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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mangia-cake and keener hit the OED

In its latest update, the Oxford English Dictionary  has included some Canadian words (thanks to the research done by the Canadian Oxford Dictionary team, which included them in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary seventeen years ago).
Here they are, with the first evidence the OED could find:

1975   Winnipeg Free Press 12 May 4/5   There was evidence..that the following Montreal Metro establishments sold minced beef which may have contained tainted meat... Depanneur Laprairie, of Laprairie, Que.
1982   Globe & Mail (Toronto) (Nexis) 7 Sept.   Some bring very expensive wine. Others go to the depanneur (local grocery) and buy inexpensive bottles.
[Personally, I wouldn't consider the 1975 quotation as compelling evidence of the word being used in English]

1922   Youth's Compan. 15 June 342/4   In caribou hunting, nearly all Eskimos who hunt with bow and arrow use inuksuit.
[Bet you didn't know the plural of inukshuk was inuksuit!]
1975   R. F. Harney & H. M. Troper Immigrants 84/2   Italo-Canadians to this day refer to some English Canadians as ‘mangia-cakes’, cake-eaters, to imply the limits of their diets compared to that of the Mediterranean countries.
1973   Winnipeg Free Press 21 July 3/4   [When] the two playground supervisors arrive in the morning,..they usually find a number of keeners already working on various projects.

1988   Globe & Mail (Toronto) (Nexis) 21 Mar.   She was in the club with two friends after her niece's stagette party yesterday morning.
According to the OED's press release, "The word stagette was first used in U.S. English to refer to a woman attending a social function without a partner, but is now most commonly used in Canada, where it refers to a party given for a woman about to be married (known elsewhere as a bachelorette party or hen night)."

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Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber is an expert on the English language and a frequent guest on radio and television. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Her witty and informative talks on the stories behind our words are very popular. Contact her at wordlady.barber@gmail.com to book her for speaking engagements; she can tailor her talks to almost any subject. She is also available as an expert witness for lawsuits.