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"Canuck" is a slang term for Canadian people.


The term was first used in the 19th century, although its etymology (origin) is not clear. Some possibilities are:


The Random House Dictionary says that: "The term Canuck is first recorded about 1835 as an Americanism, originally referring specifically to a French Canadian. This was probably the original meaning, though in Canada and other countries, Canuck now more often refers to any Canadian." [1]

Usage and examples

When "Canuck" is used by Canadians, the meaning is usually affectionate, friendly or patriotic.

The history and use of the term include:

The use of "Canuck" is similar to the use of some other potentially offensive nicknames. When it is used by the people it names – Canadians in this case – it is usually acceptable. But when it is used by an outsider it can be thought of as insulting one's heritage.

Related pages


  1. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language (2009). "Canucks". Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  1. Random House Dictionary
  2. The Oxford Companion To The English Language
  3. Oxford English Dictionary
  4. Unkind Words : Ethnic Labeling from Redskin to WASP - Irving Lewis Allen

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-89789-217-8

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