Sunday, November 12, 2006


Brianna's recent post about Local Language reminded me of a few Canadianisms worth noting:

Point Form
Use: "Instead of writing in paragraphs, just do the outline in point form." Point form is kind of like a bulleted list, although I remember having been taught that it definitely used complete sentences (just not necessarily paragraphs). Surprisingly, Wikipedia doesn't have an entry for point form, but a Google search yielded one decent example of point form in action.

Soaker Use: "When I stepped off the curb into that puddle, I got a real soaker!" Synonym: a wet foot.

Use: "Large coffee, double-double please." Meaning: double-cream, double-sugar. Most commonly heard at Tim Horton's.

Hard Done By Use: "I know, the girl at Tim Horton's forgot to put sugar in your coffee even though you ordered double-double, then you stepped in the puddle and got a soaker. You're so hard done by." The intarweb found an accurate definition of this one: "If you feel hard done-by, you feel you have been treated unfairly." Also a really great Tragically Hip song from their 1995 album "Day for Night."

Also worth noting are these Canadian-American translations:

Physiotherapy (Can.) == Physical Therapy (U.S.)
Tensor Bandage (Can.) == Ace Bandage (U.S.)
Kraft Dinner (Can.) == Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (U.S.)
Polysporin (Can.) == Neosporin (U.S.)
Neo Citran (Can.) == TheraFlu (U.S.)
Two-four (Can.) == Case of beer (24 bottles) (U.S.)
Mickey (Can.) == Fifth (of alcohol) (U.S.)
University (Can.) == College (U.S.)
Timbits (Can.) == No equivalent. Sorry.*

*Pronounced "soary," and used liberally.


themikestand said...

Spectacular round-up of Canadianisms. I had no idea some of them were, by nature, Canadian (though I'm not surprised), e.g. Point form.

I've written about soakers before, as that was part of my childhood and living next to a creek (not a "crick").

Incidentally, two-four is also a holiday (May 24th, or May two four, which is the Queen's birthday.)

Well done. Really.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...Canadianisms are sometimes similar to Australianisms, physio, hard done by and point form we use. A two-four would be a "slab" though. Soakers are unfortunately not in our vocab. given our almost constant drought. I'd love to hear a list of the words you use to describe types of snow! (Definitions would be definitely required!).

Becca & Brian said...

Hey g,

So, feeling like a heel for not reading your blog, I dug through old emails found a link you'd sent a long time ago. It's been an enjoyable evening of reading - you are so inspiring in so many ways! And, it was so great to see you again in such a short time.

Anyway, you forgot "zed"


Anonymous said...

Pencil Crayons

Anonymous said...

If timbits are donut holes, the Americanism would be munchkins which are available at Dunkin Donuts.