Judging, living in canada

Eh! Oh, let’s go.


This hurts my eyes.

One of the Canadian stereotypes that is very prevalent is the use of ‘eh’. I notice it all the time and it takes every muscle and bone in my body to ignore it.

Lately though I’ve been hearing a difference in the phrase. Some people say ‘eh’ and some people say ‘hey’. They use it in the exact same manner as “eh” but it seems less Canadian. For example someone would say, “There’s a lot of moose out here, hey?” I don’t know what kind of trickery they are going for with that one, but I know that its the equivalent of saying ‘eh’. I do not approve.

The phrase ‘eh’ is basically a not-so-clever way to force people to agree with you. Just pop that on the end of a sentence, and people have to say “yeah, eh!” It’s like an unwritten rule. You could probably say really gutsy things and get away with it because it’s disguised with ‘eh’. You could say, “Your baby is pretty ugly, eh?” and the parent would most likely smile and say “Yep, she sure is!”

I’m all for getting people to agree with me but I feel like I’m past the point where I have to ask “right?” after everything I say. Certain east coast relatives of mine still feel the need to ask that after LITERALLY every sentence. It’s not attractive. After a while one is compelled to say “Nope. Wrong. Shuddup.” When a phrase urges the acknowledgement of comprehension, agreement, and interest, it just seems so forceful.

I am guilty of saying “ya know?” after a lot of my thoughts. But I feel like it gives people room to say, “No, I don’t know.” Whereas ‘eh’ just kind of leaves one unable to respond with anything other than “yeah.”

I’ve gotta hand it to Canadians. They’ve found a way for people to always agree with anything they say. It’s a good method for brainwashing.

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15 thoughts on “Eh! Oh, let’s go.

  1. I have heard a few people say this about Canadians actually. The only clip on YouTube I could find as an example to see what you mean was from the Simpsons! Was it anything like this?

    I had it playing on loop in five different tabs, it sounded really weird.

  2. Lisa says:

    hahaha! I think you’re so right about the subtle manipulation. It’s a tricky way to get confirmation. Do you ever hear anyone calling anybody a “hoser”? I think that use to be a popular term. Something tells me that ‘eh’ is going to be around for a good long time! Haha!

    • Haha Gail was telling me aboot that. Personally, I have no heard anyone being referred to as a hoser, but I think it might be more common in Alberta and Manitoba. More ghetto areas.

  3. Adair says:

    It’s like when old ladies or Southerners or old Southern ladies end comments about another person with “Bless their heart!”, as if those words remove the stuff said before. “That baby is so ugly, bless it’s heart.”. It’s annoying, right? Eh.

    • Lisa says:

      That’s so funny, I never thought about it that way, but your absolutely right! I have a lot of southern relatives. Everytime my grandmother would mention one of her children (my mother) it was always “Bless her heart.” It only made me want to kill my mother. My grandmother died several years ago, bless her heart. ; )

  4. Aboot is still my favorite Canadian verbal flub. It’s like they can talk so civilized then they throw that and “eh” around. I still like it better than how some people will say “Thank you my friend.” I know they’re calling me friend and all. I still feel like they’re talking down to me.

    • Yeah I feel like they are forcing you to be their friend. Like, ummm I didn’t even know that you existed a minute ago. And now youre calling me your friend? Something doesn’t seem right. I feel like a few friendship steps were missed.

  5. Lisa says:

    The guy at the McDonalds drive thru window always says, “My friend”. I have to admit I love it! He’s so kind and he always makes me feel special. And I need to feel special when I order my egg McMuffin.

  6. Marya says:

    Lisa…remember our Canadian friends in college would say..”When I was in Grade Four…or…when I was in Grade Six?” Now you can call up your grandchild on his first day of second grade and say, “Well, bless your heart, how was your first day of Grade Two?” Your grandchild will respond in one simple phrase…”Eh?”

  7. Becoming Bitter says:

    I just use killem to get people to agree to with me, but you’re right. ‘Eh’ doesn’t leave much room to respond with much else…eh?

  8. I have an aunt who lives in Canada because she’s married to a Canadian man, and when someone talks to him, he always says ‘okay’. After everything you say, he says ‘okay’. Is that something all Canadians do too, or is it just my aunt’s husband?

    We in Belgium say ‘eh’ too (all the time), but I think we pronounce and use it differently.

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