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This article is about the slang term people from Canada. For the NHL hockey team, see Vancouver Canucks. For the jet fighter, see CF-100 Canuck. For other uses see, see Canuck (disambiguation).

"Canuck" /kəˈnʌk/ is a slang term for a Canadian. The origins of the word are uncertain.


The Random House Dictionary notes that "The term Canuck is first recorded about 1835 as an Americanism (American term), originally referring specifically to a French Canadian. This was probably the original meaning, though in Canada and other countries, "Canuck" refers to any Canadian." [1] For example, someone residing in Toronto might be considered a "Canuck". In fact, the 1835 source cited refers to a foreign-speaker: "Jonathan distinguishes a Dutch or a French Canadian, by the term Kanuk".[2] Although its etymology is unclear, possible origins include:

In Cree Indian mythology, there existed a wolf-spirit called "Kannuk". This may be a possible origin for the term/ name "Canuck" Anglicization of the aboriginal word "Kannuk".[citation needed]

Usage and examples[edit]

Canadians use "Canuck" as an affectionate or merely descriptive term for their nationality. It is not considered derogatory in Canada, although other nationalities may use the word as an affectionate or derogatory term. An abbreviated version of the word, "Nucks", is sometimes heard, usually as a colloquial reference to the hockey team.

Usage of the term includes:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Random House
  2. ^ Leiden University
  3. ^ Random House Dictionary
  4. ^ Johnny Canuck
  5. ^ The Oxford Companion To The English Language

External links[edit]