The problem with Canadian culture and lingo


Moving from Oregon, I hardly expected to have a culture shock upon arriving in British Columbia. Belonging to the same stretch of Cascadia, I assumed that Portland and Vancouver would be very similar aesthetically. And if the nearly constant drizzling rain and the fresh air didn’t do the trick, the abundance of beer snobs, the locally owned vegan cafes, and the plethora of cute girls with pierced septums and unnaturally dyed hair would make me feel at home. But there are a few things that this vegetarian, Oregonian girl with a pierced septum and dyed hair simply can’t ignore. A few things that, quite frankly, confuse the shit out of me.


Toques: They’re called beanies, you guys. What even is a toque? It doesn’t make sense. Beanies got their name from heads being nicknamed beans. That makes perfect sense. ‘Toque’ doesn’t even sound like a real word; it sounds like someone is trying to cheat at Scrabble.  


Loonies and toonies: You know your currency is basically just a ripoff of a popular children’s cartoon show, right? And what’s the point in not having $1 bills if you’re just going to replace them with coins? The only difference is that I feel guiltier paying for things with a bundle of coins than with a wad of cash which weighs five pounds and destroys my change purse. Thank you for that. The only real advantage is that your money doesn’t have crusty, problematic, old men on it.


Pasta: I have yet to meet a Canadian who pronounces this word correctly. It’s pronounced paw-sta, not pah-sta. Who hurt you?


Kraft Dinner: On the topic of paw-sta, it’s called mac ‘n cheese, not Kraft Dinner. Just like toques, you’re just using words that don’t belong. Macaroni is the type of noodle; cheese is the sauce. What’s Kraft Dinner? The brand. Hardly specific. Try again, mates. It’s like calling Beef stroganoff ‘Hamburger Helper.’ Who does that? Heathens.


Curling: Every morning when I go to the dining hall, the TV either has hockey on or curling. At that rate, if a third TV were installed, it would probably show a herd of moose eating at Tim Hortons. But honestly, curling is the most ridiculous looking sport. There aren’t beefy men pummeling each other and getting concussions on the daily, so can you really call it athletic? Congratulations on making “physics on ice” a way bigger deal than it should be.

Adult female healthcare professional as she was receiving an int

Free health care: In ‘Murica, we handle those concussions on our own. Pain is just weakness leaving the body anyway. No pain, no gain, and America is all about gains, baby. American health care is being charged hundreds of dollars for a bald eagle to tell you that soldiers have it worse than you and that at least you’re experiencing your pain in a free country. That shit builds character.



Leave a Reply