Canada, Eh? translation at BILLIONBRIDGES.COM
Wed Nov 28 21:39:46 UTC 2001

I'd always heard that it originated in the Ottawa Valley, and
that it was based on the practice of hosing down a backyard
in winter to make an ice rink for your kids. My personal anecdotal
experience suggests that it was almost certainly not in use
anywhere else in Canada before Bob and Doug popularized it
on SCTV in the early 1980s.  In 1985 I went off to university in
Winnipeg where I was in a dormitory with kids from all over
the country, especially the West, and I remember having a series of informal
discussions about the word "hoser" (after mimicking
our favourite SCTV sketches, of course).  They had all assumed
it was an "Ontario saying" that had been adopted for the television
show, and were surprised when we told them we native Ontarians
had never heard it before either. Since the advent of SCTV, and
especially the Bob and Doug Christmas recording that spread it even
further, I've never heard the term used save as a hip or sarcastic
reference to those two funloving icons of Canadian boorishness.


> Traditionally, a hoser was a dumb, uncouth, uneducated, hockey-loving,
> beer-swilling male, and the term was considered offensive. However,
> McKenzie Brothers effect has been the gentling of this term. They were fun
> and likable characters and wore the "hoser" label proudly. So now hoser is
> more of a joshing term and I doubt there is anyone left in this country
> would be even mildly offended by the word, and the more likely reaction
> would be a good-natured laugh. I think, too, that a sizable chunk of the
> population has taken just the hockey-loving, beer-drinking part of the old
> definition and redefined hoser to include just those elements, which makes
> many Canadians hosers at heart.
> Paul (who fits the redefined hoser to a T)
> > Just one more thing--could you explain to some of us south-of-the-border
> > types what "hoser" means?  (Not related to "Hoosier," eh?)

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