1. ScottM84
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    ScottM84 Member

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    Resources for regional slang and expressions

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by ScottM84, May 14, 2014.

    I hope this is the correct forum to ask this in. The story that I'm currently working on is set in Canada. Being from the U.S., I'm not all that familiar with the slang and expressions that might be used in normal conversation in Canada. I've found limited lists of these by using Google, but I'm wondering if anyone might me able to point me to a website or reference that would give me a more complete list, and maybe even give regional variations (such as what might be used in various provinces).
     
  2. ScottM84
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    ScottM84 Member

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    I found a bit more just now than I did earlier, but I'm still open to any help!
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Give us time. Not all Canadians are here right now!

    One thing I could advise is that you avoid using the slang used by Bob and Doug McKenzie in the old SCTV shows. People don't call each other hosers. ;) However, I do have a cousin in Canada (eastern Ontario) who does say "Beauty, eh?" when he likes something. Also, in Canada, beer is sold in cases of 24 bottles, and such a case is called a "two-four." :)
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    like the US, Canada is a large country with an extremely diverse population... what would be common slang terms in BC wouldn't necessarily be understood in Quebec and a well-used expression in the Yukon might be greek to folks in Ontario... and so on...

    in my rv-living years, i'd crisscrossed canada from coast to coast, from the US border to as far north as The Pas in Manitoba, missing only 3 of the provinces... and i can testify to the fact that all canadians are not created equal... nor is their slang!

    so, you first must consider which province your story is set in, and then where each character is from, as you write their dialog...
     
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  5. ScottM84
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    ScottM84 Member

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    My apologies if my second post implied impatience. I was actually just trying to show that I was still looking for myself instead of just asking someone else to do my work for me.

    Anyway, I did find with my further searches that there is regional variation, which is something I certainly should have realized on my own. But, to answer that part of the equation, the story is going to be primarily set in Saskatchewan, though Alberta will also play a role, as it will be set in Lloydminster.
     
  6. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    I'm from Ottawa. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me here or PM me. Don't know about Saskatchewan, but I don't think Alberta is TTTOOOOO different from Ontario. You'll get into wacky slang in PEI and Quebec, but I think my Ottawan slang could help, at least as a starting point.
     
  7. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I'm from Southern Ontario and I haven't really noticed the slang as being that different from an American's. I think you'd need to find certain groups and research it maybe from that point - like farmers or truckers. Even than the farmers that frequent the coffee shop I go to sound like characters out of - King of the Hill - I'll tell you what.
     
  8. ScottM84
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    ScottM84 Member

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    Thanks for the offers of help and the input. I'd say that the characters in my book are a family maybe in the upper-middle class. The father works in the petroleum industry in Lloydminster, and the mother works as a manager at a department store. The two central characters are 12-year-old twin brother and sister. Maybe that will give a little more guidance as to exactly who is being dealt with.

    I do have one specific question: I've read that electric power companies are generally referred to as "hydro" in Canada, but that Saskatchewan, Alberta, and the Maritimes are exceptions to that. What do they call them in Saskatchewan and Alberta? That's one term that I know of right now that I'll probably need sometime in the future.
     
  9. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I googled it and they say - Saskpower. Lol, never would've known. Didn't see what they called it in Alberta.
     
  10. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    One of the first places I'd head for this kind of information is the writers' magazine Geist. Here's the Wikipedia link regarding it. Some of what it prints is serious writing, some not. There is an undercurrent of interest in Things Canada, even though it is produced in Vancouver. I've seen lots of articles about local customs and dialects over the years. If you wrote to them as a letter to the editor to ask specific questions, I'm sure you'd get lots of useful responses.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geist_%28magazine%29
     
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