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 Have an Accent, But Not THAT MUCH of an Accent

You would think that an easy way to spot a Canadian would be to look for the guy saying "aboot" and "eh" a lot. After all, the Canadian accent is one of the easiest distinguishing factors of a Canadian, right?

Wrong.

If you find someone saying "aboot" and "eh" in every other sentence you likely haven't found a Canadian. What you have probably found is an American pretending to be a Canadian. Confused? You should be.

Free health care, a lower drinking age and access to affordable igloos have created many fake Canadians, or "faux-nucks" as we like to call them here. For generations Americans have been crossing the border to avoid wars, purchase prescription medicine and listen to Celine Dion albums (an acceptable practice in Canada that could get American tarred and feathered.) These Americans have done their best to blend into Canadian society during their trips up north. Unfortunately this practice has also made it difficult to spot a true Canadian when you see one. But never fear, we here at How To Spot A Canadian understand how important it is to identify and catalog all Canadians, so we have another tip for you.

Canadians speak with what is known as Canadian Raising. Canadians don't actually say "aboot," but they do pronounce the word differently. An American attempting to duplicate the Canadian accent will likely exaggerate the accent, and this is how you can spot a true Canadian from a fake one. Another way to is to ask the person if they are saying "aboot." An American will laugh and mention how all Canadians pronounce it "aboot" while a true Canadian will be confused. It's difficult for Canadians to hear their own accents.

If this doesn't help, take a look at their back pack.

Thanks to reader Brandi for this idea and for the "Canadian Raising" link. If you have an idea for the site please Email Us. We're always looking for new ways to spot Canadians.
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2 comments:

  1. Mike said...
     

    One of the best ways to tell the difference is the pronunciation of the word sorry. Of course, this is tougher than you'd think, since so few yanks ever use the word.

    Canadians say it with the first syllable pronounced like the word "sew", while those poor misguided souls south of the border say it more like "saw".

  2. Anonymous said...
     

    I wouldn't say we say 'aboot', but we do say it differently than Americans. We (where I'm from anyway) say it more like 'aboat' compared to Americans.

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