Happy Canada Day!

canada_day 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.

Canada United States
washroom restroom whereas toilet is the common term throughout Europe and Asia
napkin serviette
back bacon Canadian bacon
garburator garbage disposal
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
pop soda carbonated beverage
“single, single”
“double, double”
“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
runners sneakers
theatRE, centRE
colOUR, neighbOUR
theatER, centER
colOR, neighbOR

— ** 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”!

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