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21

Spelling Canadian English tends to combine aspects of American and British spelling. Here are some highlights: Some nouns take -ice/-ence while matching verbs take -ise/ense. eg. practise / practice and license / licence Canadians tend to use the British -our ending rather than -or in some words like colour, flavour, labour, neighbour. Generally, words ...


18

Pretty much the only time I remember hearing "Hay is for horses" intended as an actual admonition, as opposed to a lighthearted and humorous response, was in elementary school. I think our teachers used the phrase to remind us that "Hey, Mrs. Johnson" was an inapproriately informal way to get a teacher's attention – that we should try something like, "Excuse ...


15

This terminology dates back to the Anglo-Norman Kings who, having conquered Saxon England, started collecting taxes methodically, of which The Domesday Book is a famous example. For accounting, they were using a large board with rows and columns not unlike a chessboard, or un échiquier in French (from Persian origin, imported via Latin). The person ...


15

Before 1600, the OED gives citations where forty is spelled in various ways, but never with just an "o" vowel: feuortig, feortiȝ, fuwerti, uourty (the "u" is really a "v"), fourty, fourthi, fourtie This might possibly mean that there was some actual diphthong leading to these spellings; since most of these spellings occurred before there was any ...


13

Presumably because this is the way the settlers thought American Indians walked on trails through the forest. They probably did; if you have narrow trails, this is the only comfortable way to walk them. By the way, in my experience, it's not "an Indian file"; unlike "single file", "Indian file" is not used as a noun. They walked Indian file. or ... ...


11

You're mixing up two different "Heys" (or the Canadian you greeted is). The reprimand "'ay is for 'orses" is/was supposed to teach you to say "Pardon?" instead of "Eh?" if you hadn't heard something, and wanted it to be repeated. The modern American "greeting" "Hey" is really just a variant of "Hi", "Hello", etc. Which is only vaguely related to the ...


11

The reason why Canuck could be perceived as offensive is because it is a slang term for a nationality. But as you know there are many sports in which Canadian teams have elected to call themselves the "Canucks". The most famous is the Vancouver Hockey team but the rugby national team is also called the Canucks. Since sport is very much an activity based ...


10

This is a huge question. Canadian English has many differences from American English. But it also has many differences from British English. Spelling tends to favour the British way, such as putting the U in favour. Except for words that Americans end in -ize instead of ise; in that case Canadians often use -ize. Much of the word choice is closer to ...


9

From an AmE speaker, 'hey' is perfectly fine in the US, people use it all the time. I remember hearing that more than once as a child, "Hay is for horses." in response to 'hey'. It sounds like it was supposed to stop you from using 'hey' but it never did. It comes across more as a (not particularly successful) attempt at a clever saying. It's not formal at ...


8

The other answers here have a good summary of the history of the spelling of this word, but: To be clear, in contemporary English, the standard spelling is forty in all standard dialects and varieties. The spelling fourty, though it has historical precedent, does not have any currency. It is not listed as a modern spelling in any dictionaries.


8

Uncheck is far more common. Anecdotally, I have rarely seen the word untick while I fairly regularly hear and use the word uncheck. But, to demonstrate it better, do a google search for untick with Canadian location. It lists 16,200 results. By contrast, searching for uncheck with Canadian location returns 695,000 results.


8

I believe the negative response, "Hey(Hay) is for horses" is used to be a political ploy. I've seen it used to put down someone as if they were implying that its use is vulgar. A secondary put down might be "Hay? Are you calling me a horse, punk?" Its used as a way of confusing the person offering the greeting and making them pause awkwardly and question ...


6

Like any other "possibly derogatory" expression - it's up to the person you meet if he/she finds it offensive. It doesn't come down to grammar and use as much, but more to the feelings and background of the receiver. You will come across words that people find offensive, and then you know not to use that word again in the same situation. No rules since ...


6

I've done nothing but sit on my rear all day trying to find you an appropriate answer. I've only come across one article online that seems to collectively dictate anything and everything that I've being reading. It seems that Canada defines the majority of its culture upon its language (and spelling). While I have to agree with Robin Michael that you'll ...


5

Meaning The chiefly British idiom, feel hard done by or feel hard done-by means "to feel treated unjustly/unfairly". The meaning is not akin to a feeling of betrayal. Usage In the idiom, hard done by is an adjectival phrase. So, on further thought, I think the following construction would be grammatically incorrect, He felt hard done by by former ...


5

I just took a tour of some Canadian banking sites. Easy enough since we have so few. Scotiabank offers Chequing accounts CIBC offers Chequing accounts TD made me drill around a bit and look under Canada Trust, but they too offer Chequing accounts. (Their American division offers Checking accounts) Bank of Montreal offers Chequing accounts Royal Bank, just ...


5

The floor numbering of university buildings (the floor plans that you provided) are somewhat special cases with strange numbering schemes. Some buildings will use three digits for room numbers on a floor (usually because at least one floor has more than 100 rooms), others will use two. Some buildings will number the first floor from above the ground, and ...


4

I'm Canadian, and I don't think of the word Canuck as offensive and don't know of anyone who does think so. I haven't surveyed the population, however. It is perfectly possible to offend someone by calling them a Canuck or Canadian (or any nationality, in fact) if you simultaneously equate that nationality with something offensive. In that sense you'd be ...


4

Here: In Old English, it was spelt feuortig...by the 14th century (Chaucer) it was spelt fourty... and not until the very end of the 17th century was it spelt forty. In other words, it - like multitudes of other English words - went through a process of simplification over time.


4

‘Hard done by’ is a common and well-understood phrase in the UK, Canada, and most other commonwealth countries. The usage with the doubled ‘by’ sounds (to my ear) a little ungainly, but not incorrect; and it’s used a reasonable amount in the wild, including (though not only) by professional writers and highly-educated speakers: Doubtless those on the ...


4

If you look at forvo.com, all the Australians, Brits, and Canadians pronounce "route" as root. It is only around half the Americans who pronounce it as rout. So the historical British pronunciation is presumably root. The historically incorrect rout pronunciation probably originated in America.


4

I do not think that this question is capable of a simple answer. I think that this question is more the beginning of a discussion of what it means to be a Canadian. You could have a similar question about any variety of English. New Zealand spelling: why? The first time I came to this site was when I was trying to spell the word 'vacuum'. For some ...


3

American English speaker here, native of California. I'd call it a stocking cap or knit cap. A plain, tight-fitting model could be a watch cap; these are favored by the stereotypical burglar and other shady characters. (If you search Google Images for "burglar," all of them are wearing either a watch cap, a ski mask (aka balaclava), or, for British ...


3

Just as a point of information, I've lived all my life in the USA, most of it in Oklahoma where (American) Indian peoples are more than 10% of the population and culturally very prominent. To my knowledge I have never before heard that term. If I had to hazard a guess, this probably relates to the way some particular tribe used to wage war. A lot of tribes ...


3

It is used in Britain as well as Canada. It means that the person who has been 'hard done by' has been given a hard time or had life made more difficult than it should have been, and probably not directly through their own fault. It could well be that someone else has been unkind or unfair to them; it usually implies a more active agency than pure chance, ...


3

I think the question makes an incorrect assumption: namely that cheque is a verb in British English. It's not listed as such in the Oxford, Collins or Cambridge dictionaries, and there's no instance of it as a verb in the British National Corpus. So it doesn't matter whether you spell it as *chequing or *chequeing: either way, British English speakers will ...


3

Boogie is a nickname with many meanings. Here are American English uses: Booger (used a lot) - Boogers from your nose can be called boogies and they sell things called Boogie Wipes for babies. Monster (used some but dated) - The Boogie Monster comes out at night. Just a general night time monster. Surfboard (surfers use it a lot) - Boogie board being a ...


2

Sometimes it matters if the user of the word is a member of the group described. I would think "Canuck" used by one Canadian of another might be perceived as less offensive than the same word used by a non-Canadian. I know that, since I am Caucasian, I am pretty much forbidden "the n-word" when speaking of certain non-Caucasians, whereas those same ...


2

To add to PLL's answer, the phrase is "hard done by", and it's AFAIK not grammatically incorrect to add a "by" to it, just ungainly and awkward. Just going by Google results, there are 49600 results for "hard done by by", and although some are titles, you can see that there are about 91 results in Google Books for "hard done by by", including quite a few ...


2

Of the main branches of the English language, Canadian English is the closest relative to American English, which, given history, makes a lot of sense: In 1607 brave men got off the boat in what is now Virginia to form the first permanent colony in North America for England and not long after that there were forays into New England and the Maritimes. Thus ...



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