Happy Canada Day and the Story of “Eh!”


Once upon a time, my little Half-Breed Hadley discovered So You Want to Be Canadian, a book my family graciously gave Jamie for Christmas.

For story time, we reviewed the history of “eh,” how to dress like a Canadian and learned how to make Beaver Tail Pastry.

Later today, I’ll quiz her on the Canadian anthem. In French (it’s never too early, right?)

Haddie took particular delight in learning to say “eh” so we thought we’d impart upon you the history of this sacred word. Y’see, unlike its slow-witted American cousin “huh,” “eh” is a flexible, multipurpose word, perfect for a variety of situations. Its uses are endless but as an example, adding “eh?” to the end of a statement is a handy and efficient substitute for:

This is just my opinion, but don’t you agree with it?

Non-Canadian statement: “The weather sure has turned chilly, don’t you think?”
Canadian Statement: “Cold, eh?”

This is a fact to which anyone would acquiesce, so I’m being rhetorical here.

Non-Canadian statement: I can’t believe you bought that girl a drink and she didn’t even give you her number.”
Canadian Statement: “That’s cold, eh?”

You know what I just said? I actually believe the exact opposite.

Non-Canadian statement: “Yes Bob, I agree it’s very hot in Penticton today. I’m positively burning up.”
Canadian statement: “Right cold, eh?”

This is the end of Lesson #1…cool, eh? If we all work on this together, perhaps we can overthrow dim-witted “huh” by year’s end.

Happy Canada Day!

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