Canadians have a reputation for being polite and easygoing, but that’s only because you’ve never said any of these 10 things in front of them. These Canadian insults will make any resident of the Great White North turn as red as a maple leaf.
1. Anything in a fake Canadian accent
Want to insult a Canadian? Just put on a fake Canadian accent. Although the origins of this exaggerated accent are obscure, it must have been invented shortly after the country’s inception in 1867—because it’s really starting to show its rust. As cute and quaint as it might sound, the “Canadian accent” sounds nothing at all like how actual Canadians speak. That’s not to say we don’t have our own unique way of speaking (here’s the story behind the distinct language of Newfoundland), it’s just that we’re a lot more Wayne Gretzky than Doug Mackenzie.
Don’t miss five more myths about Canada that desperately need to be put to rest.
2. Disparaging comments about hockey
You might think P.K. Subban is a showboat or that the Ottawa Senators will never win a Stanley Cup, and you might be right, but be careful before you utter a disparaging remark about a hockey player or team in Canada. As a general rule, Toronto Maple Leafs insults can fly pretty much anywhere across the country, even in Toronto where fans mostly have a sense of humour. (Just one of 50 reasons to fall in love with Toronto.) Montreal Canadiens insults, on the other hand, can get you in trouble whether you’re in Beaver Creek, Yukon, or Blackhead, Newfoundland. Habs fans are everywhere and there’s nothing funny about the most storied team in NHL history. So when it comes to insulting the sport of hockey, just don’t do it, unless you really want to see the gloves come off.
New to the good old hockey game, and don’t know your danglers from your pylons? Don’t sweat it—here’s a handy guide to Canadian hockey slang.
3. “Cheese and gravy? Ew.”
No one can deny the magical relationship between french fries and ketchup. However, if you’re ordering fries and you’re asked if you’d like poutine instead, your answer should always be yes. For the uninitiated, poutine is a common Canadian dish that consists of french fries topped with squeaky cheese curds and gravy. If you’re concerned about that expanding gut of yours, many restaurants offer a healthier, vegetarian gravy substitute. Some diehard poutine fans might call mushroom or vegetable gravy sacrilege, but the only real crime is opting for boring old french fries when you can indulge in a Canadian delicacy.
Here are nine more must-try Canadian dishes—and the best places in the country to find them.