Monday, January 17, 2005

Saskatchewan Words

These words are either true Saskatchewan words (listed as native to here, according to the Oxford Canadian Dictionary), or words that you never hear anywhere else:

bunny hug - this is what we call a sweatshirt with a hood (hoodie). The Cdn Oxford says 'bunny hug', but I've always thought it was one word. It runs together like it's one word. I just heard a rancher use it the other day on the radio: 'I'm warm enough in the barn during the calving season with a long-sleeved shirt and a bunnyhug on.'

frajolaki - a.k.a. frazolaki or fratzolaki. My sister calls it 'fraj'. This is a sandwich, found on the menu of most of the ubiquitous Greek restaurants in Saskatoon, and around the Province. It's beef or chicken, marinated like souvlaki, grilled, and then put on a torpedo bun with onions and tomatoes. It's so tasty. BUT, if someone calls the reference desk to ask how to spell it (like they asked me), it's not listed anywhere definitive! I tried every dictionary I could find, and then I tried Google. The only listings in Google at that time were Saskatchewan websites! This 'traditional' Greek dish doesn't seem to exist outside Saskatchewan! Even now, if you do a Google search, you get 32 hits for 'frajolaki' (all Sask. restaurants), 1 hit for 'frazolaki' (Sask. restaurant), and about 29 hits for 'fratzolaki', which is again mainly Sask. restaurants but now comes with about 3 hits for websites written completely in Greek. Sandwich in a bubble.

siwash - I always thought this was a Saskatchewan word, but the Cdn Oxford only gets as specific as 'Canadian (West)' in attribution. It's a thick woolen sweater decorated with symbols or animals, and the sweater is usually of a grey/black/white colouring.

matrimonial cake - Cdn Oxford attributes this to 'Canadian (Prairies)' and equates it to a date square. You don't need to be at a wedding to eat it.

9 Comments:

Blogger Eileen said...

Wow. I did not know 'siwash' and 'matrimonial cake' were western Canadian oddities! Unfortunately, it appears 'siwash' may be a racist term (I did not know this either, just thought it was a sweater):
http://www.billcasselman.com/cwod_archive/siwash_updated.htm
http://www.ydli.org/langs/siwash.htm

An interesting tidbit on 'matrimonial cake':
http://www.oed.com/newsletters/2002-12/midgets.html

I believe you missed a couple of my favourites:

flip (or snap) a shit hook - most commonly heard as a backseat driver's instructions to make a U-turn. It's possible shit hook is one word. I had occasion to introduce this to some non-Saskatchewanians as our driver was indeed seeking to make a U-turn and the phrase was remarkably self-explanatory.

riding bitch - you may have posted this previously. This refers to riding in the centre of a bench seat vehicle (front seat; usually in a truck).

Yeah, yeah, I should work on my OWN blog...

9:24 pm  
Blogger Alicia said...

we have flip a bitch for a u-turn and riding dork for someone riding in the backseat of a car when the passenger seat is perfectly empty. we also have shotgun! when calling first dibs on the passenger seat.

8:10 pm  
Blogger liz said...

I would *definitely* wear something called a bunnyhug, probably regardless of what it actually was.

7:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget Vico and bismark :o)

2:19 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome observation, my colleague and I, both of us from Saskatchewan, now in BC, were talking about frajolaki and wondering if it was a made up word and Saskatchewan-only entity.

What about Vico? Try and order that anywhere but Saskatchewan...
I think we'll start a Frajolaki and cheese toast hut in Kamloops...
time to whip a shit hooker
Go Riders!

6:10 pm  
Blogger Gwen said...

Thanks for your comment! In my hometown - interesting regional difference - it was "flip a shit hook" instead of "whip a shit hooker". And yet so Saskatchewanesque, either way.

9:47 am  
Blogger Just a Prairie Boy said...

Thanks for the Saskatchewan dictionary. I just reference your site on my Facebook page [http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/darryl.darwent?ref=name]to explain the the term: bunnyhug. I, too, always thought of it as being one word.

9:58 am  
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3:16 am  
Blogger Tim Souvlaki said...

Think it was started at little Greek place in the Golden Mile Mall in Regina.... circa 1990??? Fratzolaki

5:35 pm  

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