Daily Archives: October 30, 2006

Canada vs. the US

Culture can be obvious or subtle, but it’s often difficult to pinpoint it. In the case of the differences between two countries who share one of the longest borders in the world, it can be tricky. In his page Canadianisms, Greg Steffan, Associate Professor of Computer Engineering at University of Toronto, uses expressions and words (you say tomahto, I say tomayto) to highlight the differences.

Here are some interesting ones:

Canada United States
“Eh?” “Don’t you think?”
clicks slang for kilometers
keener boot-licker, brown-noser, suck-up
kerfuffle commotion; flurry of agitation
Molson muscle potbelly (Molson is a Canadian brand of beer)
“for sure” definitely
to be on pogey to be on welfare
two-four case of beer containing 24 bottles
homo milk whole milk
elastic rubber band

Steffan’s list is far from exhaustive, but it shows how language can highligth differences –and maybe create misunderstandings.

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