What’s Your Canadian Slang IQ?


By: Ashley Linkletter

6 Min Quiz

Image: FatCamera/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

You might know that Canadians love to get their coffee at Tim Hortons, but could a non-citizen string together an order for a coffee with two creams and two sugars like a natural? What about adding on a frozen cappuccino or two? Either way, when you're visiting a coffee shop you'll definitely be in need of a toque (even if the weather's balmy — let's say around the time of the May two-four long weekend.) If this sounds made up, just wait until you're looking for where you parked your car (hint: it's not in the garage!) You'll run into mysterious things like metros, chesterfields, KD, stag and does, runners and Garburators in this quiz. Canadian hockey slang is also an integral part of the vernacular on the ice and in daily conversation, just ask The Great One what he thinks (and maybe ask him about his toboggan while you're at it.) 

So c'mon eh, don't be a hoser! Put on your very best Canadian tuxedo, lace up those hockey skates and place all your loonies and toonies as bets: Let's figure out if you could pass as a real Canadian next time you find yourself north of the border. 

What is a vocational school called in Canada?

In Canada, vocational schools are referred to as colleges. Unlike American colleges, Canadian colleges are career-oriented. Universities tend to be more focused on academic programs, although the two types of learning can overlap (nursing programs, for example.)


When ordering a non-alcoholic carbonated beverage at a restaurant, you'd ask for what?

While the word for pop can vary from region to region, Canadians generally refer to their carbonated beverages as pop rather than soda. Why pop? Supposedly it's because of the effervescent popping sound the carbonated bubbles make as they break the surface.


In Quebec, the subway is referred to as what?

In Quebec (as well as Ontario, to a lesser degree) the subway is referred to as the metro. As in, "Let's take the metro to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, have a look around and then go get some poutine for dinner!"


You're planning a road trip south of the border to see some friends. Where are you going?

Just like the United States and Mexico, Canada is part of North America. Depending on where you are in Canada, you might hear the term "the U.S." being used but "the States" is the most ubiquitous term for the geographical area that lies beneath the 45th parallel.


Which slang word has to do with Queen Victoria's birthday?

The May two-four weekend is in reference to May 24th, Queen Victoria's birthday. In Canada, this is a federal holiday (although it doesn't always fall on the 24th) and it means Canadians get the Monday off for a three-day weekend.


You'll need a new pair of these to run the half-marathon. What are you looking for?

You're looking for runners, the Canadian slang shorthand for running shoes. Runners can include actual running shoes, sneakers and tennis shoes. Basically, any lace-up athletic or athleisure shoes with laces (or possibly Velcro) fall under the category of runners.


What do Canadians call colourful pencils used for art projects?

Pencil crayons (or coloured pencils as they're called in The States) are the official term for this commonly used art supply in Canada. Although some packaging may refer to pencil crayons as coloured pencils, Canadians prefer the former term when identifying or discussing them.


You're sent to the store for a box of mac and cheese. What are you looking for?

KD, short for Kraft Dinner, is what Canadians call the famous boxed bright orange macaroni and cheese. The nickname is so prevalent it's been incorporated into Kraft's Canadian advertising campaign ("Gotta be KD.")


These frozen products are notorious for being impossible to open and for cutting the corners of your mouth. Despite these hazards, Canadians still love to eat what kind of treat during the summertime?

Canada loves their freezies! In fact, Kisko Freezies (the Canadian-owned company responsible for freezies as they are known and loved today) celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017 and in honour of their Jamaican heritage, built a school in Kingston, Jamaica to give back to the community.


In the spirit of politeness, Canadians would never put their feet up on which other word for a sofa?

A chesterfield, also known as a sofa or couch in other English-speaking countries, gets its name from the British Earl of Chesterfield, who lived during the 1600s. In England, the word chesterfield typically describes an upholstered sofa with buttons. In Canada, chesterfield is a catch-all term for any type of couch.


Otherwise known as kickball, Canadians like to refer to the game as?

Keeping the name as literal as possible, Canadian gym teachers and students alike always have a blast when a game of soccer baseball is being played. The rules are similar to baseball except for one major difference, a soccer ball is used in place of a softball or baseball.


This type of full-fat milk is regularly sold in groceries stores across Canada. What is it called?

Homo milk, or homogenized milk, refers to milk that has a butterfat content of 3.25 percent. The homogenization process is used to make fat molecules even smaller to prevent them from separating and rising to the top of the milk as cream.


Winter or spring, Canadians love wrapping themselves up in what type of cozy indoor coat?

A housecoat is indispensable any time of the year, but is extra-appreciated during the cold winter months. Made from terrycloth, cotton, velour (or any soft fabric) a housecoat is perfect for lounging around on lazy days spent indoors.


This handy kitchen sink appliance liquifies garbage. What is it called in most provinces?

Canadians refer to their garbage disposal units as Garburators, a misspelled version of the now defunct Garberator brand. Garburators have been banned in several cities across the country and as a result, American brands have never had a motive for opening their product up to a Canadian audience.


No summer is complete without a trip to which kind of small vacation home?

Whether you're in the Muskoka district, lounging on a dock beside one of the region's 1,600 lakes, or relaxing on a sandy beach by Lake Huron there's nothing better than spending a weekend at the cottage.


What is the Canadian word for a paper napkin?

Pass the serviette, please! While the term serviette is widely used across Canada for paper napkins, when a serviette is made from fabric, it's referred to as a cloth napkin.


Here in Canada, there's no such thing as an electricity bill. Instead, you can expect what kind of utility bill?

Most Canadians refer to their electricity bill as a hydro bill, because just over half of the power used in Canada is hydroelectric. While the term hydro is commonly used, power also comes from nuclear and, to a lesser extent, coal sources.


You may know it as a backpack or rucksack. Canadians know this indispensable bag as a what?

Canadians love their knapsacks, especially when they've been packed with snacks. The word comes from the Dutch "Knapzak" or the German "knappsack", both of which translate to "snack bag" in English.


What is the Canadian term for bathroom?

Canadians aren't just being polite when they ask to use the washroom! The term originally referred to a room where washing was the only activity being done, as toilets were outside or in separate rooms.


What do Canadians call an all-denim outfit?

A denim-on-denim outfit is called a Canadian tuxedo. Depending on where you're from (or the denim wash) this look is generally undesirable — but still worn by some avid Canadian denim fans.


This phrase refers to an order of coffee with double cream and double sugar at a beloved Canadian franchise. What is the term?

Sure, you could ask for double cream and double sugar when you order coffee — but why not order Canadian style and ask for a double-double? While this phrase is most often used at Tim Hortons, every barista knows what this shortened version of the order means.


A simple Canadian sled is called a what?

Unlike a traditional sled with skis or runners on the bottom, a toboggan sits flat on the snow. Traditionally used by Inuit and Cree peoples in the far north, toboggans are now mainly used for whizzing down snowy hills by children and the young at heart.


This widely spoken interjection is a definitive part of Canadian speech, often used at the end of a sentence. What is it?

The word eh is typically used at the end of a sentence and can mean different things, most often confirmation of the previous statement, a question or a call for response. Usage of the term eh depends on one's geographic location (for example, Torontonians use it more than Vancouverites.)


What is the last letter of the Canadian alphabet?

Canadians aren't alone in their pronunciation of the letter zed, it's also how the British, Australians and New Zealanders spell and say the final letter of the alphabet.


A staple of Canadian fashion for at least nine months of the year, this hat is called a what?

A tuque (or toque, depending on who you're asking) is a knit beanie-like hat worn by Canadians across the country when it's cold out (but also when the weather warms up.)


A $2 coin is called what in Canada?

The toonie made its first appearance in 1996. Made from two different metals, the toonie features Queen Elizabeth II on one side and has featured several different pictures on the other, including a polar bear, Remembrance Day poppies and an Inuit drummer.


Torontonians have known the city as this term forever, Drake brought it into the mainstream. What is the now-famous term for Toronto?

Metro Toronto used to be made up of six municipalities: Etobicoke, York, East York, North York, Scarborough and the City of Toronto. In 1998, these areas were combined to form Metro Toronto, although locals continue to use these names to this day.


Where do Canadians love to get their coffee?

Tim Hortons, or Timmies, named after beloved hockey player Tim Horton, has over 3,800 locations in Canada. Fun fact about Tim Hortons punctuation: The name lacks an apostrophe so that it doesn't have to be translated into a different format in French-speaking parts of Canada.


You're visiting Canada with friends. Where did you park?

That's right, in Canada you park your car in a parkade. You may see signs for a parking lot, but rest assured what you're really looking for is the parkade. Interestingly, the only other country to use this term is South Africa.


What are hair ties and rubber bands called in Canada?

If you're looking for something to pull your hair back in the presence of Canadian company, you'll need to ask for an elastic (a hair elastic, specifically.) On the other hand, if you need something to keep a bag sealed, ask for an elastic band.


This hockey-based insult is the equivalent of calling someone a loser. What is it?

Popularized by Canadian "SCTV" actors Rick Moranis and Dave Moranis on their segment "The Great White North," referring to someone as a hoser is roughly the same as calling them a loser.


Named after an iconic Canadian bird known for its haunting call, this one-dollar coin is called a what?

Canadians know their $1 coin as a loonie, featuring Queen Elizabeth II on one side and the common loon on the other. First put into circulation in 1987, commemorative editions of the loonie have also featured the Toronto Maple Leafs logo, Terry Fox and the CN Tower.


Fans of this iced coffee flock to Tim Hortons and ask for an abbreviated drink called a what?

The Iced Capp, also formally known as a Tim Hortons Iced Cappuccino, has been a Canadian favourite since 1999. With a slushier texture than mere iced coffee, the first four flavours were original, vanilla, caramel and mocha; feature flavours have included maple, s'mores and pumpkin spice.


The Canadian name for a combined bachelor and bachelorette party (with fundraising for the wedding) is what?

Stag and does (also known as buck and does) are joint bachelor and bachelorette parties often held in rural communities. The bride and groom to be sell tickets to the event for cash and door prizes to help fund the wedding and future purchases as a couple.


When Canadians have to grab a litre of milk or some chips, they head to which kind of local store?

Although usage of the term variety store varies from province to province, a large percentage of Canadians think of their local corner store as a variety store. Variety stores tend to sell snacks, magazines, pop, and other sundries. In most parts of the country, it is illegal to sell alcohol at variety stores.


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