This is an abridged list of Canadian words and how they are used. All known offensive or derogatory terms have been omitted. Learning Canadian words will help you better understand the culture while expanding your global vocabulary.

butter tart

noun, a small, open-topped pie made with butter, sugar, and eggs. ‘The best butter tarts are made with real butter and maple syrup.’

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noun, a Canadian. ‘That boy is one proud Canuck.’



noun, a warm wind blowing down from a mountain range, especially the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies. ‘Trekking in bitterly cold snow, the Chinook was warm respite.’


deke, deke someone out

verb, to avoid an opponent (esp. hockey) by faking a motion. ‘He deked out the defender and scored.’



noun, an electric food disposal unit, akin to a garbage disposal. ‘My kid tossed a penny into the sink and jammed the garburator.’


ginch, gonch

noun, slang, short, tight-fitting, men’s underwear. ‘My ginch is riding way too tight.’

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give her

verb, to give one’s best effort. ‘I was on the dance floor just givin’ er. ‘

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homo milk

noun, homogenized milk. ‘I’d like a tall glass of homo milk, please.’

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noun, electric utility.  ‘Hydro bills are significantly higher in the winter time.’



noun, the Canadian dollar coin. ‘You need a few loonies to take public transit.’



noun, informal, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer. The RCMP is Canada’s national police force. ‘The Mounties were called in to settle the crowd.’ Note: Mountie is now a bit of a misnomer as most RCMP officers drive cars rather than ride horses.



noun, a parking area, a parking garage. ‘The nearest parkade is full, so you’ll have to find another place to park.’ Note: Parkade is also used in South Africa.


postal code

noun, the mailing system code in Canada, akin to zip code in the U.S. Note: this term is used in other countries when translating their mailing code into English. France’s ‘code postal’ and Germany’s ‘Postleitzahl’ are examples.

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noun, a dish made with French fried potatoes topped with gravy and cheese curd. ‘The secret to a good poutine is in the gravy.’



noun, shoes for running; sneakers. ‘Don’t forget your runners for gym class.’ Note: Also used in Australia and Ireland.



adjective, slang, excellent or impressive. ‘That’s a skookum outfit you’ve got on.’



noun, a party for a woman about to be married. ‘They threw a wild stagette to celebrate her last days of being single.’



noun, the Canadian two-dollar coin. ‘Do you have a toonie? This vending machine doesn’t take small change.’


tuque, toque

noun, a winter cap, often pointed or topped with a pom-pom. ‘Grab your toque and mittens; it’s cold outside.’


In addition to these regional terms, Canada has contributed several words that are used around the world today. These include BlackBerry, igloo, kayak, Klondike, and toboggan.