7 Canadian Slang Words That Aren’t “Eh?”

Canadian slang is not something I expected to pick up when I moved to BC. But more than once the Canadian slang terms I ran into completely threw me for a loop. And often as not, my southern slang confused my Canadian friends, as well. Here’s a list of Canadian slang words and phrases that I learned while in British Columbia.


A list of Canadian slang words and their meanings.


Canadian Slang Words That Confused Me


1. Appy


“Hey, we should grab some drinks and appys sometime.”


The first time someone mentioned going out for drinks and appys I had no idea what they meant. My deep Grey’s Anatomy knowledge stepped in but it seemed unlikely that Canadians routinely go out for a drinks and appendectomies. I even googled it and came up short.


Appy means appetizer. Ahhhhhh. It makes so much sense now but none when I first heard it.


2. Gong Show


“Oh man, went to the game last night and it was a total Gong Show.”


Thankfully, my old friend context clues helped me figure out the meaning of this Canadian slang phrase pretty quickly. Basically, it means that something was a disaster.


3. Homo Milk


“Hey hon, can you pick up some homo milk on the way home?”


I am being dead serious right now, homo milk is real-life Canadian slang. It’s short for “homogenized milk” but it actually means what we in the states call whole milk. In other words, full fat milk.


4. Toque

Pronouned “tuke”.


“It’s getting cold out there, don’t forget your toque.”


My what now? Oh, my hat. Okay. Toques are knit caps, the kind that you wear in the winter. Where I’m from we just call them hats or sometimes beanies. Toque was news to me.


5. Rubbers


“Mom, have you seen my rubber?”


Your who do what?! Oh, your ponytail holders. Okay. This is acceptable. Rubber means something different in my neck of the woods…


6. Runners


“Grab your runners, we’re heading to the park.”


Again, this one made sense after the fact but it was foreign to my ears in the beginning. We say tennis shoes where I’m from. Which is probably weirder because no one’s playing tennis. But still. It’s my normal.


7. Zed


I still hold that this one is strange. Zed is the name of the letter “z”. Letters shouldn’t have two constant sounds. Can I get an amen? They just shouldn’t. You can’t call a “b” a “bed”. It’s weird. Double U is the exception.


Would you have gotten any of those right if you were guessing? I’m not the first person to be amused by Canadian slang. You kind find several books on Amazon devoted to the subject. And check out this Buzzfeed video below where Americans try to guess Canadian slang.




Southern Slang that Confused my Canadian Friends


Once in awhile I made my Canadian friends furrow their brow when I spoke southern. Here are a couple of southern slang instances that I remember.




“Holy crap, there were bookoodles of homeschoolers in there.”


I had no idea that this slang had southern origins until my Canadian friends looked at me like I was crazy. It means “a lot of something” and apparently is derived from the French “beaucoup”.


Snaggle Tooth


“Susie lost another tooth last night and now she has the most adorable snaggle tooth.”


I was shocked – SHOCKED – that my Canadian friend didn’t know the phrase “snaggle tooth”. It’s that adorable smile that little kids have when their teeth start falling out.


Test your southern slang knowledge with this hilarious Buzzfeed video where yankees try to guess southern slang.




And the list of Canadian slang words and their meanings could go on and on, I’m sure. What would you add?


Any other slang that you’ve run into around the country (or world) that confused you?



A funny list of Canadian slang words and their meanings.





  1. ourfamilytraveladventures says:

    Great post! I have a friend from Italy who called erasers rubbers. She would always ask to borrow a rubber : )

  2. In Hawaii. they refer to flip flops as rubbers. Boy, that’s a diverse word…As for zed, my daughter’s Leap Frog ABC caterpillar always said zed when she pushed “z,” so for the longest time, I thought it was a glitch. Here in PA, we use the word “gretzy” to mean cranky. I said it once in front of a friend, and she looked at me strangely, then said, ” That’s right. You’re Pennsylvania Dutch.” We also say “hoagie” here instead of “sub”- (the sandwich). Language is a funny thing, isn’t it?

    • The same thing happened to me! We had a leap pad thing and I swore it was singing the alphabet song and saying zed at the end but I dismissed it until one day when I heard real, live person say it.

  3. Oh man I’ve never heard of “rubber” as a hair elastic/hair tie/hair band (all of which I’ve used and heard used). My understanding of the slang is the same as yours. :)
    Also there is a difference even between east and western Canadian slang. (I’m from Ontario.)
    But I’m shocked that gong show and appy are Canadian slang! I had no idea they weren’t commonly used outside of Canada!
    I’ve definitely heard of snaggle tooth and think it’s a cute phrase.
    Never heard of bookoodles and I love it! It kinda makes me giggle, actually.
    Also I pronounce produce and product the same way you do.
    When we lived in Uganda there were always funny slang for things, largely due to the British influence.
    The funniest slang that confused me was how, when living in London England for a summer I discovered that the British call underwear “pants” (and pants are trousers). You can imagine my British friend’s shock when I said that for a backpacking trip of 2 weeks, I really only needed a couple pair of pants. Lol (ew!)

  4. LOL! This is hillarious! I simply had no idea of these slangs . Now I atleast I will be a bit prepared whenever I visit Canada:)

  5. Hahahahaha!!! Hilarious!