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Word Power: Test Your Knowledge of These Canadian Slang Terms

It's a snap to tell a toque from a chesterfield, but not all Canadianisms stretch from coast to coast to coast. Master these regional terms and you'll be sure to blend in while you're oot and aboot.

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Canadian slang terms - Bunny hugPhoto: Shutterstock

Bunny hug

A: Chocolate Easter egg
B: Fuzzy slippers
C: Hooded sweatshirt

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Millennial wearing a hoodie sweatshirtPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: C—Hooded sweatshirt (Saskatchewan)

As in, “A bunny hug is cozy on a cold night.”

Here’s what it was like living in Saskatchewan in the 1930s.

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Canadian slang terms - MiskeenPhoto: Shutterstock

Miskeen

A: Petty thief
B: Patchwork quilt
C: Pathetic

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Two colleagues laughing at officePhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: C—Pathetic (Ontario, from Arabic)

As in, “Look at this miskeen guy,” said Jer jokingly. “He’s never been to Canada’s Wonderland.”

Here are the slang words you’ll hear in 2020—and beyond!

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Canadian slang terms - depPhoto: Shutterstock

Dep

A: Corner store
B: Mason jar
C: Certainly

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Exterior of convenience store in MontrealPhoto: BalkansCat/Shutterstock

Answer: A—Corner store (Quebec, from French)

As in, “Ming asked his roommate to pick up some milk at the dep.”

Beware of these things you should never say to a Canadian.

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Canadian slang terms - SkodenPhoto: Shutterstock

Skoden

A: Snowmobile tracks
B: Let’s go, then
C: Family picnic

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First Nations protestPhoto: arindambanerjee/Shutterstock

Answer: B—Let’s go, then (multiple First Nations)

Often an invitation to engage in a fight, skoden has recently been used in battles over pipeline projects.

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Canadian slang terms - JambusterPhoto: Shutterstock

Jambuster

A: Jam-filled doughnut
B: Kitchen party
C: Tugboat sent to break up logjams

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Jam-filled doughnutPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: A—Jam-filled doughnut (Manitoba and northwestern Ontario)

As in, “Having grown up in Winnipeg, the cashier knew what his customer meant when she ordered a jambuster.”

Check out these iconic Canadian dishes—and the best places to find them.

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Canadian slang terms - ScribblerPhoto: Shutterstock

Scribbler

A: Notebook
B: Leaky boat engine
C: Defensive hockey player

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Notebook on wooden deskPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: A—Notebook (mainly the Maritimes)

As in, “Get our your scribblers and write your names on the covers,” instructed the teacher.

Discover the history behind the distinct language of Newfoundland.

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Canadian slang terms - HuckPhoto: Shutterstock

Huck

A: Eat quickly
B: Hitchhike
C: Throw

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Children's baseball leaguePhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: C—Throw (West)

As in, “Alina called for her friend to huck her the ball.”

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Canadian slang terms - DonnybrookPhoto: Shutterstock

Donnybrook

A: Brawl
B: Good-looking boy
C: Swimming hole

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Hockey playersPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: A—Brawl (hockey commentary)

As in, “The Donnybrook Fair in Dublin, Ireland, was so rowdy that any tussle became known as a donnybrook.”

New to hockey? Consider this guide to Canadian hockey slang required reading.

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Canadian slang terms - SkookumPhoto: Shutterstock

Skookum

A: In the sky
B: Strong or brave
C: Grandmother

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Pacific Northwest landscapePhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: B—Strong or brave (west)

Derived from Chinook Jargon, skookum appears in many place names in the Pacific Northwest.

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Canadian slang terms - WindrowsPhoto: Shutterstock

Windrows

A: Hedges planted to shelter crops
B: Depressed mood
C: Snow left blocking a driveway after a snowplow passes

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Snow plowPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: C—Snow left blocking a driveway after a snowplow passes (mainly the Prairies)

As in, “Shovelling windrows was not Klara’s idea of a good start to the day.”

Learn about the coldest day in Canadian history!

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Canadian slang terms - MamaqtuqPhoto: Shutterstock

Mamaqtuq

A: Delicious
B: Town gossip
C: Beautiful morning

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Salmon fillet on a bed of sea saltPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: A—Delicious (North, Inuktitut)

As in, “Nina added the #mamaqtuq hashtag to her post celebrating traditional foods.”

Don’t miss these quirky Canadian roadside attractions.

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Canadian slang terms - GuichetPhoto: Shutterstock

Guichet

A: Tacky
B: Bank machine
C: Cotton undershirt

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ATMPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: B—Bank machine (Quebec, from French)

As in, “Hari stopped at a guichet to take out some cash.”

Check out the stories behind these funny Canadian place names.

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Canadian slang terms - Nuisance groundsPhoto: Shutterstock

Nuisance grounds

A: Garbage dump
B: Schoolyard
C: Legion branch

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Garbage binsPhoto: Catherine Zibo/Shutterstock

Answer: A—Garbage dump (West)

As in, “Property values plummeted when the municipality established nuisance grounds nearby.”

These quirky hotels across Canada are attractions in themselves!

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Canadian slang terms - AhliePhoto: Shutterstock

Ahlie

A: Skateboard trick
B: Am I right?
C: Go away!

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Two friends having a coffee outside on a summer day

Answer: B—Am I right? (Ontario, from Jamaican patois)

As in, “There’s no way our bus will arrive on time, ahlie?” said Luther, glancing at his phone.

Don’t miss these mind-boggling facts about Canada.

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Canadian slang terms - Right goodPhoto: Shutterstock

Right good

A: Excellent
B: Poor quality
C: Lucky thrift-store find

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Squid and vegetable dishPhoto: Shutterstock

Answer: A—Excellent (Atlantic)

As in, “That was a right good meal!” declared Josée.

Next, learn about the year Canada didn’t have a summer.