Tag: language

Confuse a Canadian

How do you confuse a Canadian? Simple – use a word or phrase that they don’t know, or even one that they do know but in the wrong context or accent. Result: silent stare and you being ignored.

Want some tips on how to do this?

Go to the supermarket and ask where the trolleys are? Their open mouthed response might remind you that they are not picturing the cart that you wheel around (with the left front wheel that sticks) but a trolley bus taking tourists up and down the hills of San Francisco.

Or on your next trip to the swimming pool, tell your Canadian buddies you need to pick up your swimming costume. While you are thinking of your cute new bikini or board shorts, they are more likely to be wondering whether you are hoping to get a part in Bard on the Beach (Vancouver’s summer Shakespeare festival).

Want something easier? And sure to make you the laughing stock (especially recommended for high school students). Ask someone to pass you a rubber. You will do this only once and from then on you’ll wish you had an eraser to rub out your mistake.

OK that was a cheap shot. Some words mean different things. But why does using “car park” confuse a Canadian, especially when you are trying to find somewhere to park? Can they not work out that a car park is somewhere you park a car and has nothing to do with the provincial park? I managed to work out that they meant by parking lot and even parkade. It seems that Canadians struggle with generalising.

Sometimes a British accent is an advantage. It still has associations with being posh (not the spice girl variety) and so we often hear British accents in the voice overs in adverts (commercials). But when you say “toe ma toe” and they say “toe may  toe”, you may well be treated to silence or “eh?”  Come to think of it maybe that’s where the Canadian love of ending sentences with “eh” comes from. 


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