event that has gotten out of control, which hopefully you don’t get to witness!
Well, these are pretty much all the Canadian slang words and sayings you need to know to get by while studying in Canada. One thing is for sure about Canadians; they are the friendliest and most polite people in the world! You will find it super easy to meet new people and make life-long friends there, no matter how strange their slang is!