More “What they say/What they mean…”

Thought about it and came up with a few more terms and phrases that are different here in Canada:

hydro = electricity

When we were looking for apartments, some were listed as “hydro included.” Thank God we had a Canadian helping us out, because my first guess at what hydro meant was water service.  She looked baffled at me when I said that. Though Canadians do get some electricity from other sources, such as solar, wind, nuclear and such, hydroelectricity is by far the largest electrical power source in all of Canada.  Hence: hydro.

Zed = Z

That’s right.  That last letter in the alphabet is not called “zee” here in Canada.  An American friend of mine told me that when she lived in Canada for school several years ago, one of the stores advertised their inventory as “everything from a to zed,” and for the longest time she wasn’t sure what they were talking about!

First Nations = Native people of Canada, such as Inuits and Metis

Folks who were in North America before the rest of us got here have been given all kinds of different monikers, depending on the politically correct current of the time.  Before the 1980s, Canadians called their Aboriginal people “Indian bands.”  “First Nations” is currently a rather ill-defined term, but one intended to give this minority population a sense of respect.

Timbit = donut hole

This one is all Tim Horton’s fault.  Never heard of Tim Horton?  Then you’ve never been to Canada!  Tim Horton was a hockey player (of course) who opened a chain of coffee shops that is the rage up here in Canada.  They are everywhere!  Put it this way: Tim Horton’s is the largest fast food operator in Canada – bigger than MacDonalds!  They have 62% of the market share for coffee up here, as opposed to Starbucks who comes in second with a measly 7%.

Tim’s is not only popular for their coffee, but also for their baked goods.  And, they call their donut holes Timbits.  Now most Canadians call all donut holes Timbits, even if they are not acquired at Tim Horton’s.

Canadian Spelling!

Now for an added bonus, here are a list of words that mean the same, but are spelled differently up here in Canada:


My husband and I still tend to pronounce these as we read them, such as “cen-trey,” “check-cue,” “lay-bore.”  I wonder if we’ll ever get over that.

About iammonicasue

I'm just gal who was born and raised in So Cal, who has lived my whole life in California... until now. I moved to Toronto in August 2010 and this is my blog about the differences I'm discovering between the home I came from and the home I'm getting to know.
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