dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote in binky_betsy,

Canadianisms 101.

The thing I've noticed is that certain Canadianisms that I, like Lynn, use every day tend to confuse the American members of this community; since most of us are American, here's a guide for the perplexed:
  • Hydro: Short for "hydroelectricity". The electric companies in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec have "Hydro" in their names so "hydro" is what a lot of people here call them. Used in the phrases "hydro bill" and "hydro pole."
  • Shreddies: Breakfast cereal similar to flattened Wheat Chex. 
  • Grades One through Eight: The Canadian expression for first through eighth grades.
  • Grade Nine: Freshman Year of High School.
  • Grade Ten: Sophomore Year of High School.
  • Grade Eleven: Junior Year of High School.
  • Grade Twelve: Senior Year of High School.
  • Grade Thirteen: Obsolete year of schooling in Ontario designed as a means of giving honors students a leg up in post-secondary education.
  • CEGEP: Term used in Quebec to refer to a post-secondary institution; graduation from such a school is mandatory for those Quebecois who wish to go to University after high school.
  • A bag of milk: For some reason, Canadian dairies sell milk in plastic bags. Since this practice never caught on South of the border, some of the plotlines make little sense.
  • Ratepayer: British term for 'taxpayer' we kept.
  • Sweet Dick All: Nothing; examples of the phrase is "Elly knows sweet dick all about how children think so didn't see the need to lock the gate" and "Elly did sweet dick all to prevent April's near-drowning."
  • Smarties: In Canada, the brand name for a candy that's a lot like a chocolate M&M; the difference is that there's no letter M on it.

There are others, of course; feel free to point out any word that baffles you and I'll tell you what it means and why we use it.

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