RELIGION AND LANGUAGE
Canada is not a very religious country in general. Canadians adhere to a wide variety of beliefs and faiths, with the majority following Christianity, Islam, Buddhism then followed by those who do not believe in any deity or religion at all. Christianity is easily the majority religion in Canada as almost 70% of the population are Christian with majority of the Christians being Catholics. English is the most spoken language everywhere in Canada except Quebec and Nunavut.
BASIC CANADIAN SLANG PHRASES:
Eh? –Pronounced “ay.” This word is used in everyday Canadian vernacular to indicate that you don’t understand something, can’t believe something is true or want the person you’re speaking with to respond. It’s similar to the phrases “huh,” “right?” and “what?” commonly used in the USA.
Loonie (and toonie)- A Loonie, the Canadian one-dollar coin, gets its name from the picture of the Canadian bird, the loon, that appears on one side of the coin. A toonie, the name for the two-dollar coin, gained a similar nickname to match the sound of the loonie – not to be confused with the American cartoon Looney Tunes.
Timmies– Timmies refers to the fast-food coffee chain, Tim Hortons, named after co-founder, the late, great hockey player Tim Horton. If you don’t know and love Timmies, you’re not a true Canadian. And don’t forget the Timbits or donut holes – the perfect match for the popular double-double.
The 6ix- The 6ix refers to the six former cities that now make up Toronto. The nickname was made famous by Toronto-born musician Drake, who uses it on his mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
Two-four- This term is commonly used to refer to a case of 24 beers. Don’t be surprised when a friend asks you to pick one up on the way over.
Toque- Pronounced “too-uk” or “tuke” in a Canadian accent. Derived from Arabic, it found its way into medieval French in the 15th century. This word refers to a cap with a small brim or no brim (a beanie). It’s usually worn when it’s cold – so pretty much year-round.
Mickey- A mickey is a hip-flask-size bottle of liquor. You can only find these at the LCBO. It fits perfectly in your purse, pocket or hand.
Pop- Refers to soda, the delicious carbonated beverage that mom rarely lets you have.
Canuck- A slang term for Canadians. You may have heard this in the world of sports, as we cheer our national team while dressed in a stereotypical Canadian costume (think Mountie or moose) or as part of team names such as the Vancouver Canucks – although Torontonians only know the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Zed- The Canadian pronunciation for the letter Z. “Zee” is acceptable as well, but if you want to sound like a Canadian, go for zed. You’ll fit right in.
Klick– This term refers to kilometers, the unit of length in the metric system equal to 1,000m.
Keener- This word refers to someone who tries hard to please others or is overly enthusiastic. Similar to “nerd,” “brown-noser” and “geek.”
Give’er- This slang term means to give it all you’ve got when all else fails. It’s used when referring to work, drinking, sports and any other activity that requires you to buckle down and get it done.
Kerfuffle- This word describes a commotion or fuss, usually caused by a disagreement or difference in opinion (most commonly found during or after sports games).
Stag/Stagette- The Canadian version of the pre-wedding bachelor and bachelorette parties. It’s a night (or weekend) of fun with your pals of the same gender before your upcoming nuptials.
Runners- This word describes running shoes. It can also refer to street shoes. Handy for when your friend says “pitter patter” (let’s go).
Beauty- An expression used to refer to something that was done well or an exceptionally great person.
Snowbirds- This word describes Canadians who head south during winter to escape the cold. Destinations always include sandy beaches and tropical waters.
Queue/line up– Refers to a line of people waiting for something, whether at the movie theatre, the bathroom or a Leafs game. Queue and lineup are used interchangeably.
Whale’s tail- Another word for beaver tails, the famous Canadian treat made from fried pastry dough (which is sometimes smothered in toppings such as Nutella) – also called elephant ears.
Chesterfield- A couch or sofa. A term usually used by the older crowd (hey, grandma)
Canada is a modern country; hence people are free to wear whatever they choose to. However, people visiting the country are advised to carry heavy clothes such as jackets for winter season and light clothes for the summer.
The Canadian dollar (symbol: $; code: CAD; French: dollar canadien) is the currency of Canada. It is abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or sometimes CA$, Can$ or C$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. The equivalent of a Canadian dollar to a Kenyan shilling is 1$=83.31 Kshs