Wordsleuth (2008, volume 5, 3): Test Your Spelling!

Katherine Barber
(Language Update, Volume 5, Number 3, 2008, page 33)

Do you know the correct spelling of the following words that have established themselves as part of Canadian English?

  1. A shrub of the North American genus Shepherdia of the oleaster family, whose berries are used to make a thick frothy drink:

    a) soapalally
    b) soopollalie
    c) soopalallie
    d) soopolally

  2. A member of an Aboriginal people living in southeastern British Columbia and northeastern Washington:

    a) Ktoonaka
    b) Tunaxa
    c) Ktunaxa
    d) Ktunaaxa

  3. An Icelandic crepe made with eggs, sugar and milk, often served sprinkled with both white and brown sugar and rolled:

    a) pönnukökur
    b) ponokukor
    c) pönnakökker
    d) punnokukur

  4. Fine, soft wool from the underbelly of a muskox:

    a) quiviut
    b) qiviut
    c) qivviut
    d) qivuit

  5. A sluice gate in a dike, which allows flood water to flow out but does not allow sea water to enter, found especially in New Brunswick:

    a) abboiteau
    b) aboitteau
    c) aboiteau
    d) abboitteau

  6. A Newfoundland stew made of hardtack soaked in water and boiled:

    a) bruise
    b) brewes
    c) brewiz
    d) brewis

  7. A game in which wooden discs are flicked across a round wooden board towards its centre:

    a) crokinole
    b) croquinole
    c) croquignole
    d) croakinole

  8. Ukrainian cabbage rolls:

    a) hollubtsi
    b) holubtsi
    c) holubtchi
    d) hallubtchi

  9. A baked pizza-like turnover, consisting of dough folded into a sealed pocket, filled with tomato sauce, cheese, etc.:

    a) panzarotto
    b) panzaroto
    c) panzerotto
    d) pansarotto

  10. Thread, cord or thong made of rawhide:

    a) shaganappi
    b) shagganapi
    c) shagannapi
    d) shaganapi

  11. Among some North American Aboriginal peoples, a thin board to which an infant is strapped so that it can be transported on its mother’s back or placed on the ground or against a tree; a cradleboard:

    a) tikkinagan
    b) tikkanagan
    c) tikkinagan
    d) tikinagan

  12. A small, spotted, venomous North American rattlesnake, Sistrurus catenatus, found in the Bruce Peninsula:

    a) massasauga
    b) masassauga
    c) massassauga
    d) masasauga

  13. A dish of french fries topped with cheese curds and a sauce, usually gravy:

    a) putain
    b) putine
    c) poutine
    d) pooteen

  14. A large serpentine sea creature supposedly inhabiting the waters off Victoria, British Columbia:

    a) Cadburysaurus
    b) Cadborosaurus
    c) Cadborasaurus
    d) Cadbarosaurus

  15. A small marshy pool or lake produced by rain or melting snow flooding a depression in the soil on the prairies:

    a) slue
    b) slew
    c) sloo
    d) slough

  16. Slush consisting of small ice crystals formed in water too turbulent to freeze over:

    a) frazzle
    b) frazil
    c) frasel
    d) frazel

  17. A pentagonal ceremonial blanket worn by West Coast Aboriginal peoples, woven from mountain goat hair and shredded cedar bark and covered with symbolic designs in yellow, blue, black and white:

    a) Chillkat blanket
    b) chill-cat blanket
    c) Chilkat blanket
    d) Chilkatt blanket

  18. An Inuit language spoken in the Coronation Gulf area of the Central Arctic:

    a) Inuinnaqtun
    b) Innuinnaqtun
    c) Innuinaqtun
    d) Inuinaqtun

  19. A large squirrel, Spermophilus parryii, with a dappled greyish-brown coat, of Northern Canada and Asia; the Arctic ground squirrel:

    a) siksik
    b) sicksick
    c) siksick
    d) sicsic

  20. A large North American pike, Esox masquinongy, especially of the Great Lakes:

    a) muskielunge
    b) muskelunge
    c) muskellunge
    d) muskalunge


  1. b.
  2. c.
  3. a.
  4. b.
  5. c.
  6. d.
  7. a.
  8. b.
  9. c.
  10. a.
  11. d.
  12. a.
  13. c.
  14. b.
  15. d.
  16. b.
  17. c.
  18. a.
  19. a.
  20. c.

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