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This week's column made reference to my "lexicon of yore" -- a different manner of language that is used in Thunder Bay, and in some cases, Northwestern Ontario in general. I've been asked to explain this further, so in the hopes of educating the masses that there is life beyond North Bay, here goes.

Boosh -- To forcefully push a person or object out of the way

Byark -- Fright-inducing exclamation -- used to scare the hell out of people on late-night walks, high school freshmen, etc.

Camp -- a cottage

Persian -- Highly superior to the Beavertail, and available exclusively in Thunder Bay and the immediate surrounding areas. An oval cinnamon bun base (no raisins or nuts) topped with strawberry icing. I discussed Persians with Marc Staal at last year's Entry Draft while Bob MacKenzie stood by, looking absolutely perplexed. Good times.

Scoffs -- snacks, food etc.

Shag -- A pre-wedding celebration held by future brides and grooms that serves two purposes: To allow their family and friends to attend a decent party, and to make fistfuls of coin off a cash bar (usually to help pay for the impending nuptials). Commonly referred to as a "mixed stag" or "Stag and Doe" in Eastern Ontario. The term represents a mixture of the female "shower" and male "stag". We still use this in spite of the Austin Powers trilogy, and no one thinks it's lascivious.

There's more, but it's been nearly ten years. As I continue to remember, I'll keep adding to the list.

14 responses to "The lexicon of yore"

  1. WHOA!

    You forgot a bunch pal

    Slider- Hot dog with sauce done by Gus @ Mckellar confectionary

    Crystal Beer- You get the picture

    Beer Balls- sometimes called the sphere of beer "Superior Lager"
    to which the instructions tell you to cut it in half and make a lamp shade or flower pot

    The towner- are you kidding the best place to see live music this side of the Kaministiquia

    Armani's- Italy brought to you in right in The Bay

    The "fight window" @ Burger King on Arthur street

    The CLE- the town triples in size in one weekend "come on throw the darts @ the ballons win a prize for your girlfriend"

    "that's the cats ass"- slang for it awesome

    Train tracks that actually go through the city

    dressing up for haloween as a hockey player because it is so cold

    Bogen, Spearchucker,Wagonburner-
    slang that is totally in bad taste


  2. Nanabijou wins the better word list dual - so far! Still, I imagine if I am enjoying a shag on a persian, I am having way more fun you are!

    All this slang would would stem absolute chaos on my street as we are surrounded by stray cats and a half dozen wagon burners. Not to mention my daughter is named Crystal and we live on Arthur St! No BK is sight, but a Tim's one block away.

    On a slightly more topical note - Vesa Toskala - rumours or...

    reality check

  3. Okay, it's totally obvious that you grew up in Fort William *snicker*. I'm a Mariday Park princess and a P.A.C.I. graduate, which means I was brought up to make fun of everyone that grew up on the wrong side of Intercity. :)

    I didn't include anything you wrote because they don't translate directly to something that an Ottawan could identify.

    But if you want to go that route...

    First of all, it's the Skintowner, and one of the few not to be hit by a Thunder Bay insurance policy claim when it was time to "change the vibe" (read: arson).

    And if you're going to reference the CLE, how could forget to mention the roach clips with a rope of leather and feathers attached?

    I was exposed to the Senators theme song long before I arrived, thanks to the Thunder Bay Senators, and their mascot, Senator Hawkeye.

    When I was 9, I passed out at McKellar hospital after some bloodwork and my mother took me to McKellar confectionary for some of that clear cream soda in bottles that they kept in the cooler. That stuff was stellar.

    It should also be noted that McKellar was the hospital that Terry Fox was brought to when he could no longer continue with his Marathon of Hope.

    And by the way, nothing on that side of town could ever touch Merla Mae. And neither could anything in Ottawa (drive-up fast food restaurant run by the same family for more than 40 years -- best stuff isn't even on the menu).

    Bonus points for the Crystal beer reference. Hide the stash in Hawkeye Lake, Dog Lake or similar so it's not all blown on the first day of the May Long weekend.

    The Universal Cynic

  4. Passing out after bloodwork - no wonder you never mention McGratton!

    reality check

  5. A fear of needles, RC. Not a fear of blood.

    The Universal Cynic

  6. Must come from being so thick-skinned right? The leather and feather roach, btw, is not restricted to the TB area!

    reality check

  7. As a graduate of Lakeview High School and working in Toronto, I get puzzled, glassy eye looks when I say "side by each" to describe things that are beside each other. Although some people are telling me that they've heard this before, not just from people from Northern Ontario.

    One other thing that seems to be a TBay staple, "bon bon spareribs", I tell everyone what a 'delicacy' these morsels are but they think I've been hit on the head too many times...

    And speaking of Armani's, what about the "Eye-tai", or however you'd ever spell it - the Italian Hall - where cheap Superior lager is the norm and if so inclined, you can get a sausage with sauce on a bun. Or the other popular hang-out "Wrinkles" AKA "Scuttlebutt's" - Wrinkles tells you the age of the clientele, particularly the females...

    And I couldn't end without giving a shout out to the "Hoito", my Jewish girlfriend thinks it's the best damn bacon she's ever had...


  8. "Side by each" reminds me of an old gym teacher who had everybody "line up in a circle". This character looked a cross of Foghorn Leghorn and Krusty, man boobs and all, with zero athletic ability other than yelling. He could also twist a phrase bilingually!

    Once on a ball hockey trip, he had the bus driver pull over to a roadside chip stand over the Quebec border. He wanted us all to sample his favorite delicacy, the "Poutine". Trouble was, he attempted saying it in "Francais". The confused cook looked at us twelve teenage boys with quite a suspicious glare when the mangled "poutine" term came out sounding like "putin", the french word for whore! She was laughing so hard we had to pass on ketchup.

    reality check

  9. Correct you are I did grow up in Fort William as did my folks

    I just about pissed my pants when I saw line up in a circle, for some reason that sounds so right. DEADLY

    I could go on for days about the CLE man that place brings back so many memories.
    To add to your comment on the roach clip feather here are few more for you The Giant blow up comb, Motley Crew mirror and the guy leaning against the railing eith one leg up on the middle rail at the SEA DRAGON with his hand in the air waving you in

    We don't really need to go into the hygene practises of these people, do we now. For some reason they all had small hands and they smell like cabbage and motor oil.

    Have you ever wondered why your parents actully let you on those rides, as a semi-mature person I wouldn't go on the rides put together by those shallow end of the gene pool carney's

    Don't get me wrong I realize I sound like a wrong side of the tracks guy. But it did score with a "shit load" (TBay term) of PACI chicks in the 90's and my father always said "marry a chick from Port Arthur" he also told me to go to trade school.

    As we know Thunder Bay has been a city since 1970 and we still call it Port Athur and Fort William it's 2006 people

    I reside in Alberta with the rest of Thunder Bay counting my Oil money and not working hard as we can see.

    But, tell you what it's funnny to have some Bay talk once and white



  10. Would it be possible to induce our South of the border buddies to boosh Bush into a bush!

    reality check

  11. The Cynic

    P.S. Sorry for call you Pal

    After reading your profile a now realize that you are female not a dude.

    Must be the carney in me


  12. Great call on the bonbons. I haven't found a replacement for Eddy Lee's yet (although there is a place in Kanata called the Rideau Restaurant that squelches the urge).

    I remember Lakeview, but it closed when I was pretty young. If I remember correctly, it was the only school with a daycare ("Little Lions").

    More CLE memories -- the bingo tents, and the old ladies marking off the called numbers with popcorn kernels.

    Elephant Ears! God, how I miss these! A large, fried piece of sweet dough topped with icing sugar.

    And don't forget the musical shows -- remember the big year when LaToya Jackson performed?

    If we're going to mention the CLE, we also have to acknowledge Benny Birch's Birthday Party. It's my understanding that they've moved it from the Heritage grounds, to the LPH grounds (a psychiatric hospital, which is so classic Thunder Bay), to Chippewa. This is sacrilege. My mother worked at the Heritage for a period and one of her biggest jobs was helping to organize that weekend. Yours truly even spent one year as Baby Birch -- Benny's younger sibling...err..sapling.

    It's also important to remember that people in Thunder Bay have been exposed to the influx of Minnesota hockey players for generations. Remember getting Bulldogs hockey on television from Duluth before we were switched over to the Detroit affiliate?

    The Universal Cynic

  13. Glad were back to the subject of hockey LOL. It's too far to drive to sample all those goodies!

    Maybe you oughtta all listen to "Thunder Road" and subsistitute the word Bay in there and all get over it for a just.

    OK just kidding! Couldn't resist - sounds like a great place to miss.

    Don't worry bout mistaking Erin for a guy, most people worry about mistaking her for girl LMAO.

    reality check

  14. You Mentioned the LPH with out mentioning the best city planning in the world

    I've been to Nigeria and they have better city planners

    Accross the street from a mental hospital put a highschool on one side the local jail on the other and why for good measure add in a park/swimming place on the other side where kid's can play.

    Talk about the Bermuda square.

    That would be Lakeview High
    (St Ingatious now) Lakehead Phyciatric Hospital, Boulevard lake and the Thunder Bay District Jail all within one block.

    Remember Cryptosperidium?
    better know as beaver fever.

    That's why the Staal boy's made it to the show. They drank nice Slate River water not Lake Loclomond

    While I'm on that subject Surprise Surprise Pronger wants out of Edmonton gee would you want to live in CLE land all year.

    I Think Not