Fun Facts: Canadian Slang

Although Canada is mostly an English-speaking country, it has developed a version of the language that is a little bit different to the versions you might find in the UK, USA, New Zealand or Australia. This difference can especially be seen in the country’s slang, where their unique choice of words sometimes even confuses their American neighbors.

So to help you with your time in Canada, or even just to help you understand your Canadian friends, here is a list of our top ten slang words:


brutal– bad; horrible; tough
“Oh Ben, your singing is brutal”.


‘eh?’ – this is perhaps the most versatile of all Canadian slang words, and has almost unlimited uses, but tends to mean “don’t you think?’ or “huh?”.

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hoser – an unpleasant person. A lot of people disagree on the origins of this word, but a popular version comes from the sport of ice hockey, where the losing team would have to hose down the ice in order to clean it.
‘Hose’ + ‘loser’ = ‘hoser’. Get it? Pretty clever, eh?


mawga – not feeling well
“I’m not going to work because I’m mawga.”


yarn – to chat
“We were yarning until midnight.”


loonie – in some English speaking countries this often means a crazy person but  in Canada this refers to their currency – the Canadian Dollar coin.


owly – in a bad mood
“Wow, she’s owly today.”


take off – to leave somewhere quite suddenly.
“I’m going to take off and go to that party”


kerfuffle – a crazy or messy situation
“Be sure not to be careless in Canada by getting yourself in a kerfuffle!”


weatherin’ – although weather can be good or bad, ‘weatherin’ in Canada is strictly for bad weather.
“Wow, it’s really weatherin’ outside!”


Canadian English is interesting, eh? If you know any other good fun Canadian slang then be sure to share it in the comments!

Want to find out about learning English in Canada? Contact a student advisor today.

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