Langues & languages

As Montréal as a Two-Cheeked Kiss

We Love Québec English!

All-Dressed Pizza (Instead of Deluxe Pizza)

In Québec, a traditional “all-dressed pizza” is topped with cheese, green peppers, mushrooms and pepperoni. “All dressed” is usually understood by most Canadians, who also talk about all-dressed hotdogs, but not by Americans.

Coordinates (Contact Information)

Some Anglo-Quebecers use the word coordinates—a literal translation of coordonnées—to refer to their address and telephone number. It is logical because it refers to the points on a map. Anglo-Quebecers who leave the province continue to use the expression and thus are spreading its use in the rest of Canada.


Anglo-Quebecers sometimes refer to a convenience store as the dépanneur or the dep.

One-and-a-half/bachelor apartment and cottage versus chalet

Anglo-Quebecers use unique real estate terminology. Apartments are described by the number of rooms, not the number of bedrooms, they contain. Half refers to the bathroom. Thus, a three-and-a-half has one closed bedroom, a living-room and full kitchen plus the bathroom. In the rest of Canada, when you rent a bachelor apartment in Canada, called a studio apartment in the U.S., it has no bedroom. Or you can rent a one-, two- or three-bedroom apartment. Anglo-Quebecers talk about selling their bungalow to buy a cottage. A cottage is two-story house in the rest of Canada, and a chalet is a cottage in the ROC.

Cocktails on a terrasse

We love our outdoor terrasses and what do we do there? Go to a cinq à sept, of course! As you can probably guess, a 5 à 7 means happy hour or a cocktail party from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. A cocktail dînatoire includes hors d’oeuvres, which is originally a French expression, but often called petites bouchées or amuse-gueules in French.

In Montréal, we say tchin, tchin! À votre santé !

For more information, see “All-dressed English: Why Quebec English is Unique” by Dr. Charles Boberg in Circuit Magazine issue No. 109.

By Barbara McClintock, Certified Translator

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