Do you wonder why Canadians always say “eh” in sentence?
Where does the word “eh” come from?
The use of “eh” goes back in the time of Confederation and was present in literature. The word “eh” was initially known in an Irish play “She stoops to Conquor” which was written in 1773. Thomas Chandler-Haliburton published “The Clockmaker” in 1836 which was during the time of the British Colony in Nova Scotia. The “The Clockmaker” also heavily used the “eh” term in several dialogues. The famous Time Magazine published an article in 1971 named Canadian English: It’s a little different, eh? which stigmatized the terms to Canadian even further. The hit show Great White North made the hoser stereotype popular. Hoser is a belittling terminology meaning a lazy slobbish person who wears flannels and watches hockey and drinks beer all the time, and ends each sentence with “eh.” Therefore, the term “eh” has been around since Canadian English became the new phenomena.
How “eh” is used in Canada
The terminology is part of the Canadian Identity because it represent inclusivity. It softens a sentence and involves the person you are talking with.
The many uses of “eh”
Below are some of the instances where the word “eh” is used.
- To express an opinion – “It was a good drive, eh?”
- An exclamation – “What a nice ending, eh?” or “What an amazing game, eh?”
- To command – “Put that down here, eh?”
- To criticize– “You dropped the ball, eh?”
- To narrate “eh” –“So I went to this club, eh?” “And everyone there had a drink, eh?” “And so, I …”
Many newcomers might find it amusing when Canadians use the word “eh” in conversations.
Learn more about Canadian Slang in the below video.