How to Spot a Canadian

Tracking down Canadians one toque at a time.

About this Site...

Canadians are a tricky people to distinguish. They are often able to blend into a society and appear to be American, British, French or any other number of nationalities. This site will provide you with some tips and tricks to help you recognize a Canadian no matter where you are.

 

This site is for entertainment purposes only. "How to Spot a Canadian" is filled with humour, satire, hyperbole, parody and sarcasm. All statements here should be taken with a grain of salt or a bottle of maple syrup, whatever the case may be.

They Consider Things Named "Loonies" and "Toonies" Legal Currency

Canadians have weird names for things. They call a couch a "chesterfield," a winter hat a "toque" and states "provinces." But the strangest names by far refer to Canadian currency. A one dollar coin in Canada is called a "Loonie." If that doesn't make it sound worthless, I'm not sure what will. It also makes Canadians sound crazy. Who names their money "Loonie?" Canadians, that's who. And maybe Warner Brothers.

At this point it's important to clarify that Canada has a dollar coin, not a dollar bill. And it's a real dollar coin, not like the Sacagawea and Presidential coins that they have been trying and failing to make commonplace in the United States. In Canada the one dollar bill has been taken out of circulation and replaced with a coin. The two dollar coin becomes even more amazing to Americans, who don't even have a two dollar bill.

The Canadian dollar has a picture of a loon on the back and thus Canadians have taken to calling it a "Loonie." Despite the ridiculousness of the name, it actually makes sense. It doesn't do much to raise the world's opinion of the often-ridiculed Canadian dollar, but it makes sense.

And Canadians like the loonie. They like it so much that the two dollar bill was also replaced by a coin. And that coin became known as the "Toonie." It initially had other names, such as the "Doubloon," but "Toonie" seemed to stick. A "doubloon" sounds like something pirates would search the seven seas for, so I guess Canadians made the right choice. Of course, the spelling is debatable. Some would say it should be spelled "Twonie," like the number two, but that might bring legitimacy to the strangely named currency, so instead it's named "Toonie." It could be worse. They could have spelled it "2nie" like "2Pac" if they were aiming to capture the gangsta rap feel of the mid-90s when the coin was released. And don't think that Canadians are above naming things after fleeting trends. Look at the Toronto Raptors.

The strangely-named money is loved by Canadians, who are very quirky by nature. Having one and two dollar coins has also helped the nation's famed strip clubs, as the smallest bill you can shove down a woman's g-string is now a five. Sure, you could try sliding a loonie in there, but you'd probably look like a cheapskate and be openly mocked by the strippers and men cheating on their wives inside the club. Plus, no one likes to have their underwear filled with change. Not even homeless people. Believe me, I've tried it.

So if you're trying to determine if someone is Canadian, ask them if they have change for a five. If they whip out a combination of loonies and toonies, they're Canadian. If they start fumbling through bills, they're American. If they give you two nickels and a dime, they either can't do math or they're ripping you off. If that's the case you'll need to conduct further testing to find out if they're Canadian.

11 comments:

  1. Mighty Fast Pig said...
     

    In BC, at least, it is illegal to touch exotic dancers or to hand them money (or anything else), so the "dancing for tips" thing doesn't exist.

  2. HowToSpotACanadian.ca said...
     

    So how do they get money?

  3. Donna said...
     

    uh... no, it's not illegal to hand them money. Strippers get their money in BC the same way as any other place.

    Only here they have a better deal: Since it's uncouth to give change, they get $5's.

  4. HowToSpotACanadian.ca said...
     

    The invention of Loonies and Toonies truly has enriched the lives of strippers.

    No one wants to flick a coin at a dancer.

  5. Anonymous said...
     

    Uhhh....actually when strip clubs were still legal in Saskatchewan, there was a game, very much like quarters, using loonies/toonies and attempting to bounce them into the strippers...ahem...

    This wasn't invented by the patrons, but by the strippers themselves, who would hand out signed posters of themselves to anyone who "hit the mark"

  6. HowToSpotACanadian.ca said...
     

    That takes both skill and ingenuity. Very impressive.

  7. J Wynia said...
     

    Americans do have a $2 bill (Thomas Jefferson is on the front). It's just not used very often. You pretty much have to go to a bank to get them or get them in a birthday card, etc. Otherwise, you never see them.

  8. Canadian Coupons said...
     

    loonie and toonie definetly the best names for a coin!

  9. discount sofas said...
     

    This is a very informative post! I usually do not reply but in this case you deserve it.

  10. Anonymous said...
     

    This article is completely bias bullshit. I'm sorry for the language but I am Canadian and i happened to come across this. No not all of us call a couch a "chesterfield", thats just another term used for it. Second, what else is a "winter hat" supposed to be called? A toque is a perfect name. Caused i sure wouldnt go around saying do you have a winter hat, because that makes no sense. Thirdly NO we don't refer to states as provinces, unlike you americans we actually have to learn history about the states. How ironic though that most americans think we ride polar bears and live in igloos. Because all of that is a lie too, and we don't all say eh. Im proud to be Canadian, and im proud of our currency because it makes far more sense that the american bills bs. This article was a bunch of bias crap, which you wrote just to try and prove Canada was under America.

  11. Megan Theam said...
     

    ^ you must be from vancouver

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