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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Learn to Speak Canadian

If you've got Canadian relatives, you'd better pick up a copy of Katherine Barber's new book, Only in Canada, You Say, before the next reunion. It'll explain all those homegrown Canadianisms that baffle Americans.

Barber’s book is divided thematically into chapters, each beginning with a short essay, with clever titles such as Canadians Say the Darnedest Things (fuddle duddle, bumwad and come from away); Land of the Silver Birch, Home of the Beaver (capelin and noddy); Where We Live (bachelor, as in apartment); and Eat, Drink and Be Merry (rappie pie and tourtiere).

Canadians love to talk about politics, the weather and hockey. So of course, Canadians have their own words and Barber has a section on each: Peace, Order and Good Government (drop the writ and bear-pit session); weather is a subsection in the chapter A Country With Too Much Geography; and For the Love of the Game (pond hockey and puckster). [Link]
"Fuddle duddle" should perhaps have been filed in the political section, given its origins. (Warning: Contains language that could be offensive to non-Canadians.)

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