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A Canadianism is a word or expression that is used only in Canada. When a Canadianism is used in a specific region of Canada, it is called a regionalism. Below is a small sample of Prairie regionalisms, that is, words or expressions that originate and are used only in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
|Word or expression||Meaning and example|
A bootful of snow or water
Example: My foot sank in the deep snow, and I ended up with a booter.
A hooded sweatshirt
Note: This term is most commonly heard in Saskatchewan. In other parts of Canada, this garment is known as a “hoodie.”
Example: Bunnyhugs make good gifts for teenagers and young adults.
Fancy baked treats (cookies, cakes, etc.) usually served at a social gathering
Note: This term is always used in the plural.
Example: After the house concert, dainties were served.
Interjection used by children on Halloween to collect candies, corresponding to the phrase “Trick or treat!” used in other parts of Canada
Example: When I answered the door, a little girl dressed as a goblin shouted, “Halloween apples!”
A jam-filled doughnut
Example: My favourite doughnut is a jambuster dusted with cinnamon.
A traditional midnight spread of rye bread, cold cuts and mustard served at a social (See definition of “social” below.)
Example: At a social, the guests are traditionally served a late lunch.
A date square
Example: Martha passed around a platter of brownies and matrimonial cake.
A public social gathering held before a wedding to raise money for the couple that is to be married
Elsewhere in Canada, this type of event may be known as a “stag and doe” or a “Jack and Jill.”
Example: To help the young couple get started, their friends organized a social.
|spongee, sponge hockey||
A hockey-like sport that originated in Winnipeg
Spongee is played on ice with a sponge puck. Instead of skates, players wear thickly-padded sponge shoes.
Example: The girls are playing in a spongee tournament this weekend.
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