Canadianisms Around the Home
On Canada Day, we must take a moment to think about what makes us truly Canadian. Put on your thinking toque, grab a caesar, double-double, or pop, while we consider some of those truly Canadian terms that we use around the home almost every day. But fear not, there’s no need to cause a kerfuffle; all Canucks will know what you mean, eh?
Eavestrough: Did you know that most of the World refers to these as gutters? Eavestrough is a 100% Canadian term. We wonder if this applies to the term “eavestroughing” for listening in on someone’s conversation?
Hydro: Referring to the fact that some of our power comes from hydro electricity, the term hydro has become the standard term for electricity. Whether it’s paying the hydro bill or the names of many of our utility companies, the term has certainly stuck.
Bachelor Apartment: Much of Canada refer to a one room apartment as a bachelor, likely because theses spaces are ideal for one person. Did you know that outside of Canada, these spaces are usually called studios?
Tap: Make sure to turn the tap off! If you say that outside of Canada, you may get some funny looks; try “faucet” instead!
Bungalow: The term bungalow can mean different things depending on where you are. In Canadian real estate, a bungalow is a single story abode but in the United States, this term can include 1.5 story homes as well.
Humidex: As the humidity rises in the air on a hot summer’s day, many Canadians use the humidex as a determining factor for whether or not to turn on the air conditioning. Although, humidity factors are not just a Canadian thing, the term “humidex” certainly is.
Postal Code: Our six digit combination of letters and numbers allows Canada Post to know where to deliver our mail. In the United States, they use “zip codes” and in Britain they use “postcodes”.
Garburator: Although less common as they are actually not allowed in Ottawa, a garburator is a garbage disposal system built into the sink drain. Outside of Canada, they are usually referred to as “garbage disposals”.
Robertson Screwdriver: Named for its Canadian inventor, the Roberton Screwdriver fits the screws with the square holes. Due to a dispute with Henry Ford, outside of Canada, it is simply referred to as a “square head screwdriver”.
Housecoat: This pyjama item is usually worn over pyjamas around the house. Outside of Canada, it is usually referred to as a “robe” or “bathrobe”.
Chesterfield: The Barenaked Ladies may have brought this term to the world in their hit song “If I had a Million Dollars”, but this is widely considered a Canadian term. Although not widely used, it refers to a couch or sofa.
We would like to wish everyone a very Happy Canada Day! What are some of your favourite Canadianisms?
Lisa Fitzpatrick ABR, SRS
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