Canada-UK Dictionary

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Although the UK and Canada mainly speak the same language there are words for the same article or thing which are slightly different. This article is an attempt to outline the differences. Each entry starts with the word we most likely use in the UK and the bold words are the Canadian alternative.


British English Canadian English
bobble hat toque (rhymes with fluke)
dressing gown bathrobe, housecoat
flip flops (sandals) thongs
handbag purse
jumper sweater
knickers panties
ladder (in tights) run (in pantyhose)
pants underwear
pinafore jumper
purse wallet
swimming costume swimsuit
tights pantyhose
trainers runners, sneakers
trousers pants
vest undershirt
waistcoat vest


  • Sofa Couch, chesterfield
  • Standard Lamp Floor lamp
  • Bed spread Comforter, Duvet
  • Cupboard Armoire
  • Built-in cupboard Closet


  • Housing estate Sub-division
  • Garden Yard
  • Flower bed Garden
  • Condominium Shared ownership
  • Detached house Single family home
  • Semi-detached Duplex
  • Terraced Houses Row or Town Houses
  • Flat Apartment (rented) or Condo (owned)
  • Loo/Toilet Bathroom/washroom
  • Lounge Living room

For more terminology related to housing, please see the Wiki article called Housing Glossary-Canada.

Other items

  • Nappy Diaper
  • Tissue Kleenex
  • Drawing pins Thumb tacks
  • Lift Elevator
  • Film Movie
  • Rucksack Backpack
  • Cutlery Silverware


  • Boot Trunk
  • Lorry Truck
  • Spanner Wrench
  • Bonnet Hood
  • Pavement Sidewalk
  • Pedestrian Crossing Cross walk
  • Car Vehicle
  • 4 x 4 SUV
  • MPV Van
  • Kilometre click
  • Road Pavement


  • Brown Sauce HP
  • Tomato Sauce Ketchup, Catsup (rare)
  • Gherkins Pickles
  • Courgette Zucchini
  • Aubergine Eggplant
  • Trolley Cart
  • Crisps Chips
  • Chips Fries
  • Chewing Gum Gum
  • Lager Beer, Brewski
  • Sweetex Sweet n Low
  • Tin (of Tuna) can
  • Coriander Cilantro
  • Sweede Ruderbager
  • Pudding Dessert


  • Post a Letter "'Mail a Letter'"
  • Queue Line, line up
  • Painkiller Advil, Aspirin, Tylenol
  • Fringe Hair, Bangs (more commonly used)
  • Lilo Air Mattress, Air bed
  • Ring (to phone) Call
  • Loser (Unsophisticated) Hoser
  • Tablets Pills
  • Torch Flash Light
  • Shop Store
  • Workshop Shop
  • Mobile Phone Cell Phone
  • Cigarette Smoke, Cig, Ciggie, Butt (mostly refering to the filter end of the cigarette)
  • Toilet Washroom
  • Football Soccer
  • Note (money) Bill
  • Bill (restaurant) Cheque
  • Predict (weather forecast) Calling for

Potentially embarrassing words

  • Rubber Eraser
  • Condom Rubber
  • Bum Fanny
  • Bumbag Fannypack