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24 New Entries to Dictionary of Canadianisms

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Canadian English enthusiasts rejoice! For the first time since 1967, A Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles has gotten a major update. While the original offered a wonderful tour of older terms, the new edition adds 1002 new lexemes and 1239 additional meanings, giving a better picture of English in Canada today. The update also adds frequency charts showing where terms are most often used and links to image and video illustrations. Here are 23 new entries that you might not recognize if you’re not Canadian.

1. STUBBY

The stubby was a shorter-necked beer bottle that was standard in Canada from the 1960s until the early 1980s. Some current beer companies have begun to bring the stubby back, tapping into a nostalgia for what an article in The Globe and Mail once called “this precious symbol of our national character.”

2. GRETZKY EFFECT

This term, sometimes spoken ruefully due to the loss it represents, refers to the popularization of hockey in the U.S. after Wayne Gretzky was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988.

3. BI AND BI

A shortening for bilingualism and biculturalism relating to the 1963 Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, which was established to provide reports and recommendations on issues relating to Canada’s English and French speaking populations.

4. AND 5. KITCHEN PARTY AND KITCHEN RACKET

A casual get-together with music and dancing. This term and its synonym kitchen racket are regional terms used mostly in Prince Edward Island.

6. SMOKED MEAT

A smoked brisket deli specialty associated with Montreal, akin to corned beef or pastrami.

7. AND 8. NORTH OF 60 AND SOUTH OF 60

The 60th parallel north divides the Canadian territories Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut from the provinces below it. In a way similar to the use of the lower 48 in contrast to Alaska in the U. S., south of 60 is used to refer to the provinces. In the 1990s, North of 60 was a popular TV show about life Northwest Territories.

9. TRUDEAUMANIA

This term was first used during the 1968 election with reference to then Liberal Party leader (and later Prime Minister) Pierre Trudeau. It’s recently taken on new life with the election of his son, Justin Trudeau.

10. ONE-TIMER

A hockey term for a shot where “a player receives a pass and instantly shoots the puck without trying to control it first; a quick, powerful redirection of the puck.” This entry links to a video illustration.

11. DOUBLE-DOUBLE

A double-double is a coffee with a double helping of cream and sugar, a common order at coffee shop Tim Hortons, which in recent decades has been “embraced by large portions of the Canadian population in a rare act of identity creation involving a low-cost coffee franchise.”

12. TIMBITS

Another Tim Hortons term, Timbits is their brand name for donut holes. It has spread to the domain of sports as a name for children’s league teams in soccer, hockey, and baseball.

13. TEXAS MICKEY

The largest sized bottle of hard liquor sold in Canada is a giant three liters. Going along with the old adage that everything’s bigger in Texas, the Canadians call it a Texas Mickey.

14. BUNKIE

A shortening of bunkhouse, “a building on the property of a summer home that provides additional lodging for guests.” The term is most common in Ontario.

15. CUBE VAN

A “recent term that appears to be actively spreading across Canada, but not into the US.” It’s a cube-shaped truck, like a moving or delivery van.

16. WINGY

A wingy idea or a wingy person is “crazy, flighty, loopy.” One can also spin out of control and go wingy.

17. SNAKY

On the other and, if you’re flipping out, or “out of control because of strong emotions” you’ve gone snaky.

18. LANEWAY HOUSE

A small house behind the main house, akin to a coach or carriage house, that has become a popular way to bring in property income in cities with soaring real estate prices like Vancouver.

19. MUSKOKA CHAIR

Like the Adirondack chair in the U.S., the Muskoka chair, named for the lake vacation region of Ontario, has a low to the ground seat and wide, slatted back perfect for relaxing while watching the sunset.

20. GOTCHIES

Also known as gotch, gonch, gonchies, gaunch, gauch, or gitch, gotchies is a Canadian word for underwear. It originated with immigrants from Eastern Europe who spoke languages like Serbo-Croation or Hungarian where the words for underwear are gaće and gatya, respectively.

21. DONAIR

The Turkish döner kebap, a sandwich made with meat sliced from an upright rotisserie, is known as a donair in Canada.

22. ALL-DRESSED

A food with all the toppings, or “the works,” is all-dressed. It’s a direct translation of the French toute garnie and is more commonly used in Quebec than the rest of Canada. It’s also the name of a potato chip flavor used everywhere.

23. KEENER

A keener is very keen, or “overly eager or enthusiastic.” The term has a slightly derogatory force, similar to brown-noser or nerd.

24. BOOZE CAN

This term for “an illegal bar, especially on operating a private home” came into use in the 1970s and appears to be exclusively Canadian.

Explore more Canadianisms and get their full histories at the Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles.

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16 Geeky Coasters to Keep Your Coffee Table Safe
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Avoid unsightly ring stains on your coffee table with this delightful selection of coasters:

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. FLOPPY DISKS; $22.79

Floppy disks are not obsolete—at least in your living room area.

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2. MARIO; $20

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3. GAME OF THRONES; $12.99

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Avoid a royal mess with house sigils of houses Targaryen, Stark, Baratheon, and Lannister.

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4. PACMAN; $20.95

Use these on a black table to recreate the retro video game.

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5. AGATE; $35

Rock on: These fancy agate coasters will look solid resting under your glass.

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6. ELEMENTS; $56.99

These glowing coasters are perfect for chemists, Breaking Bad fans, and anyone who forgot to pay their electric bill.

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7. BUILDING BLOCKS; $19.99

Build your own coaster with this LEGO-esque design.

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8. STAR TREK; $16.63

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Amazon

This ceramic set celebrates all the best ships from Star Trek.

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9. DR. WHO; $22.99

Just make sure you don’t accidentally send your glass into a different time period when you set it down.

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10. RILAKKUMA; $1.95

Rilakkuma coaster
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Cover your counter space with the cute face of Rilakkuma.

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11. HARRY POTTER; $50

Set of wood burned coasters featuring the crest of each Harry Potter house
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All the houses are present in this set of wood coasters.

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12. FALLOUT; $25

fallout coasters
Etsy

Just because it’s the end of the world doesn’t mean all manners go out the door: Never forget to use a coaster!

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13. BRAIN; $19.99

This set comes with 10 coasters, each with a slice of brain specimen. When you’re not using them, you can stack them together to create a full brain.

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14. THE LAST AIRBENDER; FROM $13

Aang and his entourage face off on these wooden coasters.

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Getting totally wigged by the idea of a stained table? All your favorite characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer can give you an assist.

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16. STUDIO GHIBLI; $25

Studio Ghibli Stone Tile Coasters
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These coasters feature scenes from the classics My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Howl's Moving Castle.

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15 Educational Facts About Old School
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Old School starred Luke Wilson as Mitch Martin, an attorney who—after catching his girlfriend cheating, and through some real estate and bitter dean-related circumstances—becomes the leader of a not-quite-official college fraternity. Along with his fellow thirtysomething friends Bernard (Vince Vaughn) and newlywed Frank (Will Ferrell), they end up having to fight for their right to maintain their status as a party-loving frat on campus.

The film, which was released 15 years ago today, marked Vaughn’s return to major comedies and Ferrell’s first major starring role after seven years on Saturday Night Live. Here are some facts about the movie for everyone, but particularly for my boy, Blue.

1. THE IDEA ORIGINATED WITH AN AD GUY.

Writer-director Todd Phillips was talking to a friend of his from the advertising industry named Court Crandall one day. Crandall had seen and enjoyed Phillips's movie Frat House (1998) and told his director buddy, “You know what would be funny is a movie about older guys who start a fraternity of their own.” After being told by Phillips to write it, he presented Phillips with a “loose version” of the finished product.

2. SOME OF THE FRAT SHENANIGANS WERE REAL.

While Crandall received the story credit for Old School, Phillips and Scot Armstrong received the credit for writing the script. Armstrong put his own college fraternity experiences into the script. “We were in Peoria, Illinois, so it was up to us to entertain ourselves," Armstrong shared in the movie's official production notes. "A lot of ideas for Old School came from things that really happened. When it was cold, everyone would go stir crazy and it inspired some moments of brilliance. Of course, my definition of ‘brilliance' might be different from other people's.”

3. IVAN REITMAN HELPED OUT.

Ivan Reitman, director of Stripes and Ghostbusters, was an executive producer on the film. Phillips and Armstrong wrote and rewrote every day for two months at Reitman’s house, an experience Phillips described as comedy writing “boot camp.”

4. THE STUDIO DIDN’T WANT VINCE VAUGHN.

Vince Vaughn in 'Old School' (2003)
DreamWorks

It didn’t seem to make a difference to DreamWorks that Phillips and Armstrong had written the role of Bernard with Vince Vaughn in mind—the studio didn't want him. After his breakout success in Swingers, Vaughn had taken roles in dramas like the 1998 remake of Psycho. “So when Todd Phillips wanted me for Old School, the studio didn’t want me,” Vaughn told Variety in 2015. “They didn’t think I could do comedy! They said, ‘He’s a dramatic actor from smaller films.’ Todd really had to push for me.”

5. RECYCLED SHOTS OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY WERE USED.

The film was mainly shot on the Westwood campus of UCLA. The aerial shots of the fictitious Harrison University, however, were of Harvard; they had been shot for Road Trip (2000).

6. VINCE VAUGHN FANS MIGHT RECOGNIZE THE CHURCH.

In the film, Frank gets married at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Pasadena, California. Vaughn and Owen Wilson were in that same church two years later for Wedding Crashers (2005).

7. WILL FERRELL SCARED MEMBERS OF A 24-HOUR GYM.

Frank’s streaking scene was shot on a city street. As Ferrell remembered it, one of the storefronts was a 24-hour gym with Stairmasters and treadmills in the window. “I was rehearsing in a robe, and all these people are in the gym, watching me. I asked one of the production assistants, ‘Shouldn’t we tell them I’m going to be naked?’ Sure enough, I dropped my robe and there were shrieks of pure horror. After the first take, nobody was at the window anymore. I took that as a sign of approval.”

8. FERRELL REALLY WAS NAKED.

Ferrell justified it by saying it showed his character falling off the wagon. “The fact that it made sense was the reason I was really into doing it, and why I was able to commit on that level," Ferrell told the BBC. "If it was just for the sake of doing a crazy shot, then I don't think it makes sense.” Still, Ferrell needed some liquid courage, and was intimidated by the presence of Snoop Dogg.

9. ROB CORDDRY WAS NOT NAKED, BUT HE STILL HAD TO SIGN AWAY HIS NUDITY RIGHTS.

Old School marked the first major film role for Rob Corddry, who at the time was best known as a correspondent for The Daily Show. He had a jewel bag around his private parts for his nude scene, but his butt made it into the final cut. He had to sign a nudity clause, which gave the film the right to use his naked image “in any part of the universe, in any form, even that which is not devised.”

10. SNOOP DOGG AGREED TO CAMEO SO HE COULD PLAY HUGGY BEAR IN STARSKY & HUTCH.

Phillips admitted to essentially bribing the hip-hop artist/actor, using Snoop Dogg’s desire to play the street informant in the modern movie adaptation of the classic TV show (which Phillips was also directing) to his advantage. “So when I went to him I said, 'I want you to do Huggy Bear,' he was really excited. And I said, 'Oh yeah, also will you do this little thing for me in Old School a little cameo?' So he kind of had to do it I think."

11. SNOOP WANTED TO HANG OUT WITH VINCE VAUGHN ON SET, BUT NOT LUKE WILSON.

Snoop Dogg in 'Old School' (2003)
Richard Foreman, Dreamworks

Vaughn and his friends accepted an invitation to hang out in Snoop Dogg’s trailer to play video games on the last day of shooting. Vaughn recalled seeing Luke Wilson later watching the news alone in his trailer; he had not been informed of the get-together.

12. WILSON WAS TEASED BY HIS CO-STARS.

Vaughn, Wilson, and Ferrell dubbed themselves “The Wolfpack”—years before Phillips directed The Hangover—because they would always make fun of each other. A particularly stinging exchange had Ferrell refer to Legally Blonde (which Wilson had starred in) as Legally Bland. Wilson said it didn’t make him feel great. Wilson retorted by telling Ferrell that "the transition from TV to the movies isn't a very easy one, so you might just want to keep one foot back in TV just in case this whole movie thing falls through!"

13. TERRY O’QUINN SCARED HIS SONS INTO THINKING THEY WERE TRIPPING.

Terry O’Quinn (who went on to play John Locke on Lost the following year) agreed to play Goldberg, uncredited, in what was a two-day job for him. He neglected to inform his sons he was in the movie, and when they saw it, one of them called their father. “I got a call from my sons one night, and they said, ‘What were you doing in Old School? We didn’t even know you were in it!’ They said, ‘We’re sitting there, and the first time we see you, it’s, like, in a reflection in a window. And when we saw it, and we both thought we were, like, tripping or something!’”

14. THE EARMUFFS WERE IMPROVISED.

Before filming, Vaughn worked with Ferrell to figure out their characters' backstories and how they knew each other; he credited that with helping him figure out who Bernard was, which led to several ad-libbed moments. “The earmuff scene where he swears in front of the kids, and then I tell the kid to earmuff, that all is off the cuff. But that stuff is a lot easier to do when you know who you are and your circumstances, and who your characters are,” Vaughn explained.

15. FERRELL AND VAUGHN DIDN’T LOVE A SCRIPT FOR A SEQUEL.

Armstrong had written Old School Dos in 2006, which saw the frat going to Spring Break. Ferrell said that he and Vaughn read the script but felt like they would just be “kind of doing the same thing again.” Wilson, on the other hand, was excited over the new script.

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