Exploring the Canadian with Dana in the Six


CANADA Nov. 13. 2020

Cultural Broadcasting Team

Slang in the Six




We use slang on daily basis. In fact, most of us can’t complete one full sentence without using slang. And don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about it, it’s just how it is nowadays.


The funny fact about slang is, that it makes no sense, while making sense completely at the same time!

Now slang varies from country to country, state to state, and even different parts of town. It gets hard to follow if you move around or communicate with people from different places.


I got to experience this as I recently moved across the globe from Israel to Canada, and let me tell you, I was completely lost for a hot minute! (or a full year if I’m being completely honest)


As I started to meet more people and got to communicate with my fellow students and coworkers, I started taking notes and explored the mysterious wonders of Canadian slang.


As I take you all with me through the journey of learning Canadian slang, I'll make a short list of the most common and important slangs used here in the land of snow and maple syrup. So, let’s get started, eh?


First and most important of all, the “eh”. Pronounced “ay”. Means “right” or “huh”.

It’s the comma of a verbal sentence, the perfect ending for any important statement, and without it, well, you don’t really speak Canadian.

You will see it in sentences such as “It’s cold, eh?”, “This beer is amazing, eh?”, “Canada, eh?!” as it adds an emphasis on how accurate your question is, meaning you really are correct and the question is fully rhetorical.


Next we have a pair: “loonie” and “toonie”. Loonie is the Canadian $1 coin, and a toonie is, you guessed it, the $2 coin. You can use them in a sentence such as: “hey, I’m short a toonie for a latte, should we get timmies instead?” meaning I am missing two dollars for my coffee, which brings me straight to my next extremely important term; “timmies”.


“Timmies” is the cheapest, not so great but extremely loved Tim Horton’s coffee chain. It’s the dollar store version of Starbucks, named after the beloved hokey player Tim Horton, and it’s the most Canadian place of all times! (even more Canadian then the CN tower or the Banff)


Now, once you enter timmies, you MUST order a “double-double” with some “Timbits” on the side, not because it’s the best, but it really is Canada’s top tier order. A double-double is a simple coffee with two creams and two sugars, hence the name; double, double. Timbits (which are absolutely amazing if I might say so) are simply said, donut holes.


Staying on the theme of drinks, let’s take it up a notch. For the typical Canadian night out with your friends, you’ll have to get the essentials for a “lit” gathering. (Yes, we say lit, not awesome, because well, we’re classy like that). You will start by getting a “two-four”, which is a case of 24 beers (of course!), some pop (soda) and some Mickey (a small sized liquor bottle which fits perfectly in your purse).


If it’s cold, you’ll probably wear a “toque” (a beanie but in Canadian) and a hoodie, unless you are in Saskatchewan, where they refer to a hoodie or a sweatshirt as a “bunnyhug”.


Now considering the fact that Canada is huge, the slang we use here differs from east to west, and even province to province (bunnyhug is only acceptable in Saskatchewan as I mentioned earlier on).


As I moved to Toronto, I had to learn the local slang on top of the standard Canadian slang, and let me tell you it was a challenge, eh.

First thing first, Toronto is pronounced “Torono” with a silent “T” by the “Torontonians”, who are the locals in the city. And the city is mostly referred to as “the Six”, thanks to Drake of course, our Holly king and personal pride and joy.


You’ll also hear a lot of “True”- meaning ok, yes, or any other term of agreement. “Fam”, meaning family but you say it to your friends, meaning they truly are close to you as family would be. “Bare”, meaning an excessive amount of something (the exact opposite of the bare minimum, which makes no sense unless you are a truly Torontonian).

I will finish it off with an offer to you all, to really “come thru”- act up and show up to what you promised you’ll do and teach me your slang too!


I would add and say “I’m sorry, eh” but I am not Canadian enough yet to excessively say sorry and ask for forgiveness for nothing in particular, so sorry about that.

Written by Dana Rosenfeld, 4th year Public Relations international student from Humber College, Toronto, Canada.



Photo references:

Gallinger, Z., & Motskin, A. (2020, October 14). This is How Canada Talks. Retrieved November 13, 2020, from http://www.the10and3.com/this-is-how-canada-talks/











CANADA Nov. 13. 2020

Cultural Broadcasting Team