“AND FLASH GORDON WAS THERE IN SILVER UNDERWEAR”

Katherine Barber, editrix of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, has a mediævalist air (she indeed sings in choirs and loves ballet) and an inexplicable mid-Atlantic accent. She gave a presentation last night on Canadian English.

To concentrate on uniquely-Canadian words is a sort of anecdotalism we wish to avoid (historians face the same problem – everybody’s got a story they like to tell), but here are the Canadianisms Barber introduced last night, some of them with enough citations to have been newly added to her dictionary. (I’ve daggered ones that aren’t in the dictionary.)

Auditor General
aunt
(Maritime pronunciation [a:])
babiche
(rawhide webbing)
bachelor, bach
(“large bachelor,” “bachelors available”)
bird flu
bismarck
baba
bomboniere
butter tart
(Bruce McCall pardoy of wartime illustration: HE’S FIGHTING FOR YOUR BUTTER TARTS)
Canadian Tire money
CanLit
cash
(register; also its location)
conditional sentence
course calendar
dangerous offender
drop the gloves
eh
(not distinctly Canadian when used in the Americans’ stereotyped sense of tag question, but as an interrogative like you know, right, you follow: “We were on the 401, eh, and this guy in a Benz cut us off”)
emerg
gotch(ies)
hang up the skates
Hatter
(person from Medicine Hat)
holopchi
Iqalungmiut
(people from Iqaluit, singular and plural)
jambuster
LCBO
loonie
(headline: “Loonies to help crime victims”)
mangia-cake
(what Italian-Canadians call Canadian anglos; possibly the second-best Canadianism ever – see also gino/gina [vs. guido/guida], porkchop [the best!], FOB, CBC)
midget, atom, mosquito, bantam, peewee
(also major junior)
nicky nicky nine doors
(vs. drop down ginger)
Nunavummiut
(people from Nunavut, singular and plural)
Ontario scholar
(also grade 13)
panzerotto
perogy
rag the puck
riding
scotch and soda
shovel, v.
Smithereen
(person from Smithers, B.C.)
Western vs. Denver sandwich

Superspecial addition to the corpus!

After picking away at it off and on for about 18 months, last year I called up the OED here and asked them if they wanted my large corpus of accessibility-related citations, painstakingly retyped from my three linear feet of sources. They took ’em, but that’s the last I heard of it.

Now you too can enjoy the pleasure of backdating closed captioning, Line 21, and the contentious audio description all the way to the go-go ’80s! (Tagged accessible PDF only, whether you like it or not.)

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2005.01.29 14:30. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
https://blog.fawny.org/2005/01/29/lexemes/

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First of all, as of March 2019 this personal Weblog is on hiatus for some months.

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