Language Acquisition Part II

Posted by Amanda on March 13th, 2008

Part II of Language Acquisition is about learning Canadian.  Both Darryl and I grew up speaking English, but I love to find out the differences in how we say things that come from American or Canadian cultures.

Touque (or toque) – I think this is the most classic.  I guess I would call this a knit hat, the thing is there is no direct translation.  I’m trying to use the word touque more, because I think its cool.

Holiday – I’m pretty sure it means vacation.  Yes, you are on a “holiday” from your job, but to me holidays and vacations are different.  Its fun to say you’re on holiday, though.

Kraft dinner – It means macaroni and cheese, any brand, even if it is for lunch.  And you put ketchup on it.

Brown bread – Wheat bread.  And brown toast is wheat toast.  It does perfectly describe wheat bread, but it cracks me up.

Night Hawk - This is a night owl for me.  The first time I sayd night owl to Darryl, he thought I was crazy.  I thought night hawk was crazy.  However, I will admit that all owls are night owls, but not all hawks are night hawks.  So the phrase “night owl” is a little redundant.

Running on the spot – We just discovered this one.  A Wiggles song on the internet had “running on the spot” in it.  I laughed and said, “That must mean running in place in Australia.”  Darryl claimed to have never heard the phrase “running in place”, which was hard for me to believe.

Chesterfield – couch/sofa.  I wasn’t going to put this one on, because Darryl doesn’t really use it.  But I just asked him and he said the reason is I would laugh at him.  That’s true.

Skates – It means ice skates.  Darryl says skates (for ice skates) and roller skates (for regular skates).  I say skates (for regular skates) and ice skates.  It makes sense if you live in a place with so much ice.

Homo Milk – This is whole milk. 

Canadian Bacon – This doesn’t seem to exist in Canada!  I think it is hilarious that we call it “Canadian” bacon, but its just ham (I think) in Canada.

I found this website with “Canadianisms”.

Language Acquisition Part I

Posted by Amanda on February 26th, 2008

I’ve realized over the past few years that all of the things I grew up saying may not be what everyone else is saying.  I’ll call them Harrison sayings.  Here are a couple, and I welcome any other sayings you Harrisons or Harrison in-laws have noticed and wish to add. 

“Eensy Weensy Spider” – I had always sung this song as “eensy weensy” until I was singing it with Kathryn and Darryl said it should be “itsy bitsy”.  I was clinging to the “eensy weensy” version until I heard the photographer at the Harrison Family Reunion (Summer 2006).  We were trying to get a picture of all the grandchildren with Grandma and Grandpa but half of the kids were crying so we all lined up to sing “eensy weensy spider”.  I heard the photographer saying “itsy bitsy”…  FYI, Kathryn now sings it “eensy beensy” which is a nice combination, I think.

“Hook” – Apparently the word “hook” is not a universal attachment word.  I have used “hook” all my life for anything that attaches.  We hook puzzle pieces in, hook magents on the fridge, hook legos together, hook a lot of things together.  Darryl pointed out that to “hook” is actually very particular.  I am trying to expand my vocabulary to use words like buckle, fit, velcro, stick, plug, etc.  I did notice this word in MaryAnn’s blog today, and Darryl claims to have heard it a lot by various people in our family.  But in my heart of hearts, I believe that you really do “hook” puzzle pieces in.

“Huh” – This may just be used when talking to little kids.  I used to say it all the time to Kathryn – “Daddy will come home for dinner, huh.”  Then Kathryn started saying it to Amelia.  And we did catch both Grandma and Grandpa Harrison saying “huh” to Kathryn on the webcam last week.  Darryl apparently never says this word so he thinks it is funny that I say it so much when I talk to Kathryn and Amelia.

“Apple Bread” – This isn’t really a saying, but the thing.  I grew up eating apple bread every year and I think it is just heavenly.  I never had banana bread (that I can remember) until I was 18 years old one morning at seminary.  But since I have left home, I always talk about and bake apple bread in the Fall, and no one has ever heard of it.  Everyone thinks it is the strangest thing ever.  This is one thing where I am sure that the rest of the world is missing out!