Hey Canada – Aboot some of your words….

There are strange things said, or at least so I’ve read,
By the neighbors up north of  U. S.
It’s more than just “-eh”. What I’m trying to say
Is there’s lingo I need to address.
They have one dollar loonies and two dollar toonies,
And couches are called Chesterfields;
A kilometre’s a click, a hoser’s a hick,
And a parkade is for parking your wheels.

XYay Tims!
Anna said, “Tim Hortons. Serving sub-par coffee and donuts since 1964, this fast-food type chain also serves bagels, chili, and sandwiches and is a strong Canadian icon. I almost cried in the Toronto airport when I was 14, returning from my first big overseas trip. It meant I was home. Stop by and order a double-double (regular coffee with two creams and two sugars) and be sure to ask someone about their Roll Up the Rim Campaign every March!”

’tis really no trouble to understand double-double-
One coffee – two sugars, two creams.
Electricity is hydro. Donair is a gyro.
Washroom means bathroom, it seems.
Poutine, I have heard, means fries, gravy and curds,
And while that sounds kind of yucky to me
I could stomach that dish – hey, it might be delish!
But I was shocked that they switched out my zee.

Just why do I feel that zee’s a big deal?
It is ’cause my name begins there.
I say “zee as in zebra” when I’m spelling to people
How to write it – a simple affair.
But still they say Daengle, instead of Zaengle
For them, I say “zee”, they hear “dee.”
Zed — it could help there, so listeners would not err
When distinguishing the good letter zee.

Yes, they use different words, these Canadian birds.
Like commotions are called kerfuffles.
When you awaken, they may serve you back-bacon,
And they carry knapsacks, not duffles.
They buy Timbits at Timmies. (Do they use sprinkles or jimmies?)
But, O Canada, this needs to be said —
Even though you say decal* — hey, what the heck, I’ll
Say thank you for making zee zed!

pronounced “deck-ul”

5 thoughts on “Hey Canada – Aboot some of your words….

  1. Love. So much love. For this poem, for this country, and for you. Thanks for a lot of smiling at the end of a really long day.

  2. This zee/zed thing reminds me of a telemarketer who called our place years ago selling children’s books and we got to chatting ON THE PHONE …anyway, turns out she was from South Carolina and as the conversation waned she hesitated and said, “Ya’ll are from Canada, ain’t cha? I say, “That is correct.” She says, “Kin I ask you a question about somethin?” I say, “Sure, go ahead.” “Ya’ll don’t say ‘zee’ do ya? You say ‘zed.'” I reply, “That’s right.” “Well, then,” she says cautiously, “how would you spell zebra?” ……………… I was completely and utterly flummoxed! What I should have said, was I not so blown away by the air in her head, was that in fact, we pronounce it ‘zed-bra’ so it wasn’t a problem, but as it was, I just tried to explain that you don’t have to say letter names when you pronounce a word but she didn’t seem to get it. Perhaps this was the reason she was telemarketing books instead of writing them.

  3. Great poem, by the way, Sally. I don’t ever get it when people say we say, ‘aboot.’ Maybe in Newfoundland…actually, saying that all Canadians pronounce anything the same is akin to saying that a Minnisotan sounds like an Alabaman. or whatever you call your states-people. And I don’t do Tim’s either. Don’t like lines, or sandwiches very much. The coffee is okay.

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