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[kuh-nuhk] /kəˈnʌk/
noun, Slang: Sometimes Offensive.
a term used to refer to a Canadian, especially a French Canadian.
Origin of Canuck
1825-35; perhaps ultimately to be identified with kanaka Hawaiian, South Sea islander (< Hawaiian; see kanaka), if the word once identified both French Canadians and such islanders, who both were employed in the Pacific Northwest fur trade; later reanalyzed as Can(adian) + a suffix
Usage note
The term Canuck is perceived as insulting when used by non-Canadians or when referring specifically to French Canadians. But among Canadians, it is sometimes used as a neutral nickname or term of self-reference. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Canuck
Historical Examples
  • The Canuck was shot in his cabin and a lover of Kit was held for the crime.

    History of Linn County Iowa Luther A. Brewer
  • Why, that Canuck didn't seem to have no more head on him than a hen.

  • The love evinced for cottage adornment would have been lost in a passage through the Canuck settlements of the East.

    A Summer's Outing Carter H. Harrison
  • When will the bars be thrown down so that the Canuck and the Yankee can trade as brothers and friends?

    A Summer's Outing Carter H. Harrison
  • Of the two wrestlers, one was a veritable giant of a Canuck, swarthy of skin, hairy-chested.

    Riders of the Silences

    John Frederick
  • A forest ranger who is on the job has got to snow-shoe like a Canuck or else go down the valley after the snow begins to fall.

    They of the High Trails

    Hamlin Garland
  • "Well then, Canuck, if you've checked my guns I'll pull down those credits," Garret snarled.

    A Yankee Flier with the R.A.F. Rutherford G. Montgomery
  • As for the Canuck being top-dog in the lead-swinging business, I reckon thats fizzled out.

    John Brown Captain R. W. Campbell
  • The Canuck felt perhaps the simpler joy that the average man has in any strange notion that he is able to grasp.

  • Jeff lighted for himself the cigar the Canuck had refused, and smoked down upon the little man.

British Dictionary definitions for Canuck


noun (US & Canadian, informal)
  1. a Canadian
  2. (formerly) esp a French Canadian
Word Origin
C19: of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Canuck

1835, perhaps a cross between Canada and Chinook, the native people in the Columbia River region. In U.S., often but not always derogatory. As an adjective from 1853.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for Canuck



: Canuck booze/ my Canuck pal • Regarded as offensive by some, but apparently becoming more acceptable


A Canadian, esp a French-Canadian (1840s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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