Canuck

[ 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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for canuck

Canuck

/ (kəˈnʌk) /

noun US and Canadian informal

  1. a Canadian
  2. (formerly) esp a French Canadian

Word Origin for Canuck

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

Word Origin and History for canuck

Canuck


n.

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