AskDefine | Define Canuck

Dictionary Definition

Canuck n : US slang for Canadians in general and French Canadians in particular

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /kəˈnʌk/


  1. In the context of "slang|occasionally construed as derogatory": Canadian.
    We just received a shipment of Canuck hockey sticks.


  1. In the context of "slang|occasionally construed as derogatory": A person of Canadian citizenship or ancestry.
    I am a sixth generation Canuck, and proud of it.


Extensive Definition

"Canuck" is a slang term for Canadians.


The term was coined in the 19th century, although its etymology is unclear. Possibilities include:


The Random House Dictionary notes 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" refers to any Canadian."

Usage and examples

Canadians use "Canuck" as an affectionate description of nationality and the word carries no particular patriotic overtones. A few Americans misinterpret "Canuck" as an offensive noun but would be hard pressed to find a Canadian, French or English, insulted by the word - the opposite being most likely. It is similar in use to "Yankee" for an American.
Usage of the term includes:
  • The Vancouver Canucks hockey team
  • Canuck Place Children's Hospice, providing specialized pediatric palliative care in Vancouver BC
  • The Canucks Rugby Club, playing in Calgary since 1968.
  • The Crazy Canucks, Canadian alpine ski racers who competed successfully on the World Cup circuit in the '70s.
  • Johnny Canuck, a personification of Canada who appeared in early political cartoons of the 1860s resisting Uncle Sam's bullying. Johnny Canuck was revived in 1942 by Leo Bachle to defend Canada against the Nazis.
  • In 1975 in comics by Richard Comely, Captain Canuck is a super-agent for Canadians' security, with Redcoat and Kebec being his sidekicks. (Kebec is claimed to be unrelated to Capitaine Kébec of a French-Canadian comic published two years earlier.) Captain Canuck had enhanced strength and endurance thanks to being bathed in alien rays during a camping trip. The captain was reintroduced in the mid-1990s, and again in 2004.
  • Operation Canuck was the designated name of a British SAS raid led by a Canadian captain, Buck McDonald in January 1945.
  • "The Dark Canuck" is a song on The Tragically Hip's album In Violet Light.
  • In 1995, Canada Post released 45-cent postage stamps depicting Johnny Canuck and Captain Canuck.
  • "Canuck" is a nickname for the Curtiss JN4 and Avro CF-100 aircraft. The CF-100 was the only Canadian designed and built jet fighter to enter operational service. From 1950-1958, 692 Canucks were built. They remained in service until 1981
  • One of the first uses of "Canuck" — in the form of "Kanuk" — specifically referred to Dutch Canadians as well as the French.
  • "Canuck" also has the derived meanings of a Canadian pony (rare) and a French-Canadian patois (very rare).
  • Team Canuck is a small-sized team at RoboCup.
  • North Plainfield High School Canucks, is the mascot of this High School in New Jersey.
  • The Curtiss JN-4(Can) biplane was known as the Canuck.
  • "Canuck the Duck", a character in Return to Zork.


See also

External links

Canuck in Simple English: Canuck
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