Quebec terms that sound completely normal here but not in the rest of Canada

May 19 2021, 11:37 am

Quebecers know all about mixing French and English words to make up our everyday lingo.

And while it might sound normal to locals, the rest of the country might question where you’re eating when you say you’re going to a “terrace.”

There are some actual French terms that are golden (c’est tiguidou, attache ta tuque), but today we’re focusing on Quebec terms that have made their way into everyone else’s lexicon — even the English.

For instance, try telling your buddy in Manitoba that “deconfinement” is going well.

Here are some of our favourite Quebecois terms that won’t really find anywhere else except in la belle province.


Quebec has trios (especially when it comes to McDonald’s. We don’t order combos or meals. It’s the Big Mac Trio. It makes the most sense because there’s you know, three of them. Everyone else is wrong.


We have patios and decks when it comes to outdoor dining, it’s just known as a terrace here. If you slip up and say “patio” at a restaurant, everyone will know you’re probably from (eek) Ontario…


This one has been thrown around a lot lately and has been almost exclusive to the pandemic. The rest of the country simply calls it “reopening.”



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New York City has bodegas and Quebec has depanneurs. It just has so much more character than a corner or convenience store.


Quebecers use the term “guichet” for bank machines or ATMs. Think about the number of people who say “ATM machine” which is redundant (you’re saying automated teller machine machine).

Guichet is simple. It just might not get you far in other parts of Canada.


Snack-bars? What a horrible alternative name for casse-cro没tes. Casse-cro没tes are all over Quebec and they’re known for serving up the province’s most iconic dishes — poutines, fries, steamy hot dogs, and soda.


Quebecers use autoroute when referring to a highway or freeway. It’s a fuse of auto and route, which is sensible considering that’s what you’re doing when you’re on the highway.

5 脿 7

We have happy hour in Quebec, it’s just referred to as 5 脿 7 (cinq 脿 sept). This is deceiving because it’s not even a happy hour… it’s happy two hours.

Grab a 5 脿 7 on a terrace and grab a casse-cro没te trio via the autoroute by taking money out of a guichet to really nail down the Quebec lingo at the same time.

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