Part of being Canadian is encountering Americans and discovering the weird, often clueless ideas they have about their neighbours to the north. From perceived linguistic oddities to our alleged addiction to maple syrup, check out these bizarre misconceptions that Americans still seem to have about us.
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“You Say A-boot”
"Really, we say 'a-boot' instead of 'a-bowt'? And it's hilarious?" Yes, we've heard this before, and no, we don't want to hear your gut-busting impression of how Canadians talk funny, eh.
2 / 15
“Isn’t Canada Like a State”
Some Americans think Canada is a northern state, like Alaska, while others assume Canada is some sort of American-owned territory, like Puerto Rico or Guam. And, as Rick Mercer proved, even Harvard and Princeton professors knew so little about Canada they were happy to sign petitions to protest government decisions "to resume the Saskatchewan seal hunt" and "reinstate the Toronto polar bear slaughter."
3 / 15
“You’re Constantly Apologizing”
Look, we're not sure where you got the idea that Canadians are always apologizing — probably from our tendency to use the word "sorry" as our go-to word in pretty much any social interaction — but we're sorry we made you think that about us. Because you're probably right about this one — sorry a-boot that.
4 / 15
“Why Do You Celebrate the Fourth of July Three Days Early?”
Canada has its own day of national celebration that has nothing to do with America's Independence Day. Although, to be fair, we also celebrate by shooting off fireworks, barbecuing slabs of meat and drinking beer, so clearly it's our fault for causing the confusion. Sorry!
5 / 15
“Don’t You Have to Hunt for Food?”
Since Americans have a tough time believing that supermarkets apparently exist in Canada, some particularly clueless Americans assume that we're forced to hunt for our food like toque-wearing Ted Nugents.
6 / 15
“Do You Know Gord From Toronto?”
Hands up to anyone who's ever chatted with an American and heard a variation of the question: "You're from Vancouver? Do you know Gord? He lives in Toronto!" The saddest part of this misconception is that most Canadians went to school with a dozen guys named Gord, so there's actually a pretty solid chance we actually do know him.
7 / 15
“It’s Always Winter and You Live in Igloos, Right?”
In the eyes of many Americans, Canada is a frigid, frozen Arctic wasteland where everyone lives in igloos and commutes to work via dogsled, even in the summer.
8 / 15
“Your Primary Food Source is Moose”
The average Canadian living in an urban centre has probably never tasted moose, yet Americans tend to assume that's all we consume. Some even think that we eat moose instead of turkey when we celebrate our (fake) Thanksgiving.
9 / 15
“You Put Maple Syrup on EVERYTHING”
When we carve up that Thanksgiving moose, we douse it with gallons of maple syrup, because — as some Americans believe — we put it on everything from pancakes to breakfast cereal to salad. To be fair, it's an easy assumption to make once you've been in any Canadian gift shop that caters to tourists.
10 / 15
“You All Speak French”
Americans have a tough time with the concept of having two official languages, particularly since one of those languages isn't widely spoken outside of Quebec. That's why it's not that big a leap to assume that all Canadians speak both French and English, although that is definitely not the case. Heck, most Canadian anglophones stopped studying French in the ninth grade — and the few French words that haven't been forgotten are mispronounced atrociously.
11 / 15
“Your Money Looks Like Monopoly Money”
If this were a question on Jeopardy!, the correct answer would be, "Things we've heard from every American we've ever met, but thinks he or she is the first person to ever make that not-at-all-clever observation, Alex."
12 / 15
“Of Course Mounties Ride Horses!”
They're called the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, so naturally these Canadian crimefighters all ride horses just like Dudley Do-Right. Americans usually overcome this misconception when they're pulled over on the highway by an RCMP vehicle for speeding when they can't wrap their heads around the difference between miles and kilometres.
13 / 15
“The Queen is Like Your President, Right?”
Yes, we have the Queen on our money, but she's not really our ruler. We have a prime minister, whom we elect. But because Canada is still part of the British Commonwealth, the Queen is technically our head of state, although not really... you know what — it's complicated, OK?
14 / 15
“Canada Could Never Beat Us in a War”
While that phrase is certainly true in the 21st century, it definitely wasn't the case during the War of 1812, a war that Americans think they won but leading historians believe otherwise.
15 / 15
“Don’t You All Play Hockey?”
Americans tend to assume we exited the womb clutching hockey sticks and wearing skates. And while millions of Canadians love hockey and watch it on TV, not all of us actually hit the ice and play the game, in much the same way that most Americans who watch football have never made a touchdown.