Canadian Lingo: Bill vs. Check, Washroom vs. Bathroom

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How to bamboozle Canadians in two sentences: 

"Check, please! And where's the bathroom?"

Canadian Lingo: Bill vs. Check, Washroom vs. Bathroom

Linguistically, I always feel like Canadian English is somewhere in between British English and American English.

Canadians write colours like the Brits, and organizations like Americans. There are more examples of course, and not just when it comes to spelling, but also when it comes to a few words that the two countries seem to find at odds with each other.

Bill vs. Check

Now, Canadians 🇨🇦 ask for the bill. Americans 🇺🇸 ask for the check.

Some Americans do ask for the bill, but it seems like check is more common down under... Down under Canada I mean.


The land down unda on the other side of world, Australia 🇦🇺, also asks for the bill and not the cheque. Singapore 🇸🇬 and the UK 🇬🇧 also ask for the bill.

Washroom vs. Bathroom

Canadians look for washrooms. Americans look for bathrooms, and sometimes restrooms.

"Where's the washroom?" feels the most natural to me as someone living in Canada 🇨🇦. I used to live in Singapore 🇸🇬 for quite a bit and they'd also refer to washrooms as... washrooms.

"Where's the bathroom?" brings up a mental image of a bathtub and it's not a word I would use in Canada if I'm looking for a washroom without a bathtub. In a hotel room, maybe? But I do understand bathrooms in general are a US thing.

As for Australians 🇦🇺, I'm not too sure what they call the washroom... Apparently they call it the dunny? What in the maple syrup is that?

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Hey, Ryan here 🇨🇦


Over the past 10 years, I've lived & worked in 5 cities across 3 countries (Previously in 🇸🇬🇮🇩).

More about me here.

27 years old

12 visas & residence permits granted

18 countries & territories visited

12 houses & apartments lived in