Some Americans who visit Canada for the first time seem genuinely surprised to discover we don’t live in igloos or commute to work via dogsled. With that in mind, here are 12 things most Canadians have heard Americans say — and wish we hadn’t.
1 / 12
Mocking a Canadian Accent
Memo to any Americans — don’t try to regale us with your impressions of what you think Canadians sound like when we talk. It’s not particularly funny, and you’re not that good at it.
2 / 12
Telling Us our Money Looks Like Monopoly Money
Many Americans seem to be endlessly amused by our multi-coloured money, leading to the inevitable Monopoly money joke, typically followed by a question about why the Queen is on there and whether we're British. Go to Google and search "Commonwealth."
3 / 12
Don’t Diss Our Beer
Canadians and Americans have a common bond in that citizens of both nations dearly love beer, but that doesn’t mean there’s a cross-border consensus. Most Canadians think American beer is weak and tasteless, while Americans… hey, we don’t care what Americans think. Say what you want about Canadian beer on your home turf, but when in Canada keep your criticism to yourself.
4 / 12
Bashing our Health Care
We know it's not perfect, and yes, some European nations can boast better universal health care than Canada, but we still think ours is pretty darned good — and a heckuva lot better than Obamacare and whatever they're trying to replace it with. Americans know it too, but they just don't want to admit we're better than them at something.
5 / 12
Asking Us If We Know Somebody
Hands up if you've ever met an American, revealed where you're from, and heard: "You're from Toronto? Do you know Gord?" Yeah, we went to school with a Gord — about 40 of them. Always an asinine question that will make a Canadian assume, "Oh, you're one of THEM."
6 / 12
Trash-Talking the Canadiens
You want to trash-talk the Canucks on front of a Vancouverite? Go ahead, they’ll probably agree with you. Tell Torontonians the Leafs suck? They'll probably commiserate. But be prepared to take off the gloves and throw down if you disparage the Montreal Canadiens in their home city, where devotion to the team holds an almost religious fervour. Any American who dares to disparage the Canadiens shouldn't be surprised to end that particular conversation a few teeth short of a mouthful.
7 / 12
Telling Us It’s Cold
Canada's a big country, and certain parts of our home and native land are colder than others; Winnipeg in the winter can be more frigid than the surface of the moon, for example, while Vancouverites enjoy (but still complain about) mild, rainy winters. When an American says something to the effect of "You live in Canada? Must be cold!" we take this as a woeful demonstration of utter ignorance that does not reflect well on one's knowledge of international geopolitics... or weather.
8 / 12
Americans think it’s hilarious the way we pronounce the word “about.” Some think it’s even more hilarious to demonstrate what we sound like when we say it. What they need to know, however, is we’ve heard this one so many times it’s beyond old. Bottom line: don’t say “a-boot” because you just might get kicked in the butt by one.
9 / 12
Saying ‘No’ to Poutine
An American should NEVER refuse an offer to try poutine. Unless you’re lactose intolerant or your doctor has warned you to avoid gravy, always say yes. It’s a national treasure, and the ultimate comfort food. Even if the idea of cheese curds and French fries floating in a sea of gravy may seem stomach turning, to some, be adventurous; there’s a reason why we love this stuff so much.
10 / 12
Not Saying ‘Sorry’
Look, Canadians know we say sorry way too much — we can’t help it. Courtesy is bred into us. If an American accidentally bumps into a Canadian on the street, he or she should give up a sorry — and mean it. And when we say “please,” the correct response is “thank you,” not “uh huh,” which will always elicit an eye roll from a Canadian.
11 / 12
Telling Us We’re ‘Nice’
"Oh, you Canadians are so nice!" While it's usually true, who wants to hear that? And besides, we're not THAT nice, which gets proven whenever there's a federal election.
12 / 12
Another Canadian stereotype that Canadians love to make fun of is our propensity to say eh, and yeah, we'll cop to that. But having an American say "eh" every other word in an attempt to demonstrate how funny we sound is as dated as Newfie jokes and stubby beer bottles.