Saturday, August 15, 2009

Canajun, Eh?

I have been reading so much misinformation about Canada lately, I thought I would share with you some of our best kept secrets. We are known for being very polite, and when we travel, we always wear a Canadian flag pin so people know we are Canadian. We have two official languages, and unless we are forced in school to learn the language from "the other side" we really only speak one language, depending upon where we live. We now have French immersion schools in British Columbia -- which I think is wonderful -- because we should be able to converse with people in our nation's capital. The things we treasure most are Tim Horton's Doughnuts, Hawkins Cheezies and Canadian Tire Stores. So here, in no particular order, are some of the ways to know you are Canadian.

●You have more Canadian Tire money than legal tender in your wallet
●You understand the sentence "Could you please pass me a serviette, I just spilled my bowl of poutine on the chesterfield."
●You know what it means to be "on the pogey".
●You know that a mickey and 2-4's mean "Party at the camp, eh?!"
●You can legally drink alcohol while still a teenager.
●When there is a social problem, you turn to your government to fix it, instead of telling them to stay out of it.
●You're not sure if the leader of your nation has ever had sex and you don't want to know if he has.
●You get milk in bags as well as cartons and plastic jugs.
●You know what a Robertson screwdriver is.
●You know that Mounties "don't always look like that."
●You dismiss all beers under 6% as "for children and the elderly."
●You wonder why there isn't a 5 dollar coin yet.
●Like any international assassin/terrorist/spy in the world, you possess a Canadian Passport.
●You use a red pen on your non-Canadian textbooks and fill in the missing 'u's from labor, honor, color, neighbor, etc.
●You know the French equivalents of "free", "prize", and "no sugar added", thanks to your extensive education in bilingual cereal packaging.
●You get excited whenever an American television show mentions Canada.
●You can do all the hand actions to Sharon, Lois and Bram's "Skin-a-ma-rinky-dinky-doo".
●You can eat more than one maple sugar candy without feeling nauseous.
●You were mad at the CBC when "The Beachcombers" was taken off the air.
●You know what a tuque is and you often wear one.
●You have heard of ... and have some cherished memento of Bob and Doug McKenzie.
●You know Toronto is not a province.
●You never miss "Coach's Corner" during Hockey Night in Canada.
●You only know three spices: salt, pepper and ketchup.
●You design your Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.
●A Canadian Tire Store on any Saturday is busier than most toy stores at Christmas.
●You think sexy lingerie is tube-socks and a flannel nightie with only 8 buttons.
●You know which leaves make good toilet paper.
●You attend a formal event in your best clothes, your finest jewellery and your Sorels.
●You understand the Labatt Blue commercials.
●You perk up when you hear the theme from "Hockey Night in Canada".
●You pronounce the last letter of the alphabet "zed" instead of "zee."
●You end some sentences with "eh," ... eh?

We even have our own language:

Arsey Em Pee
A para-military police body combining the most distinctive features of the army [red coats], the secret service [Red hunting], and politics [red herrings]. Also known as 'The Moundies'.

Hugh Ess
The Mare Can nation. So convenient has the Hugh Ess been to the development of the Canajun ethos that if the Hugh Ess did not exist it would be necessary to invent it. By the same token, if the Hugh Ess did not exist neither would Canada, much as in physics anti-matter requires matter to sustain it. Perhaps the only generally accepted definition of Canajun is *Not Mare Can*.

Of or pertaining to Grade Bridden. Sometimes contracted to Brish, as in: Brish Commwealth. I live in Brish Columya.

Climb It
Canada has three kinds of weather - hot, cold, and wet. Hence the only permitted conversational gambits relating to climb it are: "Hottanuff furya?", "Coldanuff furya?", and "Wetanuff furya?" These may be abbreviated to "Hot, eh?", "Cold, eh?", and "Wet, eh?". It would be meaningless and also unidiomatic to ask anyone: "Nice anuff furya?" No such expression exists in Canajun.

Rhymes with hay. The great Canajun monosyllable and shibboleth, "eh?", is all things to all Canajuns. Some typical uses of "eh":

1. Statement of opinion -- "Nice day, eh?"

2. Statements of fact -- "It goes over here, eh?"

3. Commands -- "Open the window, eh?"

4. Exclamations -- "That's funny, eh?"

5. Questions -- "What are they trying to do, eh?"

6. To mean ‘pardon’ -- "Eh? What did you say?"

7. In fixed expressions -- "Thanks, eh?"

8. Insults -- "You’re a real snob, eh?"

9. Accusations -- "You took the last piece, eh?"

10. Telling a story -- "This guy is up on the 27th floor, eh? then he gets out on the ledge, eh . . . ?"

Welcome to Canada, eh?


Leslie: said...

I am famil-yer wid all of doze tings cept fer the hand actions for Skinnymarinkydink...Must have missed that day in school. I got a real chuckle outta dat der, eh! ;)


Such fun!!!! In our country, we would say 'yes', and I think you probably would say 'yes' too (smile).....

Milk in bags???? Now that's a new one to me!

Jo said...

Leslie, yes, that's funny, eh?


Diane, oh, yes, milk in bags... I'll see if I can find a picture for you. :-)

Mean Mama said...

I can't resist telling you a story about Canada which I love dearly by the way. I lived in Eureka Montana just below Alberta. I moved there to help my mom start a horse ranch and I was very unwelcome in the community as an outsider. I used to escape with my little son every week to Canada to see some friendly faces. The officials entering Canada would eventually almost wave me over, smiling and saying, "Have a great time in Canada eh!" I used to have breakfast at this little spot and I immediately felt like family. I thought it was so cool that everyone in the restaurant knew each other and were having one big conversation together. The lady who ran the place did all the serving, and the first day I came in everyone in the place said, "Hey who is this?" I got to know everyone there. They all wanted to know who I was and I never sat alone at my table. My little son would go and sit at other peoples tables and talk and he was welcome. Every time I tried to get him to come sit with me, the adults would wave me off and let him chat. Canada was my haven. On the way back the US guards were always nasty, and I hated going back to Eureka. I could see more and more garbage and sadness as I crossed the boarder. It is a terrible thing to say of my own country, but it really was the way I felt.

I was invited one night to go drinking with a few Canadians. They were going to "rescue" me for a night out on the town. I think they forgot they were partying in America. Canadians know how to party and were notorious for it in Kallispell. One of the guys took off all of his clothes, except his boots and danced on a table. He got us all kicked out of the bar. When the bartender went up to him he said, "I'm not naked, I've got my shoes on, eh!" I kept up with them all night, and I thought I was going to die of alcohol poisoning. I have never had so much to drink before then or after!

This post made me laugh out loud and remember how dear Canada is to me. Thank You! By the way, What in the world is tire money??

lovelyprism said...

Jo... that was hysterical!
I'm going to look up milk in a bag now. :-)

the walking man said...

Too funny! And yes this is an exact picture of how all of my wife's and mine Canadian relatives are eh?

Sarah Lulu said...

Being Australian ..I didn't understand even a 10th of that but it did make me laugh!!!

Are you going to give translations??

ivan said...

Canadian stand-up comedians have a hard trime explaining Mountie jokes to U. S. Audiences.
"Let's just call them gay guys."

Anonymous said...

The best thesis on the Canajun animal that I have ever read, eh.

Carol E. said...

I loved this post! But I must admit my complete ignorance. This is the first time I've heard the term Canajun... and many others that need translation. Sad, eh? And my state borders Canada. I think I want to live in Canada,eh!

Jennifer D said...

So funny JO!!! I don't know what most of that list really is but boy am I laughing! I do remember Bob and Doug Makenzie. I live in Snow country so I do understand about the Sorels and snowsuits. Great Post Jo, now I am going to look up Canadian Tire Stores. What are they???

The Bug said...

Great fun Jo - thanks for the laugh!

Marguerite said...

So funny, Jo! Take the "na" out and what do ya have? So many similarities! A mickey and 2-4's is where I'm going today. Great post!

pranksygang said...

Thats really funny,eh?
I love this language !!! it sounds different!

muthu said...


that was one interesting dose of Canada....

cheers.. :)

PhilipH said...

Worra larf, eh?

Complete mystery to me, almost anyway.

Most people in the UK often start a sentence with "Oi!", especially in police soaps like "The Bill".

They see somebody they want to catch and as they approach they say "Oi! Come 'ere! Oi! Stop.."


Allen said...

This is so cool. I have friends for Canada including you. =o)

But I have never heard of this before. I guess I will take it up with them.

"●You think sexy lingerie is tube-socks and a flannel nightie with only 8 buttons."

Now that made me laugh.
Thanks for the great post!

Land of shimp said...

That really was great fun, thank you for it. Ooooooh,

It would tempting fate to hand me milk in a bag. I'm practically on the Olympic Spilling Team.

nomore said...

I pronounce the last letter 'Zed' too...???

Paula Slade said...

Hysterical, eh? (Hee-hee-he!) That was so cute Jo! :D

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Having lived in MN for awhile I was able to understand, you betcha, I was! But at heart I am a really a southern belle and I reckon I always will be. My aunt (pronounced 'ant') would tell all us little ole' youngins to git on out the tub and git our'step-ins' (panties) on. Hey, I think I might be bi-lingual!