Is the word "Canuck" offensive to Canadians?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jason L., Mar 26, 2006.

  1. Jason L.

    Jason L. Second Unit

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    Here in Kandahar, the Canadians have arrived in full force the past few months.

    The other day we were sitting around at work, and someone asked what "Canuck" meant. No one knew exactly, and I thought the term was slightly offensive and shouldn't be used when talking to a Candian.

    So, I looked it up and I came across this definition:

    1. Canadian: somebody from Canada
    2. offensive term: an offensive term for a French-Canadian person


    Wikipedia give me this:

    "Canuck" is a slang term for "Canadian" in American English and Canadian English. It sometimes means "French Canadian" in particular, especially when used in the Northeast of the United States and in Canada.

    The use of "Canuck" parallels that of some other potentially offensive nicknames, that is, when used by the people it names — Canadians in this case — it is usually acceptable. But when used by an outsider — in this case particularly American strangers — it can be easily misinterpreted and deemed as insulting one's heritage. Although it is not as severe as most ethnic slurs, some consider it one.


    It seems that Canuck is similar to the word Yankee. In the US, Yankee usually means someone from the Northeast, while outside the US Yankee refers to Americans in general.

    So, if I call a Canadian a Canuck is he going to be pissed at me, or not - especially if he is from Quebec?
     
  2. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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    I've always been happy to be called a Canuck by Canadians or others. We have the Vancouver Canuck's hockey team out here in BC (although I'm not a supporter).

    Not sure if French Canadian's are insulted by it or not. You can always ask one - just not any of the Sniper's [​IMG].

    Good luck in Afghanistan.
     
  3. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I think it really depends on how easily offended someone is-you could call them witty and intelligent and they'd question what you meant by that. I could care less about being called a Canuck, and unlike traitor Paul above ([​IMG]) I support the Vancouver Canucks. Of course context counts, and when applied in derogatory fashion would be objectionable (ie. calling someone a stupid Canuck would be found offensive, although pretty much any term would have the same effect).

    Calling a French Canadian a Frog would be deemed offensive.
     
  4. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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    Sorry Jeff [​IMG] Habs all the way. Win or Lose.

    As Jeff said depending on the fashion it was used - liked 'damned Yankee' from you Southern Folk - of course when I was working in Louisiana anyone North of I-10 was a Yankee [​IMG]

    I was called a Yankee a lot when in Dallas and Houston - then when they found out I was Canadian all they wanted me to say was 'about' for some reason [​IMG]
     
  5. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I think thats correctly pronounced "aboot", which is what one wears on their feet. [​IMG] Them's Newfy jokes (and yes, some residents of Newfoundland would be offended by being called a "Newfy".

    I don't know if there's a slang word for someone from B.C.
     
  6. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    Hippie, pothead, etc...

    We get them all [​IMG]
     
  7. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Canuck isn't an offensive term today and its no longer used to refer to any specific geographic region of canada though its origins likely stem from a slang term for French Canadiens.

     
  8. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    Calling a French Canadian a Canuck these days would be confusing. If it was truly used as an insult in the past, it hasn't been used that way in many, many years.

    As for Kanuk, today it's a Montreal winter coat manufacturer. http://www.kanuk.ca The best and warmest winter coat I've ever owned in my life!

    Jason, if one day you're at the Canadian base and you see something called a "Tim Hortons", order a double-double. You'll shock the Canadian soldiers! [​IMG]

    While you're at it, get a box of Tim-Bits too. [​IMG]
     
  9. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Great Jason, now look what you made me do - Francois is going to poison my poutine! [​IMG]

    Actually, if you were to believe the rhetoric of some of the politicians, calling a Quebecer a Canadian could be deemed offensive.

    As for retribution, don't be surprised if you are pinged in the head with a puck, eh.
     
  10. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Well all will be explained here in this database:

    www.rsdb.org/?2

    WARNING - EASILY OFFENDED PERSONS SHOULD NOT CLICK THIS LINK.
     
  11. Lynda-Marie

    Lynda-Marie Supporting Actor

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    Wow, is THAT a list! I thought the slang dictionary I bought in the 1980s had a lot, but THIS list is far more comprehensive!
     
  12. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    This is good information as we have a little Canadian running around the office. [​IMG]
     
  13. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    If you keep eating that crap, I won't have to do anything! [​IMG]
     
  14. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    Heck of a list Dennis!

    As a Canadian, I've never found "canuck" offensive. Then again, the one time in my life I was actually racially slured made me laugh harder than most things, so maybe it's just me. [​IMG]
     
  15. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    Also, on Dennis' list: I have to dissagree with their deffiniion of "Hoser". they list it as "F**ker". It's usage is more like a Canadian "Redneck" stereotype.

    For example, I often say to my friends :"you f**kin' Hoser", when they do something decidedly Canadian- rednecky (puke beer foam out their nose at a hockey game, for example.). If hoser stood for "F**ker, than it wouldn't really make sense.
     
  16. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Hoser is not synonymous for "F**ker"....any fan of Bob and Doug McKenzie should know that [​IMG] now Take Off eh!
     
  17. DanielKellmii

    DanielKellmii Supporting Actor

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    I thought that "hoser" originated from the movie about the McKenzie brothers.

    I have a Canadian friend who is so nice that the only thing I can call him is , "big dumb Canuck." And the next time he sees me, he will point out that I am just as big now.
    In general, I have found that Canadians are to nice to be thought of in a derogatory way. I grew up in Chicago and now live in Quebec south, that would be south Florida. A lot of nice people from up there. Although, they could tip a little better at the restaurants.
     
  18. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    So like you're saying they are big cheap dumb Canucks, eh? [​IMG]

    AFAIK "hoser" originated with SCTV, but it could have been an eastern expression from Tarana or something. [​IMG]
     
  19. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    Here's a trailer for an upcoming bilingual Canadian movie called "Bon Cop, Bad Cop". Watch what happens when the "F" word is used inappropriately. [​IMG]

    http://www.cinoche.com/trailers/1939/1989

    And no, it's not the word "Fuck". [​IMG]
     
  20. Shawn Solar

    Shawn Solar Supporting Actor

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    Just don't call me late for dinner[​IMG]
     

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