The other day, I heard a new-to-me Winnipeg word. At first I thought I was just not following the conversation properly; one minute we were talking about gardening, the next, soup. But it turns out that folks here call our clay-rich soil “Manitoba gumbo”. And voila – even after 4+ years here, there are still local references to be learned. Then yesterday, I saw a tweet from Nadine of Save Money in Winnipeg:
— nadine chappellaz (@couponwinnipeg) October 25, 2012
Uh oh, I thought… I didn’t realize we weren’t calling it Autopac anymore! A few Twitter conversations later, it’s revealed that while yes, Autopac is still called Autopac, sometimes younger folks or Winnipeg newbies have no clue what this funny sounding thing is! (Random memory: visiting the city as children, my sister and I are in the back seat as we drive up Pembina, chirping “Autopac” every time we see a sign, which was every block or so!)
Anyway, I’ve been keeping a list of such local terms, expressions, and references since before I even started this blog, and would love some help in identifying more of them for the blog’s glossary. The idea here is to develop a list of things that locals know but outsiders would generally be clueless about. Some of these are things I’ve written about before and others are new, and my list obviously reflects my own experiences – I didn’t grow up here so I don’t know many of the ’80s and ’90s references that my husband is constantly explaining to me (though I finally know the theme song for Menard’s!).
Anyway, I’d love your input – please share your additions, thoughts, etc., in the comments!
- Autopac: The insurance product sold by Manitoba’s public insurer, MPI.
- Bud, Spud & Steak fundraisers
- City Park: How older Winnipeggers refer to Assiniboine Park.
- “Come on Down”, the phrase used in Kern Hill Furniture radio ads (I even saw a tennis court in Grand Beach with this on a placard, and felt pleased I knew the reference!)
- Dancin’ Gabe: Our city’s most iconic and loyal sports fan!
- Gumbo: Manitoba’s clay-rich soil.
- Halloween Apples!
- Honey dill sauce
- Imperial cookies
- Jeanne’s cakes
- The LC
- Matrimonial squares
- Mini loonie pot: Listen to any amount of NCI FM and you’ll know what I mean. I can’t find references to this particular game from anywhere outside of our province!
- Schmoo torte
- Meat Shoulder
- Social table
- Unicity: The amalgamation of seven municipalities into what we now know as Winnipeg.
Keep ‘em coming!