Pencils, tuques, lollies, duo-tangs and more…

A pencil (aka pencil crayon) – photo NGodwin

Pencils or pencil crayons?

On the first day of school my children came home with a list of school supplies to be purchased. No big deal! Surely we use the same language with stationery. A pen is a pen, a stapler is a stapler. Hmmm. Maybe not. The third item on the list was pencil crayons. Do they mean pencils or crayons?

Luckily, a new friend and kind soul, took pity on the  Aussies (who obviously couldn’t speak Canadian) and helped decipher the list.

We now know that pencils are called pencil crayons, textas are markers and rubbers are erasers. But what about duo-tangs?

Plastic folder (aka Duo-tang) – photo NGodwin

Plastic folder or duo-tang?

The fifth item on the stationery list was duo-tangs – we needed nine (all different colours please).

This one really stumped us. It turns out that Duo-tang is a brand name used to describe plastic or cardboard folders.

Of course it is!

Lollies (aka candy) – photo NGodwin

Lollies or candy? 

These little sweeties will always be lollies to me.

When we explain to a Canuck that we call them lollies not candy, their response is usually, “Like a lollipop?”

I guess so!!

Biscuit (aka cookie) – photo NGodwin

Biscuit or cookie?

I’m starting to feel my British heritage coming out. We don’t have cookies in Australia, we have biscuits. The ones pictured are ANZAC (Australia, New Zealand Army Corps) biscuits. Legend has it that they were sent by wives to soldiers in WW1 because the ingredients did not spoil easily and they kept well during the long trip. Their simple ingredients include rolled oats, flour, coconut, sugar, butter, golden syrup and baking soda.

Beanie (aka tuque) – photo NGodwin

Beanie or tuque?

Depending on who you believe, the word tuque is derived from either the Arabic, medieval French or Quebec French language.

All I know is that it keeps me warm in winter and I have fully embraced the word tuque and no longer call it a beanie.

Jumper (aka sweater) – photo NGodwin

Jumpers or sweaters?

Whenever I say the word sweater I sound like a Canadian because I actually pronounce the ‘er’ letters on the end of the word (which is very un-Australian of me – see my post on speaking Aussie for more info

If the temperature starts to drop, Aussies will grab their jumper or warm top. It doesn’t matter if it’s knitted, a hoodie or a track suit top – they’re all jumpers!

Hope you enjoyed the little jaunt into Canadian and Aussie language.


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4 Responses to Pencils, tuques, lollies, duo-tangs and more…

  1. Mick says:

    I agree that the ones you have described are absolute classics, without a doubt, but you missed my number one favourite when it comes to differences – thongs!!

    I love using that word around my Canadian friends just to see the reaction!

  2. Tracy Wiseman says:

    Again I love the way you write Nic, however I have a new found love also for your photography!

  3. Barbie says:

    I just realized that I’m part Aussie, must be on my Mom’s side. Or it could be that in Newfoundland we still have some British left in us!

    Pencil crayons? They are coloured pencils.
    Biscuit were always a packaged, drier type of cookie, something you would dip in tea, as opposed to a cookie was sweeter, and moister like a homemade chocolate chip.

    And Duotang? Never heard the word before the first supply list Connor brought home in grade one or two.

    Don’t get me started on the Hat vs Tuque debate!

    Personally, I blame it all on the Mainlanders! 🙂


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