Over a year has past since moving from Canada to the United States, and yet I still confuse my fellow Americans with Canadian terminology. When I travel back to Canada for a visit, I catch myself equally confusing my fellow Canadians with American terminology. (Thanks for being patient, everyone! ;))
It has taken me some time and thought to think of the nuances between Canadian culture/language and American culture/language that wouldn’t be obvious to the common traveler passing through Canada or the U.S.A. Hope you will find this list useful in your travels or move to/from Canada/United States.
|washroom||restroom||whereas toilet is the common term throughout Europe and Asia|
|back bacon||Canadian bacon|
|iced tea||sweetened iced tea||iced tea in the U.S.A. is served unsweetened; sweetened iced tea usually means adding packets of sugar to the drink yourself|
|“1 cream and 1 sugar”
“2 creams and 2 sugars”
|used when ordering a coffee and specifying cream/milk and/or sugar preference|
|Metric system||Imperial system||**|
|personal cheque||personal check|
|Check, please.||The bill, please.||used when requesting for the restaurant receipt|
|tuque / toque||beanie|
— ** Canadians generally use the Metric system for describing units, like Celsius for temperature and meters for measurements, but Imperial units are sometimes used too. Please visit “Fahrenheit? I only know Celsius …” for more tidbits.
— For a list of Canadian/British and American spelling variants, Wikipedia has a comprehensive article posted at: List of Spelling Variants.
Wishing you a “Happy Canada Day”!