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:
|“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)|
|to be on pogey||to be on welfare|
|two-four||case of beer containing 24 bottles|
|homo milk||whole milk|
Steffan’s list is far from exhaustive, but it shows how language can highligth differences –and maybe create misunderstandings.