‘Toque’ or ‘hat’? Here’s how Canada talks

A new survey highlights different words and pronunciations between provinces and cities

Is it a toque, a hat, or a stocking cap?

A new survey released Thursday from The 10 and 3 looked into the way Canadians talk, and not surprisingly, found that it’s a lot like our American neighbours, with plenty of influence from Britain.

One-fifth of Manitobans call a soft drink “soda,” for example, despite most of western Canada opting for the traditional “pop.”

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In the headwear department, the survey found Canadians shun the American word “beanie,” going with “toque” from B.C. to almost the eastern edges, where Maritimers buck the trend and stick to “hat.” Newfoundlanders, however, use “stocking cap.”

How do you dispose of your kitchen waste? If you live in B.C. or the Prairies, the survey suggests it’s through your garburator. Quebec and futher east, it’s a garbage disposal.

Most of Canada calls a hooded sweatshirt a “hoodie.” But if you live in Saskatchewan, it’s a “bunnyhug.”

In B.C., the word “decal” is pronounced “DEH-kull,” but folks in Ontario pronounce it “DEE-kull.” And thanks to BC Hydro, we’re also big on it being a “hydro bill,” not an “electric bill.”

At the city level, Torontonians slur the final “t” in their city’s name, sounding something like “Turonno.”

People in the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island called them “rain gutters,” while everyone else calls them “eavestroughs.”


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