Special Report

Canadian Slang and Phrases Americans Just Don't Understand

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6. Zed

Simply the last letter of the alphabet, what Americans call Zee.

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7. Caesar

If you’re a fan of spicy mixed drinks, try a Caesar next time you’re north of the border. Similar to a Bloody Mary — and many would argue far superior — it’s made with vodka, clamato juice, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces, and garnished with a celery stick. Here’s a recipe.

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8. Eavestroughs

Eaves are the parts of the roof that hang over a building. Trough is a long container to water animals. Eavestroughs are the channels that collect water from the roof — Americans know them as gutters.

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9. Mickey

Alas, to many Americans “mickey” refers to a date rape drug. But to Canadians, a mickey — of whiskey, vodka, or any liquor — is a bottle usually shaped like a flask that’s half the size of a fifth (375 ml) and can easily fit in your (large) pocket or purse.

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10. Pencil crayons

Remember that in Canada French is an official language? So what Americans call “colored pencils” would be “crayon de couleur” in French. The result? Canadians call them pencil crayons (or pencil pencils?).