Canadian Slangs And Phrases For All Those Moving To Canada

Canadian slangs

English has several dialects and accents depending on the culture, location and etymology. Although the basic language remains generally consistent, the local slang, phrases, etc, vary greatly. As an immigrant or an international student, it is essential to learn the general lingo to communicate and relate with the local community well. Are you moving to Canada soon? Or are you planning a visit? If yes, refer to our guide below for all the necessary vocabulary and Canadian slangs you will need!

List Of 25 Canadian Slangs And Meanings

Canadian SlangsMeaning
Loonie$1 coin
ToqueKnitted cap
Bunny hugHoodie
DepConvenience Store
TimmiesTim Horton
Two FourA pack for 24 beers
CanucksA person who is a die-hard fan or a little dim
HoserAn informal term for someone who has a more physical job than a mental one.
KeenerSomeone who is an adamant fan even after constant disappointment
SourdoughSomeone who survives a Yukon winter
Beaver tailCanadian pastry
PoutineFries topped with gravy and cheese curds
ParkadeMulti-storey parking structure
BooniesAreas outside the city
KerfuffleA fight or messy situation
BeautyAn expression similar to ‘Amazing’
Fill yer BootsHelp yourself
Goal suckNot a team player
Gong showA normal situation that descends into chaos
Jesus murphyAlas!

Top Canadian Slangs You Need To Know!

Canadian slang offers a fascinating glimpse into the nation’s culture and identity. Rich with regional variations and influenced by both English and French, these colloquial expressions are integral to daily conversations.

#1 Loonie

Source: eBay

Reference: Money

Example: Do you have a Loonie? I’m short on change.

‘Loonie’ refers to Canada’s $1 coin. The name Loonie comes from the feature of Canada’s popular iconic bird, the Loon. Since this bird is depicted beautifully on the coin, Canadians call it Loonie in the local language. They also call two Loonies a ‘Toonie’!

#2 Toque

Source: Salt Shop

Reference: Clothes

Example: That’s a beautiful toque! Did you knit it yourself?

Pronounced as the ‘toke’ in ‘token’, this is a knitted hat that Canadians wear in winter – similar to a beanie or merely a woollen hat. There are other variations of the spelling, like ‘tuke,’ ‘tuque,’ or ‘tougue’. According to etymology, the word derives from old French.

#3 Bunny Hug

Reference: Clothes

Example: I’m gonna pop into that store to grab a bunny hug.

Popular in the region of Saskatchewan, a bunny hug refers to a hoodie. Even after years of etymological research, linguists are still not sure how the hoodie comes to be called bunny hug. However, it’s not used all over Canada, only in some regions.

#4 Dep

Reference: Convenience store

Example: The only place you’re gonna get those cookies now is a dep.

Popular in Quebec, a dep is the shortened version of the French word, depanneur, meaning a convenience store. Generally, convenience stores are called mom-and-pop corner stores in the US and Canada. However, in the Quebec region, a dep is the convenience store you’ll need to visit to grab your everyday essentials.

#5 Timmies

Source: Wikipedia

Reference: Foodchain

Example: Let’s go to Timmies?

Canada’s most popular doughnut and coffee chain, Tim Hortons, is affectionately referred to as Timmies by the locals. It was founded in the 1960s by the hockey player, Tim Horton. Other than Timmies, you might also catch someone calling it just ‘Tim’s’. What other Canadian slangs can you hear at Timmies? A ‘double-double’ means a coffee made with double cream and double sugar, and ‘Timbits’ means spherical doughnut holes.

#6 Two Four

Reference: Alcohol

Example: We’ll need to get two fours for the party tonight!

This is one of the popular Canadian slangs in Ontario, referring to alcohol. A two-four refers to a case of 24 beer. Other popular Canada slangs relating to alcohol are Micky – a small flask-shaped bottle, and Twenty-sixer – a larger 750 ml bottle.

#7 Canucks

Reference: Sports/Insult

Example: Is he a canucks or what?

Keep your wits while using this slang, as you might end up accidentally offending someone. Canada’s famous NHL hockey team, Vancouver Canucks, has a die-hard fanbase who love to call themselves Canucks. Or it is used to refer to someone who is not particularly smart. Reader beware!

#8 Hoser

Reference: Informal slang

Example: It’s rather nice when some hopeless hoser gets clothes that suit him.

Originally, hoser was a term used for people who were involved predominantly in manual labour rather than mental jobs. The term was popularised on an 80s show featuring Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas. Today, you can certainly use the term with your close friends but try not to use it with a stranger, or you might end up offending them.

#9 Keener

Reference: Informal slag

Example: How is he still being a keener after they lost so many times?

A keener is someone who adamantly supports or follows something even if there are no fruitful returns. Or simply someone who is overly invested in the enthusiasm stakes. For instance, an RCB fan is a keener.

#10 Sourdough

Reference: Informal slang for people

Example: Even if I am a cheechako now, I’ll be a sourdough soon!

At first glance, this word seems to be a part of the food category of Canadian slangs. However, sourdough is actually a term for people! Anyone who successfully survives at least one Yukon winter is honourably called a ‘sourdough’. Anyone who hasn’t yet experienced one is called ‘cheechako’. The term arises from the old Yukon’s Gold Rush days when hundreds of men rushed to find their fortune. Anyone who survived the season got the honour.

#11 Pop

Reference: Food

Example: Could you grab a pop for me, please?

What is commonly known as soda is called ‘fizzy drink’ or ‘pop’ in Canada. This might create confusion since some people use pop as in ‘pop culture’ or even use it to refer to their father or grandfather.

#12 Beaver Tail

Source: Matador Network

Reference: Food

Example: Hey, let’s grab a beaver tail after lunch!

Another one of the food Canadian slangs is ‘Beaver Tail’. It refers to a special type of Canadian pastry dusted with cinnamon and sugar. Not only is it a fun Canadian slang but it is also a popular dessert recommendation for when you visit Canada.

#13 Poutine

Source: Carlsbad Cravings

Reference: Food

Example: I’m feeling like a poutine before dinner. What about you?

Canadian slangs related to food is practically never-ending. ‘Poutine’ refers to regular french fries that are topped with gravy and cheese curds. It’s a fun and light snack when you’re hungry and don’t want to grab a whole meal.

#14 Parkade

Reference: Location

Example: I think we should just park in the parkade for now.

Parkade sounds like a clever combination of ‘parking’ and ‘arcade’. However, its meaning is quite simple. Canadians use the term ‘parkade’ to refer to a parking structure or a multi-storey garage.

#15 The Six And The Peg

Reference: Location


– Are you from the peg?

– No, I’m from the Six originally.

The Six and the Peg are two different popular locations in Canada. The ‘Six’ is actually Toronto after the six municipalities that later came together to form the city. The ‘Peg’ is a shorthand form for Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba.

#16 Boonies

Reference: Location

Example: Let’s plan a trip to the boonies, I’m sick of the city air.

‘Boonies’ is a colloquial term used to refer to rural areas on the outskirts of a city or town. It can also refer to woods, countryside or practically anything outside the highly populated city centre. Note that boonies aren’t always rural areas, a boonie could be an area of large population but just located out of the city.

#17 Knapsack

Source: Reintech Media

Reference: Accessories

Example: I need a new knapsack, my old one is torn.

As you may have guessed, a knapsack is a backpack that kids usually carry to school. Although backpack is also a common term, a knapsack is used far more widely.

#18 Kerfuffle

Reference: Situation

Example: How on earth did you fall into this kerfuffle?

Just guessing by the sound of the term, you might think this is one of the Canadian slangs to refer to a funny situation. However, a kerfuffle actually refers to a mess or a scandal. Basically, it means a tricky situation where you might be stuck with no logical way out.

#19 Beauty

Reference: Expression


– He just scored a goal!

– Beauty!

Beauty certainly means a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially sight. However, in Canada, ‘beauty’ is also used as an expression to remark a positive reaction. It is roughly the equivalent of ‘Amazing’.

#20 Clicks

Reference: Distance

Example: I don’t think Timmies is far, should be a few clicks.

While learning Canadian slangs, you cannot miss ‘clicks’! It is a colloquial term for kilometres. However, it is rarely used to denote precise distance formally. A rather common way would be in the form of an estimate, as denoted in the example above.

#21 Fill Yer Boots

Reference: Expression

Example: This is an amazing opportunity that you should not lose. Fill yer boots!

‘Help yourself’ or ‘Go ahead’ are the common phrases used to indicate to someone to proceed. Instead, ‘Fill yer boots’ is the popular Canadian slang that holds the same meaning. It could also be used to tell someone to take advantage of the situation or help themselves.

#22 Freezie

Reference: Food

Example: I want a freezie in the weather.

A frozen popsicle or treat is called a ‘freezie’ in Canada. This is one of the popular Canadian slangs used to refer to dessert treats or food items. Although it is a common term, you may also find brand names associated with these treats.

#23 Goal Suck 

Reference: Sports

Example: Why does she have to be a goal suck? This is a team project after all!

Although goal suck is traditionally a sports term, today it’s used informally in all fields. A ‘goal suck’ was used to refer to someone who typically only focused on scoring goals and actually contributing to the team. Today, you could use it to refer to someone who is notoriously not a team player.

#24 Gong Show

Reference: Situation

Example: What was a talent show once is not a complete gong show!

Similar to kerfuffle, gong show is one of the popular Canadian slangs used to refer to situations. A gong show is a situation that starts normally but develops into chaos or disorder. It emphasises the situation being unpredictable and wild in all senses.

#25 Jesus Murphy

Reference: Expression

Example: Jesus Murphy! What is that animal?

Similar to ‘Alas’, Jesus Murphy is an expression of surprise used to denote disbelief, frustration or annoyance. Basically, it’s a safer alternative to rather colourful swear words.


Q1. What slang words do Canadians use?

Ans: Canuck, clicks, hoser, and keener are some of the most popular Canadian slangs used in everyday use.

Q2. What is Toronto slang called?

Ans: Toronto slang is a multi-ethnic dialect of Canadian English that is referred to as ‘Multicultural Toronto English or MTE.

Q3. What are Canada’s nicknames?

Ans: Land of Maple syrup, America’s Hat, Victorialand, and Canuc are some of Canada’s popular nicknames.

Q4. Do Canadians say ‘aye’?

Ans: Canadians typically refrain from using ‘eyy’ or ‘aye’. They use ‘Eh’ more commonly/

Q5. What food do they eat in Canada?

Ans: Poutine, butter tarts, maple syrup, bannock, and bagels are some of the common Canadian foods.

Thank you for reading our guide to the popular Canadian slangs! Which ones were your favourite? Let us know in the comments section below!

If you found this blog helpful, refer to the ones below:

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