The Language Barrier Between Friends


Canada and the US
I am an average person. I’m not too into politics, but I believe we should all exercise our right to vote when we have our opportunity. I’m not far left or far right. I believe we should all be treated equally no matter…no matter.

I find more comfort in having a strong moral compass than in being religious per se. But I believe in heaven, spirituality and an overall power of the universe.

I want my kids to grow up to be happy, confident, compassionate people. Full stop.

I am like many Canadians. I am like many Americans.

Of my almost 40 (GASP!) years I have spent nearly 20 of them living in the US and a little over 20 living in Canada. So I feel like I am somewhat of an expert at living the cross-border life.

Taking the country aspect out of it and just boiling it down to people, we are all more alike than any of us really realize. There are definitely nuances to being Canadian and being American but I think those differences are more regional than country specific.

There is a book called The Nine Nations of North America by Joel Garreau that draws parallels not delineated by the border but delineated by geographical regions. It speaks to how Vancouverites would find more commonality with people in Seattle; Calgary with people from Denver, Toronto with Chicago etc etc.  In my experience, and I have lived in 4 of these 6 cities, this is absolutely true.


This biggest difference between the two countries, I find, is the language barrier.

I switch back and forth between Canada and the US with a lot of frequency (I can’t even keep track anymore) so I always have to stop and think about what terminology to use to make sure people understand me.

Here is a cheat sheet to help you out, these are words that I muddle up all the time:

Canadianism Americanism
Hydro Electricity
Hydro pole Telephone pole
2-4 Case of beer
Garburator Garbage disposal
Grade 5 Fifth Grade
Eczema (egg-ZEE-mah) Eczema (EGG-ze-mah)
Stagette Bachelorette Party
Washroom Restroom
Sorry Excuse Me
Homo Milk (short for homogenized) Whole Milk
Iced Tea (is a sugar drink) Iced Tea (is steeped tea with ice)
Eh?  silence.

This week is a big week for us Canericans, as we celebrate Canada’s Birthday (July 1) and Independence Day in America (July 4th), let’s all do a group x-border hug and be thankful that we are so fortunate to live where we do.

My Country Tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Liberty – Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave


What did I miss?






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