The Last Word on Hoser

Despite competing etymological claims from Clark the Hockey Goalie, the august institution that is the CBC has given us the last word on the word “hoser.”

According to my friend Craig, who (good Canuck that he is) sat through the Bob & Doug 2-4 Anniversary Special,

The term “hoser” was cited as part of the unique Canadian lexicon with dictionary references cited. Credit for the birth of the term was implied to be the brothers themselves — probably Dave Thomas, as he was arguably the most gifted writer on Second City (ok “gifted” may be generous!).

Craig even helpfully offered to check a recent Canadian dictionary, but I haven’t the heart to tell him that it’s just an American dictionary with a few “u”s added (favour, flavour, savour, etc.), the “e-r”s flipped to “r-e”s (centre, theatre, etc.), and a few gratuitous entries (eh, homo milk, permafrost, grey instead of gray, cheque, poutine, Celine Dion, etc.) added for verisimilitude.

I am, of course, just kidding. Actually, here’s a good page that explains what makes Canadian Canadian.

And when in doubt, it’s good to follow the rule of thumb of another good Canuck:

“In Canada we have enough to do keeping up with two spoken languages without trying to invent slang, so we just go right ahead and use English for literature, Scotch for sermons and American for conversation.” — Stephen Leacock

(It’s a bit easier than Charles V’s method: “I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my horse.”)

So good day, eh?

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