Considering the geographical, cultural, and economic closeness of our two countries, it’s almost perverse that Americans take so much pride in their ignorance about all things Canada. Drake? Dan Aykroyd? The new hot prime minister? Is that it? But everyone knows what Canadians are supposed to sound like: they are are a people who pronounce “about” as “aboot” and add “eh” to the ends of sentences.”
Unfortunately, that’s wrong. Like, linguistically incorrect. Canadians do not say “aboot.” What they do say is actually much weirder.
More things I’ve learnt, as a British girl, from my eight months in Canada.
A huge holiday home in the country is called a cottage, even though it doesn’t have a thatched roof, and an actual cottage is called a “pioneer house”
Whether talking Bond or talking phone numbers, you wouldn’t say ‘double oh seven’… Canadians don’t say ‘double’ in phone numbers and it’s not ‘oh’, it zero
A jumper is a sweater, a worktop is a counter, a lift is an elevator, the boot is the trunk, a tram is a street car
A lorry is a truck, but if you can get a Canadian to say lorry do, because it’s humorous
People don’t say aboot but they do say about differently than we say about
Maple syrup is not like golden syrup, but impress Canadians by buying 100% maple syrup, not Aunt Jermima’s
Everything is drive-thru, you can get coffee, ice cream, burgers, fries and donuts without ever having to leave the car
Tim Horton’s is like Starbucks but Canadian. You can buy a box of TimBits, which look like the bits taken out of the middle of doughnuts
Nobody’s excited by snow, snow is an unavoidable and unremarkable feature of everyday life
When people say they’re moving to London, don’t excite yourself and start babbling on about rain and the Tube, there’s a London in Ontario. Also, for you suburbanites, there’s a Kingston and an Uxbridge
There’s a place called Ajax, but it’s actually pronounced Ajax, not Eye-Axe
The Canadian side of Niagara Falls, I’ve been assured, is much more impressive than the American side
You cannot buy alcohol in grocery stores (supermarkets), you must go to the LCBO, which is a whole store (shop) full of alcohol, like a sweetshop (candy store) for adults – it’s magnificent
You cannot have a bottle of open alcohol in the front of the car, it’s illegal
When there are too many street cars going one way, the TTC short turn them, meaning everybody has to get off and wait for the one behind
Tell someone from Toronto you’re going to anywhere further north than Finch and they’ll look at you as if you’re venturing to the moon on public transport
If you have said “did you hear aboot the hockey game last night, eh?” you might be Canadian.
Edit: This method is commonly used for testing random passerby and new neighbours in order to confirm they are indeed good, hockey-watching Canadians. Whenever possible, answer this question positively, with the score of the game and a comment on said score.