Canadian Words You May Not Know or Understand

June 26, 2018 by IELTS

There are several words used in Canada, which Canadians refer to a “Canadianisms.” Many foreigners often find they do not know what these words mean. Once they do, they often have a different word they use to describe the same thing! Let’s take a look at some of these words and their meanings so if you hear them being spoken you understand what is being said.

  • Runners: Runners are a Canadian term used to described trainers, tennis shoes, and sneakers – all of which are essentially running shoes.
  • Wicket: A wicket is a counter or window you wait at when at a bank, pharmacy, or other such business.
  • Icing Sugar: This word is the same as confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar.
  • Gas bar: If you hear someone say this word, it means petrol station or gas station.
  • Donair: A donair is a type of Canadian food, which is a pita stuffed with spiced meat and a sauce. It is similar to a gyro or kebab, but usually is not made with lamb, and the sauce is different.
  • Whitener: Canadians that use this term are talking about creamer for their coffee or tea that is dairy-free.
  • Track Pants: This word is used in Canada in place of jogging pants, sweatpants, or fleece pants.
  • Eavestroughs: This word refers to the overhang on a roof that catches water and drains it away from the building. Gutters are essentially the same thing.
  • Garburator: A garburator is a device that breaks down waste put down the kitchen sink. You may have heard it called a garbage disposal instead.
  • Chocolate Bar: In Canada, when uses this word, it means they want a candy bar. Americans have a hard time with this work because they think it refers to a candy bar that is made entirely of chocolate. *However, in Canada, it refers to any candy bar with any amount of chocolate.
  • Pencil Crayon: Many Canadians use this word which is the same as coloured pencils and colouring pencils.
  • Parkade: A parkade is another word used to describe a parking garage or car park.
  • ABM: ABM is a term some Canadians use to describe an automatic banking machine, which you may know as an ATM, cash machine, cashpoint, or banking machine.
  • Serviette: A serviette is a paper napkin. Some Canadians use serviette exclusively to refer to paper, and use napkin to refer to cloth. Others use the term interchangeably.
  • Queue or Lineup: These words are used interchangeably in Canada. They mean to get in line and wait, at the checkout or to buy tickets to a movie.

This list is just a small sample of many of the words you could encounter during conversations with your Canadian friends. Being familiar with these types of words can be beneficial while preparing for your IELTS exam.

For IELTS exam prep materials and samples tests, or to find your nearest IELTS test centre location, please feel free to browse our website or contact IELTS Canada directly.

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