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T/S Quiz: How Well Do You Speak Canadian?

In culture on September 5, 2009 at 2:33 pm
A hiker poses at Canadian Flag Viewpoint above...

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In honor of a long, and I hope lazy weekend, a little light mental labor…

While some Americans insist Canada is really the 51st state (not!), Canadians continue to use a variety of words and phrases that many Americans have never heard. If you ever venture north of the 49th parallel, i.e. the border, here are some you’ll likely hear.

Whoever gets all of these right (no Googling!) will get one of my most precious belongings, a Canadian candy bar, i.e. God’s gift to confectionery. (A clue, eight of these are food items.)

tuque…loonie…toonie…pogey…two-fer…LCBO…depanneur…poutine…chesterfield…to deke…bangbelly…bannock…pemmican…catskinner…Nanaimo bar…Group of Seven…tourtiere…Timbit…222s…shinny…PMO…dog’s breakfast…RRSP…riding (not a verb)…QC…butter tart

  1. My ancestors were French chased out of France into Canada in the 1600s, which of course means nothing as I try to figure these out.

    tuque (winter hat) …loonie (dollar coin)…toonie ($2 coin)…pogey (no idea)…two-fer (no idea)…LCBO (I’m clueless)…depanneur (nope, don’t know that one)…poutine (those disgusting gravy cheese fries)…chesterfield (nope)…to deke (fake out, normally done to a goalie)…bangbelly (nope) …bannock (nope)…pemmican (a beef jerky?)…catskinner (I’m not sure I want to know)…Nanaimo bar (I presume that has something to do with British Columbia?)…Group of Seven (I presume that’s not referring to the international economic powerhouse?)…tourtiere (nope)…Timbit (little donut holes from Tim Horton’s)…222s (nope)…shinny (double nope)…PMO (triple nope)…dog’s breakfast (quadruple nope)…RRSP (quintuple vote)…riding (not a verb)(the equivalent to a U.S. district for federal elections)…QC (abbreviation for Quebec)…butter tart (can’t say I know that one)

  2. Zut alors! I’m impressed…Given your French ancestry, depanneur, poutine and tourtiere might have rung a faint Quebecois bell; they’re fairly specific to that province. I’ll give you QC, which has another specific meaning I was looking for..

    Glad you got deke…shinny is in the same area…????

    The ones you’ve answered you got right. Congrats! I’m sawing off a bit of a Crunchie bar for you. :-)

  3. Here is a fill in…
    Chesterfied: couch
    Pemmican: Dried Buffalo meat
    Dog’s breakfast: a confusing bunch of stuff.
    222′s : Canadian Aspirin with codeine (2mg)
    riding:Parliamentary district
    twofer: two for the price of one
    bannock: hillock (I believe)
    I have spent 30 years doing biz there and have many friends. But a lot of that stumped me!
    JLK

  4. tuque… winter hat
    loonie…$1 coin
    toonie…$2 coin
    pogey… (un)employment insurance
    two-fer… two for one (Canadian for BOGO)
    LCBO… Liquor Licensing Board of Ontario
    depanneur… corner store
    poutine… fries with gravy and cheese curd
    chesterfield… sofa or couch
    to deke… hockey term describing a manoeuvre to fool an opposing player
    bangbelly… baked rice and pork casserole
    bannock… flat bread
    pemmican… moose jerky and fruits (a bizarre kind of trail mix)
    catskinner… a logger
    Nanaimo bar… a dessert with a chocolate and ground nut base, cream filling and chocolate on top. Named for Nanaimo, B.C.Delicious.
    Group of Seven…
    tourtiere… ground beef pie.
    Timbit… donut hole
    222s… painkiller like Tylenol with Codeine.
    shinny… pick up or street hockey.
    PMO… Prime Minister’s Office
    dog’s breakfast… ugly or awful.
    RRSP… Registered Retirement Savings Plan
    riding (not a verb)… political district
    QC… Queen’s Court (?)
    butter tart… dessert of individual pastry shells with sugar/butter mixture and sometimes raisins.

    Full disclosure: I am Canadian!

  5. Oops! missed one
    Group of Seven… Seven well known Canadian painters.

  6. Wow! I knew a Canadian would come up do us proud…I’ll wait and see if anyone else gets QC…

    Do you live in Canada?

    I actually meant two-four…slightly different.

    And I have a different definition for catskinner; maybe there are several?

    • I live in Toronto. I originally thought of Quebec for QC, but saw your earlier comment. I am stumped?
      A two-four is a case of beer, of course.
      When I lived in BC I heard the term ‘catskinner’ used in logging although I am not sure exactly what it means. I always assumed it had something to do with Caterpillar tractors.
      P.S. My favourite is Coffee Crisp. Are they available in the US?

  7. I’ll hold off answering QC and catskinner for one more day, just to see if anyone else tries…

    Hint…QC is an Ontario thing and catskinner Albertan.

    My fave is Big Turk and they’re not easy to find. I don’t think Coffee Crisp is here; my second fave is Crunchie, followed by Crispy Crunch…and Macintosh toffee…and….sad addiction, this. None of these are in the U.S. so I stock up every time I come north.

    I can’t even explain Crunchies to Americans because they don’t know sponge toffee, nor Big Turk’s Turkish delight.

  8. Caitlin — here’s one you could have added, though I don’t know whether these are around anymore. I remember being in Kingston, Ont., and laughing at what the ATMs were called: johnnycash.

  9. How fun! I’ve never heard that. As in the U.S., here are so many regionalisms that there would be words in B.C. a Quebecker has never heard either. I learned the French words in this list only by living in Montreal.

  10. Aha!
    Correction on “Catskinner”. It’s not a logger but a heavy equipment operator in a logging operation.
    JLK

  11. You’re right about catskinner, wrong on bannock. But delighted you’re playing.

    Ok, guys, the only one left is QC…?

  12. QC….Here’s the Cancon quiz final answer.

    QC stands for Queen’s Counsel, an honorary designation used in some provinces by lawyers who have been chosen as having exceptional merit (by each province’s Lieutenant-Governor) and for making exceptional contributions to the legal profession. Ontario stopped naming QCs in 1985, Quebec in 1976 and the federal government in 1993. But when you see QC after a Canadian lawyer’s name, it means they’re considered outstanding.

    (Esq., used by American attorneys, is a standard usage, not typically seen in Canada.)

    Bonus question: anyone know what articling is and who does it?

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