From ‘toque’ to ‘mickey,’ ten Canadianisms that leave other English speakers utterly confused
Your non-Canadian friends will have no idea what you’re talking about if you ask them for a ‘two four’ of Budweiser, or a ‘mickey’ of vodka.
Toque: Used by 100% of Canadians
Virtually every culture with both cold weather and access to sheep has some national variant of the knit cap. The Afghans have the pakol, the U.S. Coast Guard supplies its crews with “watch caps” and Canadians, for half the year, wear “toques.” But while this was the only word on the survey that obtained unanimous usage among the Canadians, a majority of the non-Canadians said they had never even heard of it.
Pencil Crayon: Used by 96% of Canadians
Americans call them “colored pencils” and Brits call them “colouring pencils,” but despite what Canadians have stuck firmly to the above term, which Jules Sherred suspects is the result of mashing the English “coloured pencils” with the French “crayon de couleur.” A mere 14% of Americans recognized the term.
Mickey: Used by 88% of Canadians
A 375 ml bottle of liquor. In the United States, the term “mickey” is slang term for a date rape drug, and 69% of Americans were unaware of its more benign Canadian usage. Mickey is actually one of a series of uniquely Canadian booze measurements revealed by the survey. “Two four” (a case of 24 beers), “twenty sixer” (a 750 ml bottle of liquor) and “forty-pounder” (a 1.14 liter bottle of liquor) were all virtually unknown outside the Great White North.