Do you also want to talk like a true Albertan? I was wondering, what are the most spoken slang dialects in Alberta.
Let’s understand some classic Alberta slang words, with a twist of fun and a sprinkle of local charm. I’ve explained the real meaning of each slang and given real-life examples (using random names), to make it easier to understand and how to use them in daily life.
So if you are visiting Alberta soon, or a new immigrant, or a student in Alberta. This guide will help you, here’s how you can sound like you’ve been living in Alberta all your life!
21 Alberta Slang Words You Should Know
Let’s learn, How to speak Albertan slang.
|ⓘ Note: *Please don’t get offended, these random names have been used to give examples. Whoops, I’m ‘Sorry’.|
Chinook Winds Meaning: Chinook winds are warm, dry winds descending the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, causing rapid temperature rises.
“Hey, Mike! Ditch that winter jacket. There’s a Chinook coming through, and it’s gonna feel like summer in January!”
In this above example, two friends are talking about a winter jacket and Chinook winds.
“Sarah, are you heading to Cowtown this weekend? The Stampede is gonna be wild!”
Cowtown meaning and example: In this example, Sarah is talking about “Cowtown” which is an informal nickname for Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
“The Stampede” refers to the Calgary Stampede, a renowned annual rodeo and festival held in the city.
Now you know the slang word for Calgary. Its Cowtown.
#3. Loonie and Toonie
Ok, I bet this is completely new for newcomers/immigrants. This is Canadian-wide slang though and its a widly used phrase in Alberta.
“Dave, can you lend me a loonie? I want to grab a pop from the vending machine. Oh, and maybe a toonie for some chips!”
Loonie/Toonie meaning: “Loonie” is slang for a Canadian one-dollar coin, and “toonie” refers to a Canadian two-dollar coin. “Pop” is a term used in some regions for soda or soft drinks.
I think most of you must have known this already, but still, in some countries, it’s referred to as a cold drip, soft drinks or cola, etc.
Meaning: “Pop” is a North American term for soda or carbonated soft drinks.
“Jenny, do you want a cola pop or an orange pop for the picnic?”
In this example, it’s used to specify the flavour/type of drink.
Breta meaning: “Berta” is slang for Alberta, a province in Canada.
“Ah, Berta sunsets are the best, don’t you think, Liam?”
So, In this example, Liam’s friend has used ‘Breta’ slang to express appreciation for Alberta’s sunsets.
So, If you hear anyone asking, What’s the slang word for Alberta, Canada? Its Berta.
#6. The Gap
In Alberta slang, “The Gap” refers to “Crowsnest Pass,” a mountain pass across the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains. It’s located in southwest Alberta. A must visit place though.
How to speak ‘The Gap’ Albertan slang?
“Ella, let’s drive through The Gap this weekend. The mountains are calling!”
In the example, Ella’s friend is suggesting driving through this scenic region of the Rockies.
#7. You know what
Meaning: “You know what” is an everyday expression used to introduce a thought, idea, or realization, often indicating that the person is about to share something significant or surprising.
How to use ‘You know what’?
Example: Two friends discussing their weekend plans.
Mia: “I was thinking about going to the beach this Saturday.”
Jake: “You know what? That sounds like a great idea. I could use some sun.”
Eavestrough meaning: “Eavestrough” is a slang used primarily in Canada, including Alberta, to refer to what is commonly known as a channel that is connected to the eaves, through which water goes into the “gutter”.
It’s the trough attached to the edge of a roof for collecting and diverting rainwater.
“Hey, Ryan! When was the last time you cleaned your eavestrough? It’s overflowing!”
In the real-life example, Ryan’s friend is pointing out that Ryan’s eavestrough is full and needs cleaning.
“Bunnyhug” is a slang term most used in Saskatchewan Slang, some people in Alberta also use the term, especially those who have some ties to Saskatchewan or live near the border.
Bunnyhug refers to what is commonly known as a “hoodie” or “hooded sweatshirt”.
“Olivia, that’s a cute bunnyhug! Where did you get it?”
For example, Olivia is being complimented on her hoodie. That is how you can use this slang in Alberta to compliment your bestie’s hoodies.
#10. Kitty-corner or Catty-Corner
“Kitty-corner” (also spelled “catty-corner” or “kiddie-corner” in some regions) is a slang term used in Alberta and other parts of Canada, as well as in the United States, to describe something that is diagonally across from something else, typically referring to the position of streets or buildings.
“The best poutine place, Ben? It’s kitty-corner to the library.”
In the above example, it means the poutine place is ‘diagonally’ across from the library.
#11. Gitch or Gotch
I bet you will laugh, and start using right this Albertan slang right away.
“Gitch” or “Gotch” is Alberta slang referring to men’s underwear, particularly briefs or boxers.
Here’s how to use ‘Gitch or Gotch’
“Oops, Tom! Looks like you left your gitch hanging on the clothesline!”
In the above example, it suggests that Tom accidentally left his underwear out on the clothesline for others to see.
#12. Right On
Right on” is a slang expression that originated in the 1960s and 1970s, primarily in North American English. It’s used as a way to show agreement, understanding, or support. Over the years, its use has persisted and it’s still commonly used in various contexts.
Meaning: “Right on” can mean “exactly correct” or “I agree with you.” It can also be used as a form of encouragement.
Fun and Interesting Alberta Phrases
#13. Hang a Larry/Roger
“Hang a Larry” means to take a left turn, and “Hang a Roger” means to take a right turn.
“Megan, to get to the rodeo, hang a Larry at the next light and then a Roger at the gas station.”
Here is an example, Megan is being directed by her friend to turn left at the next light and then turn right at the gas station to arrive at the rodeo.
#14. Pencil Crayons
“Pencil Crayon” is a term used in Alberta and other parts of Canada to refer to what is known in the U.S. and some other places as “coloured pencils.”
“Noah, can I borrow your blue pencil crayon? I’m drawing the sky.”
Noah is being asked to lend a blue coloured pencil so his friend can draw the sky.
#15. Tar Sand Betties
“Tar Sand Betties” refers to a group or community associated with the oil sands, often in Fort McMurray, Alberta, where the extraction of bituminous oil sands (often referred to as “tar sands”) is a major industry. The term “Betties” is a playful and informal way to refer to women or a group of people.
“Did you hear, Jake? The Tar Sand Betties are organizing a community BBQ next week.”
#16. Alberta Clippers
“Alberta Clipper” is a term used to describe a fast-moving low-pressure weather system that originates from Alberta, Canada, and travels southeastward into the United States. These systems typically bring cold temperatures and light snowfall
“Bundle up, Zoe! An Alberta Clipper’s coming in, and it’s gonna be chilly!”
Zoe’s friend warned Zoe about the incoming cold weather associated with an Alberta Clipper and advised her to dress warmly.
What is “Stag” and “Stagette”?
Stag and Stagette are terms used in Alberta and other parts of Canada to refer to bachelor and bachelorette parties, respectively.
A “stag” is a pre-wedding celebration for the groom, typically with male friends, while a “stagette” is a pre-wedding celebration for the bride, usually with female friends.
“Chris, are you ready for your stag this weekend? And Emma, how about that stagette?”
In this above example, Chris is being asked about his upcoming bachelor party, and Emma is being asked about her bachelorette party.
#18. Jam Buster:
“Jam buster” is a term used in parts of Canada, including Alberta, to refer to a jelly-filled doughnut.
“Lucy, treat yourself to a jam buster. They’re fresh at the bakery!”
Meaning: Lucy is being encouraged by her friend to get a jelly-filled doughnut from the bakery, as they are freshly made.
Keener slang meaning:
“Keener” is a Canadian slang term used to describe someone who is particularly eager, enthusiastic, or studious. It often refers to someone who goes above and beyond what’s expected, especially in an academic or work setting
“Always the first to raise his hand in class. Sam’s such a keener!”
In the above statement, Sam is described as an eager student who is always ready to participate in class.
What does Give’r mean?
“Give’r” is Canadian slang, commonly used in Alberta and other parts of the country, which means to put in maximum effort or to go all out. It’s an encouragement to give it one’s all.
“We’ve got a hockey match against the rival team tonight, Matt. Let’s give’r!”
In this Give’r example above, Matt’s friend is motivating Matt to put in his best effort in the upcoming hockey match against a rival team.
“Runners” is a term used in parts of Canada, including Alberta, to refer to what is commonly known as “sneakers” or “athletic shoes” in other regions.
“Hey, Ava! I love your new runners. Ready for our morning jog?”
Here, Ava is being complimented by her friend on her new athletic shoes and is being asked if she’s ready for a jog.
/Also Read/ Saskatchewan Slang Words
Alberta Slang: Conclusion
I hope some of these Albertan slangs made you giggle, and there you have it!
A fun-filled guide to chatting like a true Albertan. So, If you are a new immigrant/student/worker in Alberta, or the next time you’re in the heart of Alberta, drop these slang words and phrases, and you’ll fit right in.
Please leave your comments below if you already know any of these slang words, or if you are from Alberta, let me know if I’ve missed any interesting phrases.
Remember, it’s not just about the words; it’s the spirit and the joy of the conversation. Happy chatting, and as the Albertans say, “Give’r!”