At the Wording Room
Increase your Canadian vocabulary of folk sayings to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary as a nation
• These are real sayings used by real people. Therefore the language is pert and salty. If you are offended by blunt speech, stay home by the fire and knit wool dick-warmers for Ottawa eunuchs.
I present these few mildly raunchy sayings because the vast, bland toilet flush of words celebrating Canada’s 150th year of nationhood will be couched in namby-pamby, old-maiden-aunt-approved, tit-suck evasion and the pseudo-cultural, high-flown language of Ottawa’s political pomposity. That’s NOT how real Canadians speak. That cleansed verbiage is the mumbling of political scoundrels and low, cunning felons who seek to steal your vote by wangling their serpentine ways into your approval.
1. It was so cold outside this morning, before I could take a piss, I had to chop a hole in the air.
2. There’s so much salt on the roads in Canada, you get high blood pressure just taking out the garbage.
3. How cold is it? I just saw a red squirrel towing a whiskey jack to get it started.
• A whiskey jack is a bird of northern Ontario and other frosty climes related to its southern relative, the blue jay.
4. Not a fit day for a fence post.
• A very frigid and stormy day on Prince Edward Island, one of Canada’s island provinces.
5. The old woman is sure plucking her geese today.
• This is a translation from Ukrainian, heard in Manitoba. Compare a delightful children’s book possibly based on this Ukrainian folk tale. Said of a fluffy snowfall. My correspondent R.M. Lawson was told this one by a great-grandmother who owned a general store in Burford, Ontario. She had heard it first in 1889. But, interestingly, this is a direct translation of a Ukrainian folk saying that also shows up in Manitoba earlier in the 19th century.
by Phyllis Root, illustrated by Beth Krommes
Houghton Mifflin, 1999, ISBN 13/EAN: 978-0395883990, $16 hardcover; ISBN 13: 978-0618494859, $5.95 paperback; 32 pp.
Grandmother Winter tends her geese, gathers their feathers to stuff into her quilt, then shakes the quilt over the countryside. The snowflakes fall. What do the animals and people do? A lovely, simple tale announcing the arrival of winter. Grades K-3.
6. Go find some snert!
• In southern Saskatchewan, pesky children are sent on a snert-hunt by adults. The child is not told immediately what snert is. Snert = snow + dirt.
7. Manitoba has two seasons: Black Flies and Snow Flies.
8. She was pure as the snow, but she drifted.
• A damsel's lily-white virtue is rudely impugned in this saying.
9. You can’t trust him any farther than you can see up a moose’s asshole in a snowstorm.
10. It’s cold out, especially if you leave it out.
• A penile pun on a common weather report.
11. There’ll be rubber ice out there today.
• Rubber ice, among other winter circumstances, refers to driving a team of horses across buckling ice that just holds the cutter and team, but bends in waves as the team and horses progress across the ice.
12. It’s cold enough to freeze the balls off Golden Boy.
• Set in place in 1919, the gilt statue atop the dome of the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg is the best known provincial symbol of Manitoba. Golden Boy is a runner suggested by classical representations of Hermes or Mercury, messengers of the gods. Golden Boy carries a sheaf of grain in his left hand and a burning torch in his right, and looks northward to Manitoba’s future.
AUTHOR’s NOTE: These Canadian sayings and 3,000 other expressions used by Canadians appear in my 3 book collections. All 3 volumes are out of print but are widely available in gently used copies from many discount booksellers around the world. On some felonious websites you will see these small paperbacks selling for $30.00 USD. Do NOT pay such thieves’ prices. Used copies are on sale for under one dollar each. Below are the book covers of my three volumes of Canadian Sayings.