Special Report

Canadian Slang and Phrases Americans Just Don't Understand

Source: Courtesy of Environment Canada

1. Humidex

Humidex is used by Canadian meteorologists to describe how hot the weather feels. It takes into account the humidity in the air and is short for humidity index. High humidity would make warm weather feel warmer. While similar to the U.S. heat index, it’s not the same.

Source: LeventKonuk / Getty Images

2. Toque — sometimes spelled tuque

Try to survive the Canadian winter without a toque, or a knitted hat or cap. Canadians won’t leave the house without one starting in October through April.

Source: ibsky / Getty Images

3. Fire hall

What Americans call a firehouse or fire station — the place where firefighters work — Canadians call a fire hall.

Source: Dave Sandford / Getty Images

4. ‘Eh’

Pronounced like the letter A, Canadians use “eh” so often it has become an international joke. (How do you spell Canada? C eh N eh D eh…) “Eh” can be used to indicate misunderstanding, disbelief, or prod for a response in the same manner Americans would use “huh” or “right?”

Source: Scazon / Flickr

5. Homo milk

This is not an inappropriate slur. Homo is simply short for homogenized and refers to whole milk. Funny thing, all milk in Canada (1%, 2%) is homogenized, but homo milk only refers to the 3.25% fat.