Interestingly enough, everybody who sent this to be included some variation of “eh?”

Cidu Bill on Nov 20th 2012


Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, Canada, Frazz, Jef Mallett, comic strips, comics, humor | 40 responses so far

40 Responses to “Interestingly enough, everybody who sent this to be included some variation of “eh?””

  1. JHGRedekop Nov 20th 2012 at 12:08 pm 1

    You know, we don’t actually say that nearly as much as Bob & Doug might lead you to believe…

  2. Chakolate Nov 20th 2012 at 12:22 pm 2

    You know, as soon as I saw this I knew I’d find it here. Thanks, JHGRedekop. I noticed that the answers weren’t in order, but not that they all ended in…

  3. Kedamono Nov 20th 2012 at 12:55 pm 3

    By the way: D, A, B

  4. Arthur Nov 20th 2012 at 01:24 pm 4

    I liked the 2nd question (and answer) more than I did the main joke.

  5. Winter Wallaby Nov 20th 2012 at 02:39 pm 5

    I’m not sure if this needs an explanation, but I see a CIDU tag, so: Each of the multiple choice questions has the answers in reverse order, so that the last choice is “a”, rather than “d”. “a” sounds like “eh”. Canadians (allegedly) say “eh” a lot.

  6. Tom Knapp Nov 20th 2012 at 02:40 pm 6

    On my first trip to Toronto, I met an oline friend for lunch, and one of the first questions I asked her was if Canadians really say “eh” all the time or if that’s just an American fiction. She said it was completely false, they rarely use it in conversation. So, at the end of our 30-minute meal, I told her “37.” “What do you mean?” she asked. That was how many times she used it, without even being aware of it, during our casual chat.

  7. Winter Wallaby Nov 20th 2012 at 02:41 pm 7

    Er, not reverse order, I guess the first three are actually in semi-random order.

  8. NitricAcid Nov 20th 2012 at 03:44 pm 8

    When I first read this, I thought the “…ends with…” part referred to the loonie/goonie…answers, and didn’t understand why he thought “loonie” rhymed with “eh”. It took a while to notice that a) was the last option for all the questions.

  9. Keera Nov 20th 2012 at 04:22 pm 9

    What NitricAcid said. :-)

  10. John Small Berries Nov 20th 2012 at 05:09 pm 10

    I had a similar experience to Tom Knapp’s, with a Canadian friend who insisted that they didn’t really say “eh?” Except rather than tallying them, I repeated “eh?” every time she said it. After about fifteen or so times, she started punching me in the arm whenever I did it. (Being Canadian, though, she apologized for the first few punches.)

  11. Phelps Nov 20th 2012 at 05:21 pm 11

    I think the point is that all the choices end in (a), as Winter Wallabee points out, and that this becomes “everything” ending in a, because the word “Canada” also ends in “a”.

  12. Detcord Nov 20th 2012 at 06:12 pm 12

    I love telling the folks in London* that I was born, “North of Canada”. So far, they have all responded - incredulously - with, “You were born at the North Pole???” No, but it is literally true that I was born North of Canada :)

    *that would be London, England, not London, Ontario. ;)

  13. JHGRedekop Nov 20th 2012 at 06:17 pm 13

    There’s an old joke that Canada was named by pulling letters out oh a hat: “C, eh? N, eh? D, eh?”

  14. Soup Dragon Nov 20th 2012 at 06:42 pm 14

    Detcord #12: Your birth name was North? In Canada? Eh?

  15. Detcord Nov 20th 2012 at 07:10 pm 15

    Soup Dragon (14)

    “Birth Name”? Do you perhaps mean, “Birth Place”? If you check a map of the area, you will find that Detroit, Michigan is due North of Windsor, Ontario. It’s essentially the same as the answer to the second question. Geddit?! :P

    Now you can change that Canadian “Eh?” to good ole American, “Ah!”

  16. Christine Nov 20th 2012 at 07:51 pm 16

    I’m aware that I say “eh” a lot. (I also occasionally say “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaay!”). However, my grandmother is French-Canadian, and I notice that she says eh a lot more often (and differently) than other people do, so I suspect I picked it up from her.

    And @Detcord (12), I appreciate the clarification.

  17. Cidu Bill Nov 20th 2012 at 08:03 pm 17

    The first time I visited Minnesota, I was very disappointed that not a single person said “Ya” at the end of sentences.

    The trip was redeemed for me as I was flying out and I swear, every person on the plane was named either Sven, Ole or Lena.

  18. Soup Dragon Nov 20th 2012 at 08:12 pm 18

    Detcord #15: Actually, I meant “Name you acquired at birth” (or baptism or whatever). As in Freddie Mercury was (in a sense) “born Bulsara of Zanzibar”. Anyway, Detroit, Aye!

  19. Ooten Aboot Nov 20th 2012 at 08:32 pm 19

    I would like to know how many American readers got 3 out (not “oot”) of 3.

    How did the teacher miss “West of Buffalo”?

  20. mdt48302 Nov 20th 2012 at 09:40 pm 20

    Last time the Super Bowl was played in Detroit (or maybe the first time, I forget), someone asked a visiting sportswriter what his chief impression of the city was. He replied, “If one more person tells me you have to go south from Detroit to get to Canada, I’m going to punch him in the nose.”

  21. Joshua Nov 21st 2012 at 12:11 am 21

    #19 Ooten: I don’t understand. Canada is west of Buffalo, and it’s not unexpected or surprising that it is. (One can travel due west from any point in Buffalo and wind up in Canada, although for some of the city one would have to cross part of Lake Erie to arrive on land in Canada.)

  22. Proginoskes Nov 21st 2012 at 02:38 am 22

    Actually, Canada IS directly west of Eureka … Eureka, Nova Scotia, that is.

    And Canada is east of Newark, Wisconsin, but not directly. (And Canada is east of Newark, Vermont, if you go far enough.)

    It’s also north of Barrow, Illinois.

    So, if they took out the word “directly”, all four answers would be correct.

  23. jjmcgaffey Nov 21st 2012 at 03:47 am 23

    I loved this one. I knew south of Detroit was right (my dad’s from Michigan); I knew the loonie; had to look up the maple leaf flag (I’d never have guessed it was that late). Then I spent a couple minutes reading and rereading trying to figure out the punchline - but when I finally got it, it got a real LOL.

  24. heather Nov 21st 2012 at 08:35 am 24

    As a Canadian, I almost sent this this one in yesterday as a CIDU. I couldn’t figure it out. I thought it *had* to do with “eh” but I was only looking at the ‘loonie’ question and thought ‘they all end with e… that’s not eh… did the author make that mistake? Is is something about -ie?’ I was stumped. I was so stuck on figuring that out that I completely missed that the multiple choice letters were in a different order…

    And yeah, I say ‘eh’ all the time. My friends and family who live in the US notice it about themselves more too, it takes being in a different environment to really notice your verbal quirks. Like, I’m from the Maritimes and grew up thinking “i don’t have an accent, everyone else has an accent” until I lived in BC for a couple of years, and a friend of mine made fun of how I said “about” — it’s not quite “aboot” like the stereotype, that’s a more middle-Canada thing, I think. It’s more like “abewt”. Once she pointed it out, I heard the difference, and couldn’t STOP hearing it. :/

  25. Morris Keesan Nov 21st 2012 at 09:56 am 25

    Ooten Aboot #19: I got them all correct, without having to think about it much. I remember the flag changing, which immediately eliminates three of the answers; I’ve gone between Windsor and Detroit, in both directions (north to Detroit, south to Canada), and I probably have a few Loonies in my collection of leftover foreign money.

    And I’m one of the people who sent the strip to Bill, not having noticed that the answers weren’t presented in abcd order.

  26. Mark in Boston Nov 21st 2012 at 01:38 pm 26

    The Fonz said “Aaaaaaaaaaay” which is not really the same, but when Henry Winkler was the guest on “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me”, the multiple-choice questions were rigged so that the answer was always A.

  27. pepperjackcandy Nov 21st 2012 at 02:10 pm 27

    I figured out the flag thing by process of elimination because I know that Canada gained its total independence sometime in the 20th century.

    While I was in Hawaii, I heard four “aloha”s (one of them directed at me and I’m pretty sure I had a deer-in-the-headlights look when I responded), three “mahalo”s (not including the one on the lid of the trash can in the fast-food restaurant) and one ukelele “in the wild,” as it were.

  28. JHGRedekop Nov 21st 2012 at 03:15 pm 28

    Pepperjackcandy #27: The process of elimination wasn’t a guarantee, though. The flag came over 20 years before, and independently of, the Constitution.

  29. Keith B Nov 21st 2012 at 05:43 pm 29

    What’s weird to me is that the people I have met from Wisconsin and Minnesota tend to end their sentences with “Yeah?”, almost exactly like the Canadian “Eh?”. What is it with these northern people and their strange sentence-ending-things?

  30. lord-z Nov 21st 2012 at 08:32 pm 30

    A lot of languages and dialects has a quirk like that, ending a sentence kind of asking for confirmation. My native danish, especially in copenhagen, has “ik’”, which, contextually, means “Right?”, very like the canadian “eh”. In Spain, they use “Vale”, meaning the same thing. Che Guevara was named Ernesto, but he was argentinian, and they use “Che”, something the cubans found hilarious. They have a word like that as well, but I forget what it is.

  31. Gg83 Nov 21st 2012 at 11:17 pm 31

    You know how they named Canada, right? They put a some of letters in a hat, and pulled them out one at a time. “C, eh? N, eh? D, eh?”

  32. Gg83 Nov 21st 2012 at 11:19 pm 32

    Dang it, how the heck did I miss that on my first readthrough? Sorry, JHGRedekop. I apparently need a whole lot more sleep.

  33. Kilby Nov 22nd 2012 at 10:43 am 33

    @ Gg83 (31&32) & JHGRedekop (13) - I’ve heard a corresponding joke a couple times here in Germany, but it depends on a fairly strong German dialect. Allegedly, the first explorers to land in Canada must have been southern Germans: they looked around, didn’t find any people anywhere, and remarked (in the approximate German pronunciation, but spelled here for English readers): “cane-a-da” (or alternatively “coin-a-da“), which renders fairly closely to the German pronunciation of “Kanada“. The “actual” German phrase is “keiner da” (meaning: “nobody here”).

  34. JHGRedekop Nov 22nd 2012 at 10:51 am 34

    Kilby #33: The comedy team Bowser & Blue use a similar joke: that Canada was first explored and named by Spaniards, who said, “Ca nada”, meaning “there’s nothing here”.

    The true story, or the most authentic-sounding one I know of, is that Jacques Cartier was sailing up the Ottawa river and asked the local Iroquois what this place was called. They told him they called it “Kanata”, so he used that name for the territory — but the Iroquois had just thought he was asking them a vocabulary question: “Kanata” is Iroquois for “village”.

    Legend has it that Kanata, Ontario, (outside Ottawa) is on the site of the Iroquois village where this exchange too place.

  35. The Bad Seed Nov 22nd 2012 at 11:14 am 35

    Maybe it’s just a regional thing, but my friend who’s a native of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, ends every single sentence with “eh?”, and every native I met in Niagara Falls, Ontario, did the same thing. I thought it was charming, and adopted it myself for a while.

  36. Morris Keesan Nov 22nd 2012 at 12:28 pm 36

    Speakers of one English (in England) dialect, do something very similar, innit?

  37. Meryl A Nov 23rd 2012 at 03:19 am 37

    I got all 3, easily.

    I just took an exam like this. IRS now requires tax preparers to take continuing ed. I bought a course, you “read” the three books and answer 75 questions. Some questions ask which answer is false, some which is true. In some answers within each question are written is terms of “this is” some “this is not”. 3 questions were not answerable with the course material, I looked them up on the IRS site. 4 questions had answers that were confusing (in one state sales tax was mentioned in the text, answer choice was state tax, a more encompassing answer, but then there would be 2 answers. One question asked which answer was false and all were true (reading the items off a list in the text and matching them to the answer). I actually “cheated” and had my husband read the question also and he had the same answer - so obviously the US IRS exam was made by Canadians.

  38. Christine Nov 23rd 2012 at 10:34 am 38

    JHGRedekop (34) I’ve never heard the bit about Cartier having that discussion at Kanata. It was a much more plausible story to me before that detail.

  39. JHGRedekop Nov 23rd 2012 at 11:37 am 39

    Christine (38): The story about Cartier getting the name from the Iroquois is, so far as I know, well-established. The bit about it happening at Kanata is, as I said, more “legend”, as far as I can tell.

  40. potato Dec 1st 2012 at 12:05 pm 40

    kilby, it’s not just a joke. here in rheinland, especially informal dialect, “Kanada” and “keiner da” sound nearly the same.

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