Friday, September 09, 2005


How to spot a Canadian

Saw this over at the Canadian Expatriates' Blog. They've always got some great CanCon over there.

If you suspect that someone is falsely trying to pass themselves off as a Canadian, make the following statement - and then carefully note their reaction:

"Last night, I cashed my pogey and went to buy a mickey of C.C. at the beer parlour, but my skidoo got stuck in the muskeg on my way back to the duplex. I was trying to deke out a deer, you see. Damn chinook, melted everything. And then a Mountie snuck up behind me in a ghost car and gave me an impaired. I was S.O.L., sitting there dressed only in my Stanfields and a toque at the time. And the Mountie, he's all chippy and everything, calling me a shit disturber and what not. What could I say, except, 'Chimo!'"

If the person you are talking to nods sympathetically, they're one of us. If, however, they stare at you with a blank incomprehension, they are not a real Canadian. Have them reported to the authorities at once.

The passage cited above contains no fewer than 19 different Canadianisms. Can you spot them?

Pogey: Employment insurance. Money provided by the government for not working.

Mickey: A small bottle of booze (13 oz) (A Texas mickey, on the other hand, is a ridiculously big bottle of booze, which, despite the name, is still a Canadianism through and through.)

C.C.: Canadian Club, a brand of rye. Not to be confused with "hockey stick," another kind of Canadian Club.

Beer Parlour: Like an ice cream parlour, but for Canadians.

Skidoo: Self-propelled decapitation unit for teenagers.

Muskeg: Boggy swampland.

Duplex: A single building divided in half with two sets of inhabitants, each trying to pretend the other doesn't exist while at the same time managing to drive each other crazy; metaphor for Canada's French and English.

Deke: Used as a verb, it means "to fool an opponent through skillful misdirection." As a noun, it is used most often in exclamatory constructions, such as: "Whadda deke!" Meaning, "My, what an impressive display of physical dexterity employing misdirection and guile."

Chinook: An unseasonably warm wind that comes over the Rockies and onto the plains, melting snow banks in Calgary but just missing Edmonton, much to the pleasure of Calgarians.

Mountie: Canadian icon, strong of jaw, red of coat, pure of heart. Always get their man! (See also Pepper spray, uses of.)

Snuck: To have sneaked; to move, past tense, in a sneaky manner; non-restrictive extended semi-gerundial form of "did sneak." (We think.)

Ghost Car: An unmarked police car, easily identifiable by its inconspicuousness.

Impaired: A charge of drunk driving. Used both as a noun and as an adjective (the alternative adjectival from of "impaired" being "pissed to the gills").

S.O.L.: Shit outta luck; in an unfortunate predicament.

Stanfields: Mens underwear, especially Grandpa-style, white cotton ones with a big elastic waistband and a large superfluous flap in the front. And back!

Toque: Canada's official National Head Apparel, with about the same suave sex appeal as a pair of Stanfields.

Chippy: Behaviour that is inappropriately aggressive; constantly looking for a reason to find offense; from "chip on one's shoulder." (See Western Canada)

Shit Disturber: (See Quebec) a troublemaker or provocateur. According to Katherine Barber, editor in Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, "shit disturber" is a distinctly Canadian term. (Just remember that Western Canada is chippy and Quebec is a shit disturber, and you will do fine.)

Chimo!: The last sound heard before a Canadian falls over. Passes out!


Also fun was this little name game, found everywhere on the Internet this week: discover the hidden meaning of your name at http://www.bostonuk.com/names/default.asp

God is my judge : Hebrew

You have enormous vitality and originality making you a dynamic individual with great charm and sex appeal. You believe in putting one hundred per cent into all your activities of which there are many. You have potential to achieve great success in business or public affairs where your friendship and consideration of others wins you many allies. Your innate strength and determined effort is able to overcome any obstacles. Freedom is important to you.

Thought this was kinda cool because it tells me I'll have great success in public affairs - happens to be the department I work in, so that's a good sign!

I also laughed at the Welsh meaning of Tristan (noisy one) and the Hebrew meaning of Simon (listener). They're a matched set!