Words worth stealing

There are some Canadian words that I plan to wrap up in tissue paper and place in my pocket for the long trip back to Australia. I’ll sneak them past customs and release them into the Aussie wilderness.

They will have to be tough to survive. Maybe, just maybe they will catch on.

  • Bike – yes I know we call a bike a bike in Oz. But in Canada it is also a verb! I ‘bike’ to the shops. I go ‘biking’ with the kids. Before I would have told people that I ride to work, but they would be left wondering if I ride a horse, a motorbike, a bicycle or a skateboard. See how useful it can be!
  • Tuque – I know I’ve mentioned tuques before, but I really like the word. Maybe because the word sounds more fancy than a beanie.
  • Cleats – this one may be met with some resistance back home. Cleats are footy boots. Any shoe/boot with studs or blades for traction are called cleats. I like it because it gives the boots a real name rather than just being boots or shoes that you happen to play footy in.
  • Pick-up hockey/soccer/basketball etc – when kids (or adults) get together and play an impromptu game of something it is called a ‘pick-up’ game. You might go to the park and have a pick-up game of basketball or hockey. It is very casual game and anyone around can play. I don’t think we have a word for this in Oz. Maybe we’d call it a friendly game, but this doesn’t really describe it accurately.

There are also quite a few Canadian (or North American) words that I’ll put in a little box, not to be disturbed until I’m back in Canada. Here are just a few…

  • Washroom – you know my thoughts on this one if you have read my post, The ‘t’ Word. It is, and always will be, a toilet to me.
  • Pop – although I quite like this word, I’ll revert to saying ‘soft drink’ or ‘fizzy drink’ when I get back to Oz. I like the fact that it describes what it does – it’s fizzy and pops!!
  • Cantaloupe – while the word cantaloupe sounds exotic, I much prefer calling it a rock melon because that’s exactly what it looks like.
  • Candy – some words I have quickly adapted to, but this is not one of them. I have struggled during my time in Canada calling sweets candy. They are lollies! And yes I mean like a lollipop!
  • Flip flops – these little treasures will always be thongs to me!
  • Sweater – if I’m cold I’ll pull on a jumper or a warm top.  If this word did make it across the Pacific Ocean we would bastardise it within a day and pronounce it ‘sweat- a’.

Any other personal favourites out there?

Happy Easter all. Have a chocky for me!


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9 Responses to Words worth stealing

  1. Toni says:

    What about the good old “fanny” pack!!!!

  2. jeans walker says:

    Definitely some great words to bring home, although you only have to travel across Bass Strait to borrow canteloupe. I have loved canteloupe since my childhood in Tassie but having raised ‘big island’ children I predominantly now eat rockmelon.

  3. Pretty sure I grinned through the entire post. If you think Canadian terms are strange you should make your way southward to Louisiana. We don’t call soda “pop” or “soft drinks”… here, everything is Coke, following with a classification. “What kind of coke do you want?” “Dr. Pepper.”

  4. What’s a “chocky?”

  5. The baby is ‘fussing’ I believe to be a Canadian expression as well, indicating a winging baby.

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