Monday, January 24, 2005


I'm almost bi-lingual, but not really. Call it "bi-lingo."

See, I lived over half my life in Canada, and I can switch between Canadian English (eh?) and American English (huh?) pretty quickly. Here's a small list of translations:

Elementary school grades:
A: 3rd grade
C: Grade 3

The letter "Z"
A: pronounced "zee"
C: pronounced "zed"

A: pronounced pah-sta (the first "a" pronounced as the A in WAFT)
C: pronounced paa-sta (the first "a" pronounced as the A in CAT)

That's about it. It's barely even bi-lingo, but it's all I got, so thppppt!

Stickwick's 2-cents

I'm bi-lingo, too. Here's what I remember from my twenty-some years in the Great White North.


The main room in a house
A: Living room
C: Front room

What you put your groceries in
A: Bag
C: Sac

What you wipe your hands and face with at mealtimes
A: Napkin
C: Serviette

(Noticing the French influence yet? I blame my Canadian upbringing entirely for the fact that I know what pamplemousse is.)


A: rhymes with "ouch"
C: pronounced exactly like "coach"

Which leads to the distinctive Canadian pronunciation of all kinds of other "ou" words

A: same OU as in OUCH
C: pronounced as if you were saying the word HOE followed by a sharp S (try it!)

A: see above
C: pronounced as if you were saying the word MOE followed by a sharp S

Likewise for grouse, souse, louse, etc.

This is where the (in)famous phrase "going out and about, eh?" comes from. You should all be able to pronounce this Canadian-style by now... "going oat and aboat, eh?"


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