Repost from January, 2014: “FYI, Canadians do NOT call it Canadian Bacon”

French Fries and Vinegar

Hi everyone! I posted this last January when The Chicago Files was a mere babe of a blog.  I hope if you haven’t read it, you will enjoy it! If you did happen to read it last winter, bless you for taking another peek! I sure hope you enjoy it!!

You don’t really put vinegar on your french fries, do you?  Well sure, sometimes, but if you are an American, I bet you most certainly do not partake in shaking this sour sauce on your fries!  Ah the illustrious and often humorous differences in the cultures of our two fine nations!  In many cases, the verbiage for Canadians and Americans is at opposite ends of the dictionary to describe the same item.  Case in point:  elastics versus rubber bands.  The first time I asked my husband to hand me an elastic, I think he thought my waistband had become unseemly and needed a repair!  He looked at me, and I looked at him looking at me.  Had I experienced a momentary lapse of lucidity and produced an ungodly word from my lips? No, it was just that ‘ol, “we don’t call it that here” conversation!

I began to wonder how many other words and/or phrases changed their tune when stepping south of the 49th parallel that I now call home.  It is interesting to me how many words people simply take for granted that, “this IS what it’s called” not, “this is what WE call it, how about you?”  Then again, why would you question what you KNOW is an eavestrough by thinking about it in any other terms? Ah, I can see the Americans shaking their heads (including my husband:  I just asked him if he’s ever had anything stuck in an eavestrough).  Yes, the elastic/rubber band look just showed up.  An eavestrough is what Americans call, “gutters”; you know, those metal contraptions that hang from the rooftops to catch rain or snow and carry it down to the ground.

Eavestrough

As a first in what I hope will be a series of posts on this interesting subject, I present you with two little stories.  The first is written using words and phrases found in the minds and hearts of Canadians.  The second story is identical in terms of its content; however, the “Canadian” words and phrases are replaced with “American” equivalents.  See how many you are familiar with in both stories. Let’s begin, eh!  Huh?  Okay!

It was a cloudy, stormy, melancholy kind of day, but I didn’t want to miss my lunch date with Patty.  I decided to stop by an ABM before heading to Boston Pizza.  It was Remembrance Day, and I had just placed my last loonie in the Legion’s box to get a poppy.  As I arrived at BP, Patty was waiting outside.  “Hey Patty, why aren’t you inside?” I asked.  “The hydro went out, so we can’t go in!” was the reply.  Patty commented, “I have to drop off a cheque at the drop-off box outside the Curling Arena and Community Centre.  It isn’t far from here, so let’s walk over there and come back to see what’s up with the hydro.”

Scotia ABM

boston_pizza

“By the way, Patty” I noted, “I’m buying lunch today.” Patty replied, “Well that’s good, because all I have is Canadian Tire money!”  We both laughed, thinking how funny it would be to give the server some money from the C-Tire!  After dropping off the cheque, we headed back to Boston Pizza; as luck would have it, the hydro had been restored.  Hallelujah!

Canadian Tire Money

We ordered a delicious pizza with back bacon, pepperoni, mushrooms, and a large pop.  Just as I was about to take my second slice of pizza, the entire wedge dropped straight into my lap.  “Oh great!” I moaned.  As our server coincidentally walked by I motioned to her, and in a desperate voice I cried, “Please, may I have some more serviettes?”  “Oh, quite a spill, eh?” she retorted.  After I cleaned up my mishap, I noticed the server had brought us our bill.  As I reached for my purse, I realized I needed some change for the tip.  I signaled our server and enquired, “Do you have change for a ten?” She answered, “Did you want a five and two toonies and a loonie, two fives, or a five and five loonies?” I responded, “I’ll have a five and two toonies and a loonie, please.”

Boston Pizza picture

Loonie

Toonie

After lunch, we decided to head over to Timmies.  We didn’t feel like going inside so I offered to get our order and bring it back to the car. I mentioned to Patty that I felt like having a double-double and some Timbits; Patty wanted some Timbits and a tea.  “Hey, my mum got a new Chesterfield!” Patty said.  “Oh yeah, eh?” I replied.  “What colour is it?” I asked.  “Mauve” she commented, “and she already spilled Kraft Dinner on it!” I replied, “Hey, my neighbour did the same thing on Victoria Day.”  “The KD went everywhere!” Patty asked me if that was the same neighbour whose daughter sells Girl Guide cookies.  I told her no, that was the neighbour who works for Westjet and provided me a great Seat Sale last winter to Hawaii.  I reminded Patty that there was a hockey game on tonight and I better head home.

Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons coffee

Timbits

KraftDinner_Lge_2

Queen Victoria Day

girl Guide Cookies

WestJet

By this time I had to go to the washroom and clean up my pizza adorned shirt which now had a lovely accompaniment of a few splashes from my Timmies.  Patty proceeded to the parkade closest to The Bay where I immediately ran inside and found a washroom.  Ah, it’s been a good day anyway, eh!

Hudson's Bay Company

And now for something slightly different:

It was a cloudy, stormy, melancholy kind of day, but I didn’t want to miss my lunch date with Patty.  I decided to stop by an ATM before heading to Pizza Hut.  It was Veterans Day, and I had just placed my last dollar bill in the American Legion’s Donation Box.  As I arrived at The Hut, Patty was waiting outside.  “Hey Patty, why aren’t you inside?” I asked.  “The power went out, so we can’t go in!” was the reply.  Patty commented, “I have to drop off a check at the drop-off box outside the Community Center.  It isn’t far from here, so let’s walk over there and come back to see what’s up with the power.”

ABM

Pizza Hut

“By the way, Patty” I noted, “I’m buying lunch today.” Patty replied, “Well that’s good, because all I have is a Susan B. Anthony!”  We both laughed, thinking how funny it would be to give the server a silver dollar coin!  After dropping off the check, we headed back to The Hut; as luck would have it, the electricity had been restored.  Hallelujah!

Susan B Anthony Coin

We ordered a delicious pizza with Canadian bacon, pepperoni, and mushrooms, and a large soda.  Just as I was about to take my second slice of pizza, the entire wedge dropped straight into my lap.  “Oh great!” I moaned.  As our server coincidentally walked by I motioned to her, and in a desperate voice I cried, “Please, may I have some more napkins?”  “Oh, quite a spill, huh?” she replied.  After I cleaned up my mishap, I noticed the server had brought us our check.  As I reached for my purse, I realized I needed some change for the tip.  I signaled our server and asked, “Do you have change for a ten?” She replied, “Did you want two fives, or a five and five ones?” I responded, “I’ll have a five and five ones, please!”

Pizza Hut pizza picture

five dollar bill

One-dollar-bill-001

After lunch, we decided to head over to Dunkin’ Donuts.  We didn’t feel like going inside so I offered to get our order and bring it back to the car. I mentioned to Patty that today I felt like having a coffee with cream and some Munchkins; Patty wanted some Munchkins and a tea.  “Hey, my mom got a new couch” Patty said.  “Oh she needed a new one, huh?” I replied.  “What color is it?” I asked.  “Mauve” she commented, “And she already spilled macaroni and cheese on it!” I replied, “Hey, my neighbor did the same thing on Memorial Day.”  “The mac and cheese went everywhere!” Patty asked me if that was the same neighbor whose daughter sells Girl Scout cookies.  I told her no, that was the neighbor who works for United and got me a great deal on tickets to Hawaii last winter.  I reminded Patty there was a basketball game on tonight and I better head home.

Dunkin Donuts

Dunkin_Donuts_Coffee

Dunkin Donuts Munchkins

Kraft-Macaroni-and-Cheese

Memorial-Day

Girl Scout Cookies

United_Airlines_B777-200_N780UA

By this time I had to go to the restroom and clean up my pizza adorned shirt which now had a lovely accompaniment of a few splashes from my coffee.  Patty proceeded to the parking lot closest to Macy’s where I immediately ran inside and found a restroom.  Ah, I bet you can tell it’s been a good day, huh?

MACYS

  61 comments for “Repost from January, 2014: “FYI, Canadians do NOT call it Canadian Bacon”

  1. January 10, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Enjoyed reading this! We are similar but different. I am familiar with all the different words you used, having lived in Ontario many years ago. This sort of thing has fascinated me very much for so long! Oh Canada!

    Like

    • January 10, 2015 at 6:16 pm

      *LOL* Yes, I have always been fascinated by it, too! Having both perspectives is quite something, isn’t it, John? Cher xo

      Like

  2. January 10, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    I am so lost!!!! Just pick me back up at Timmies where I’ll be having a cup or two or three and some Timbits 😉

    Like

    • January 10, 2015 at 6:16 pm

      And my dear, that is totally cool with me! Hoist your cup!!! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. January 10, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Very interesting. Had no problem reading the first version at all, knowing several Canadians and having travelled to Canada several times and for knowing British ex-pats and travelled to England. But i had fun, like a game reading and mentally translating as I went along. Just a reminder of while we share a border, are very good friends, we are still two different countries.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 10, 2015 at 6:18 pm

      Ah, bless you, my dear! I agree with everything you said! It is rather like a game, isn’t it? Sometimes when I watch a British TV show, I come across the odd word that I have no idea as to its meaning. Nonetheless, it is interesting to try and figure it out, isn’t it? Very good friends, Canada and the US; that’s for certain! Cher xo

      Like

      • January 10, 2015 at 6:38 pm

        It is interesting and fun, hey? Down South here, we also have our own dialect and idioms. I used serviette a few years ago in a local restaurant. The server looked at me strangely. When he returned he said, you must be from South Canada. It was a funny moment and he was given an extra tip for the smile.

        Liked by 1 person

      • January 10, 2015 at 9:48 pm

        Haha, I love it! Yes, my parents were here visiting once and used the serviette word! Deer in headlights moment from the server!! Ah, bless you for the extra tip!! 🙂 Cher xo

        Like

  4. January 11, 2015 at 2:12 am

    I wish I had a quid for every time I have to go to the loo and the cash machine! (That doesn’t make a very good story does it?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 11, 2015 at 2:03 pm

      *LOL* I love it and I think it sounds brilliant! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. January 11, 2015 at 6:54 am

    Reblogged this on kanzen sakura and commented:
    Please go visit Seaangel’s delightful blog. This is for all of my Canadian friends and for all of us who live them. Lots of fun here. Learn a new language as well: Canadian. Enjoy, hey?

    Like

    • January 11, 2015 at 2:03 pm

      Bless you for the reblog and such kind words! Thank you!!! Cher xo

      Like

  6. January 11, 2015 at 6:55 am

    And I do like vinegar on my fries. A popular potato chip flavor is….vinegar and salt. Good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 11, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      I quite agree on all accounts!!! Cher xo

      Like

  7. January 11, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Brilliant comparison! In the process I also discovered that I’m bilingual and can move smoothly between the 2 languages … I had no idea I had this hidden talent!! 😉

    Like

    • January 11, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      *LOL* Oh you made me laugh! Why yes, it is rather nice to find our hidden talents, isn’t it? Thank you so much!!! Big hugs, Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • January 11, 2015 at 3:41 pm

        Big hugs back!
        I’m always so happy when I hear I made someone laugh and it wasn’t because I did something horribly embarrassing 😉

        Like

      • January 11, 2015 at 3:50 pm

        I agree with you, Joanne! No, the laughter is pure happiness!! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  8. January 11, 2015 at 11:07 am

    I love this side-by-side comparison. I’m Canadian and although I have no trouble understanding American lingo–well not ALL–the differences are sometimes subtle and others not. Wonderful post! ❤

    Like

    • January 11, 2015 at 2:05 pm

      *LOL* Ah, thank you so much! It’s true about the differences, isn’t it? I must be showing my “American” side (and quite frankly, I don’t know how) because during a recent trip to Canada (buying some Kernels popcorn) the young man behind the counter said, “Are you taking this back to the states?” What? How did he know? 😉 Cher xo

      Like

  9. January 11, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Very fun. I needed the second version to interpret the first.

    Like

    • January 11, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      Hahaha, and not the other way around, EH Bruce? *biggest grin* Cher xo

      Like

      • January 11, 2015 at 2:10 pm

        Not the another way around. Some of the words are more colorful from your parts.

        Like

      • January 11, 2015 at 2:17 pm

        *biggest grin* I’m going to make you an honoUrary Canadian, Bruce! Cher xo

        Like

      • January 11, 2015 at 3:06 pm

        For sure, Cher. Do that.

        Like

      • January 11, 2015 at 3:23 pm

        Consider it done!!! 🙂 🙂 Cher xo

        Like

  10. January 11, 2015 at 11:34 am

    I hate when the pizza finds my shirt rather than my mouth! LOL Great post!

    Like

    • January 11, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      Me too, Brenda! Now where did I put those serviettes? *grin* Thank you!! Cher xo

      Like

  11. January 11, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    I’m homesick after reading this post Cher!

    Like

    • January 11, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      Awh, bless! I know what you mean, David!! Cher xo

      Like

  12. January 11, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    uum… mayo, mayo and more mayo except with pizza 😉
    xo

    Like

  13. January 12, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Being Canadian must be hilarious! 😉

    Like

    • January 12, 2015 at 7:31 pm

      Oh yes, Tim, it most certainly is! *grin* *LOL* Or at least, everyone else thinks we are quite um, yeah, “silly”! 😉 xo

      Liked by 1 person

  14. January 12, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    It is half of one and half of the other for those of us from the UK!

    Like

    • January 12, 2015 at 7:32 pm

      Quite right, Hilary!! Cher xo

      Like

  15. May 16, 2015 at 11:29 am

    I’m from England and over here we all love a bit of salt and vinegar on our fries… except that we don’t call them fries, we call them chips!

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 16, 2015 at 7:39 pm

      Indeed, ‘chips’! I actually call them that sometimes, too!! Cher xo 🙂

      Like

  16. May 16, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Ah language. When I was an exchange student in Australia, many locals tried to poke fun at the American by asking me for a rubber (eraser). The variations in our language can make communication fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 16, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      Oh isn’t that funny! It really can be quite humorous, can’t it? I remember asking someone for an elastic (rubber band). The, “deer in the headlights” was what I got! Elastics are most definitely ‘Canadian’! *grin* Thank you for telling me about your rubber/eraser story! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  17. May 16, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Hi Cher, I found you on the Blog Party and had a good laugh over your post. We speak the same language . . . don’t we? Fun blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 16, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      Hi there! Well thank you so much!! We certainly do! *LOL* Cher xo

      Like

  18. May 21, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    Hi, I came to visit your blog from Steve’s party. Your subject caught my attention as I am a fellow Canadian who goes to the U.S. a lot. Man could I relate! Very entertaining. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 22, 2015 at 7:09 am

      Well thank you so much! As a fellow Canadian, I am sure you find it very interesting as to not only how we are perceived here, but the many differences between our countries. I am extremely fortunate to be connected to both places! Please stop by anytime, and I am now on my way to check out your blog!! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • May 22, 2015 at 11:24 am

        Thanks Cher! So nice to connect with you. 🙂 My favourite is when I’m in the US and people tell me I have an accent. Seriously? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • May 22, 2015 at 11:29 am

        And with you as well! Yes, I can well imagine they do!! I am told by my fellow Canadians that I have developed an American accent! The other ‘clincher’ for me is when I tell Americans I am from Canada they usually say, “Well I don’t hear it!” The other one that makes me laugh is, “I don’t hear you say, ‘eh’!” I usually respond, “Oh, I only reserve the eh in the company of other Canadians!! *biggest grin* Cher xo

        Like

  19. August 16, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    A great read! I love reading about all these differences – very entertaining.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 16, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      Thank you so much, Ruth! There certainly are more differences than one might think (as I found out)! *LOL* Cher xo

      Like

  20. August 19, 2015 at 5:14 am

    It was great meeting you and your blog at this last weekend’s blog party. I just want to reiterate what s nicely written piece this is. I look forward to more!

    Like

    • August 19, 2015 at 8:20 am

      Well how thoughtful are you, Michelle! Thank you so much! I am so grateful for your words! It was great meeting you at last weekend’s blog party as well. Please come back anytime my dear! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

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