I enjoy the diversion of witty cartoons (especially those in The New Yorker magazine), and I’ve posted previously about funny cartoons that comment on American perceptions and stereotypes about Canada (for example, here and here). Below are a few others that may provide for some amusement.
This one deals with the general lack of knowledge about Canada by many Americans:
Americans know they share many similarities with Canadians and might be happy to think that’s true in all respects but every now and then something will remind otherwise — such as the finishing of a sentence with an “eh?” or a different pronunciation of a common word (like “about” pronounced as “aboot”) — even if they can’t put their finger on it:
Of course, there’s the widely held perception of Canadians as being polite to a fault:
This one, while showing two Canadian politicians, plays on the notion held by many Americans of U.S. “exceptionalism” and the idea that Canada doesn’t often register with many Americans:
And . . . there’s the word “about” again:
(Image credits to the various cartoonists: Liam Walsh, D. Reilly, P.C. Vey, Paul Noth, Dan Piraro)
Many years ago I met an American who asked if we had VCR’s in Canada. My travelling companion was quick and said “yes we do and next week we are getting flush toilets.” He knew he had been had.
Wait… So, did you get flush toilets?
Brett, I really enjoyed these cartoons!
Funny! And thanks so much!
We are trying to improve the tonal quality of the flushing mechanism. We Canadians are thorough. There is nothing so great that we cannot improve it! hahahaha!
Funny, but Americans say that about Montana too. They think everyone rides horses and wears cowboy boots. (Almost true about the boots)
The last one my favorite. Lol
Hard not to smile on that one!
Oh this makes me laugh out loud! I love the mafia one. I guess we could have worse reputations than being polite. 🙂
Since crime fiction blogging is my thing I have to vote for the last one as well.
A sleuth among us! 🙂
Americans think we live in an Igloo and there so many bears running around. The only bears I see are the American. Hilarious, Brett.
Perpetua, I think you’re right about many below the border think. Best, Brett
Reblogged this on The Seeker and commented:
Brett lives in America and blogs about Canada. I have used one of the New Yorker cartoons he posted and this one will tickle your funny bones.
Reblogged this on The Chicago Files and commented:
Here is a wonderful post reblogged from “O Canada”. Brett has a wonderful blog. As an American, he writes and posts pictures about Canada. I am a Canadian who writes about the differences between Canada and America. Thank you, Brett.
Cher, thanks. 🙂 Brett
Thank you, Brett. Great post as always! Cher xo
Hi Brett. I enjoyed this piece. This from a Canadian woman who bumped into a table and, in a moment of distraction, apologized to it. I sometimes wonder our politeness comes from the influx of Loyalists affected our prevailing culture. I’m thinking of Quakers and like minded folks who were adverse to conflict.
Gwen, I’ve often wondered about the cultural roots of that as well. I think it’s probably something that goes back to the early period as you suggest. Best, Brett
I really enjoyed the cartoons, especially the one aboot the Canadian CSI.
Very much so!
Haha! Thanks for these!!! They should make a cartoon about Canadians saying goodbye after a social event. Now that is another event in itself. Everyone’s too polite to be the first one to leave!
Oh, that sounds quite good and something I’ve not picked up on. I’m going to be on the lookout for such a situation.
I find Canadians to be a mixed bag. Some can be quite standoffish, which gets a shrug from me. Coming from the States, I’ve seen much worse. Others are very peculiar in the sense of personality. There are a lot of blank looks, and signs that they have no idea how to handle me. I don’t recall being rude or uncooperative, but there’s a sense of confusion about them. I’m not sure what to make of that. There are also genuinely nice Canadians that fit the stereotype perfectly. In other words, they’re just as human as anyone else.
Then there are the Ontarians on the freeway down here. They can get real dicey.
Pingback: How to Complain Like a Canadian | Kiwi Over/CCC
hahaha. Awesome post. Thank you for the smiles this evening. 🙂
That is really good Brett. I have to admit everyone here in Germany knows Canada. But the funny thing is when I tell them that i will live in Ontario I can see some question marks in their faces.
Thanks and best of luck with your move!
Reblogged this on Why? Matters and commented:
For all my Canadian Family and Friends I could not stop smiling.
“It’s a boot” “Aboot what” The Canadian C.S.I
Definitely gonna show this blog to my dad, he is totally in love with Canada!
Reblogged this on Yoh! WTF? and commented:
I remember when I lived in Calgary, I’d speak with many Americans who genuinely believed that we had moose and polar bear roaming the streets of Calgary. Some even believed me when I jokingly said that instead my home in the city and a cottage in the countryside, I had a home in the city and an igloo in the countryside!
Hmmm, I guess some Americans forgot Alaska is further north than Calgary. However in Calgary it does really get as cold as -25 degrees C or -31 degrees C. Oh, I guess I shouldn’t speak metric at all.
There are some highly ignorant Canadians about the U.S. also. Maybe they are glued in front of TV, watching a lot of U.S. in Canada. We do get a lot of U.S. tv stations beamed into Canada, not the other way around.
Jean, good points. Reality is that in quite a few ways we’re all just people with many of the same limitations.
Thanks for the giggle. We lost access to CBC, used to love watching Rick Mercer poke at us. 🙂
Oh yeah, Mercer was clever and fun.
One of my favourite Mercer bits is the Talking to Americans. I know editing plays a role, and the Americans featured are likely a select few, but I do wonder how our neighbours can know so little about us!
Americans I meet are often surprised to find out how much we are taught about the US in school.
Those Mercer bits are funny (and a little embarassing too!).
Really made me laugh. Nice choices
Cute but they also display U.S. ignorance about your country. To be honest, I know many who are jealous of Canadians simply because of these stereotypes! Here’s to you, eh?
All very true!
i am canadian, and i have never heard ‘aboot’ and we all say ‘eh’ sometimes, but we are only making fun of americans who think we say ‘eh’…. so i’m not sure where all this stuff comes from, except bob and doug mckenzie, so, yeah, none of us would say ‘eh’ if it wasn’t for bob and doug… when i phone people, to this day i say ‘hello eh’ in a bob and doug accent, and we still laugh, but yeah, we are laughing at americans, haha, not ourselves 🙂
Elaine, haha, terrific! (For those unfamiliar with the SCTV Canadian stereotype characters Bob and Doug McKenzie, here’s a wikipedia link with some background: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_and_Doug_McKenzie). Cheers, eh! Brett
and wot the heck is BACK BACON? lol
Admittedly, I am an American who knows absolutely nothing about Canada. So the first cartoon was pretty funny and true.
I get that!
Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis.
It’s always helpful to read through content from other authors and use a little something
from their web sites.
Aboot? You know that’s just the Ontarian accent, eh?
Ahh! Now we know! 🙂
Reblogged this on Mike the Psych's Blog.
I like the ginger ale
Just spent a week kayaking out of Fort McNeil on northern Vancouver Island. There were lots of “ehs”. 🙂 Also, I am a fan of the New Yorker— mainly because of the cartoons. I should be blogging about the kayaking trip in a couple of weeks. But for now I am off to Burning Man, where I suspect there are lots of Canadians, eh. Loved your blog. –Curt
Your kayaking trip sounds awesome! Have fun at Burning Man, which I understand is quite a scene!
As a former loyal servant of the queen and crown for more than 8 years (and truly, I really was), I ask, where is the toon about the Vancouver hockey riot of June 2011? Now that was a keeper.
Rudy, I’m gonna have to track that one down.
I used to hate Canadians for the Quebecers blocking weekend traffic on the Garden State Parkway on their annual southern migration to invade Cape May, NJ
I guess they might see the humor in that. Truth is traffic sucks pretty much everywhere for many different reasons.
I meant for this to go in another post… oh well
It fits here okay. 🙂
When I was in Bromont visiting Tom and EJ (catsatthebar.org) in June 2014, I learned a lot about the engaging and fascinating differences between Canada and the USA. I’m hoping to be able to travel to Canada again (in the spring or summer). 🙂
Pingback: Whack A Canadian « O' Canada
I was in the Air Force and stationed in Newfoundland – left in September 1965. We Americans do find humor in language – I’m sure other peoples can’t believe how many words we have for the same thing. Like home, house , abode, dwelling, residence, etc. It’ s a wonder we can communicate at all.
So true about words and language! I hope your stay in Newfoundland was memorable.
Not a question of humor. That’s the wonder of English. It absorbed a huge chunk of French from all the back and forth invasions in the Middle Ages, and thousands of bits and pieces of other languages from the Empire. Makes for much richer and nuanced expression, I think.
I agree on the adaptability of English and its ability to evolve. Very much a living language. Lots of history reflected throughout.
I’ve often thought Canadians and Americans have a similar relationship to Australians and New Zealanders. Like niggling siblings, except the size discrepancy isn’t so noticeable between us. We Australians have lots of running gags about the Kiwis and vice versa and our sporting rivalries make everything from rugby to netball so much more fun!
That’s a good comparison!
Technically, only some areas of the country say something that sounds like a aboot, especially to Americans. It is one of those subtle phonological items where the dialects of North American English do not match. The American ear does not hear the softer Canadian ow, too an American it sounds like oo. More clearly explained at this link. 😀
That’s a cool link! Thanks for sharing that.
Thanks for this – I have never heard anything like “aboot” so glad for some background and to know I’m not crazy. And I think we say “eh” just to make Americans happy!
David, I hear “eh” quite a bit but maybe it’s only spoken when I’m around because the speakers know I’m American. )I’ll probably never know.) 🙂 Brett
Nicely observed! You obviously are extremely clever and enjoy intelligent humour, thanks for liking my little pots too!
I’ve been reading some of the comments from my fellow Canadians and in all fairness (now that’s being Canadian) how much do Canadians know about American geography? 😊
The cartoons are pretty funny and spot on concerning many Americans. It’s all in good fun, though, eh?!
Canadians know a great deal about American history. Back in the day, geography was a required topic so we were tested on the Capital Cities of each of the American States, as one example. In civics, we learned about the first suburban design, Levittown and don’t get me started on Frank Lloyd Wright. Politically, we are taught about the 2 party system and had to memorize the names of all the American presidents. And of course, we all know the history of the American Civil War. Love the New Yorker and Woody Allen flicks.. Is my age showing?
Gina, it’s fascinating to me that such things were taught so widely across the border. (And your age isn’t showing! 🙂 )
In high school I had the option of continuing along with the Grade 12 history or actually taking Canadian history. (It was also the only year Canadian Literature was on the program). Always annoyed me to have so much US history, geography and etc. As if all that US television broadcasted wasn’t enough! I’m sure it wouldn’t bother me quite so much except that some people in the US can’t even find Canada on a map. (I know this first hand, not something I heard from a Rick Mercer video).
I grew up near New York City and used to listen to CKLW from Windsor, Ontario for different music if that counts.
Thank you for liking my recent blog post of Rick Stevens’ “Diesel Sweeties” cartoon; it’s a pleasure to encounter another blogger who also appreciates this art form!
All best wishes for your continuing success,
Jay, thanks. Cartoons are great medicine. 🙂
Thanks for visiting my blog. I love your concept… Canadian appreciation posts! Good one, eh. I live near the border and agree that they are a fabulous bunch. Reminds me I should head north again soon. Anyhoooooo, this post tickled me (New Yorker cartoons are the best). I also love your photos, and arts sensibility seen on your other posts as well. I’ll stop in now and then for a dose of it. Cheers.
Kim, thanks. This group of cartoons does a nice job at gently poking fun. Keep up the great posts at your site.
I really like last one cartoon picture. LOL
Love the humour, thanks.
American exceptionalism is on full display these days. There will be no happy ending.
Yes, good humour! 🙂
Hey Brett, I caught up with U after I noticed U appreciated my start on world events+political cartoons ……. what was in the news when you were born? Can you find a cartoon that depicts it?
Hi! I’d have to give that some thought but I love how political cartoons can capture the essence of a situation and convey so much in a single or a few frames.
While I am an American, while in Germany in the Army in the late 70s, I was a member of a golf club on a Canadian Air Force base. It was next to the runway and noisy, but I enjoyed playing golf with the guys that I met there.
OMG!!! SO FUNNY!!!!! I work at an American International School, and a few years back one teacher from Atlanta, Georgia and I had a great laugh about how we pronounce or call different school supplies.
Canadian Name: Elastic Band American Name: Rubber
Canadian Name: Scribbler American Name: Notebook
I can’t recall any more examples now as it was a bit ago….. but it sure was funny!!!! :)))))))
Stephanie, thanks for sharing this — those are great examples! I love such differences in language and wondering how people came up with different terms for the same thing.
Probably, there are misconceptions everywhere about nearly everyone, especially when mainstream media shows the rest of the world only a tiny % (if not entirely false representation) of a populations views.
These are spot-on and hilarious! I’ve heard “aboot” & enjoy it every time : )
Dawn, very true. 🙂
Things are changing up there. I see now a Canadian exceptionalism. Americans have been guilty of that for a long time. However, you would expect people to I have been to Canada numerous times as I have relatives there. I think the politeness is more with the 40-somethings and up. Under that not so much.
Sharon, those are some good observations. There’s definitely a generational aspect to the stereotype.