Saturday, July 12, 2008

Slang, Ya Know?

Found this website on "Canadiana", or Canadian culture and slang. Here's what they consider some basics:

"Pop: soda - ask for soda and you'll get soda water." Doubtful, there. You'd have to be real dimwitted to assume soda water for anything. Pop is the popular term for soda, that's true.

"Click: kilometre" - ha! My stepdad always says this, usually with a straight-shot hand gesture.

"Hoser: an insult (was popular thanks to Bob and Doug!)" - Uh, I've never heard anyone call anyone else a hoser, despite what the movie Canadian Bacon would have you Yanks believe. If anything, it's used in a joking sense referencing the movie.

"Mickey: 13 ounce bottle of booze." Yup, the old mickey. I giggled saying that in Canada last week, because people actually knew what I was talking about! Usually it's a mickey of vodka for me, though my brother bought a mickey of Triple Sec for white wine sangria (so good....)

Two-four: case of 24 beers (may also be pronounce 'two-fer')." Yeah, or not. We don't say it like that. The term "two-four" is also used for "May two-four", which is Memorial Day Weekend, aka party city.

"Double-Double: coffee with two creams and two sugars." Good for all you coffee drinkers to know when you go into a Canadian Tim Hortons - wouldn't try it in the American ones, though.

I was listening to my family and myself (because the accent comes back in full force as soon as I cross that sweet border) and though the stereotype is that the Canadian accent is all about "eh" and "aboot", that's actually not the case.

Yes, we say "eh" at the end of sentences. Example: "What'd you think of that, eh?" Kind of a "ya know?" or "hmm?" sort of emphasis.

We do NOT say "aboot", though we do not say "about" in the traditional sense. I was listening, remember? It's more like "ah-ba -oot."
Here's a boot for you.

And the traditional Canadian accent, it's basically, from what I can hear, heavy emphasis on "r" and vowels. This is not the case everywhere - obviously Montreal and Quebec have their own accents, and a lot of Ontario is pretty flat sounding. But up where I'm from, it's full force.

For example: "Maritime" is pronounced something like "MARE - i - TImes" with emphasis on the "air" sound of the first part, and emphasis on the I in "times." And words are kinda tucked in the back of the throat. Try this out and see what kind of sounds you make.

Really, the easiest reference is probably Fargo, even though it's set in North Dakota:

Just scale it back a little bit and that's basically the accent. Here's a scene:

Oh, and other gems from that website?


1. Everybody assumes you're an asshole


ZB said...

The pop/soda thing is like ordering coffee milk anywhere but RI -- you get a hot beverage with moo juice in it. :)

Lisa Pas said...

Oh yeah, PS - the recliner is me. :)