The Word on the Street Is . . . Chalet

 

We Canadians sure love the great outdoors and when referring to that four-walls-and-a-roof we head to when the ice finally thaws, our choice of words is as wide as our great land itself.

Where I grew up in BC, we call it a cabin, perhaps because it is just that: a log cabin.

On a cross-country excursion, I discovered that the folks in Northern Ontario call it a camp and that Maritimers call it a cottage.

Unbeknownst to me, when I first moved to Montreal and was teaching English as a second language, I would always correct my students: “It’s not a chalet. Chalets are in Switzerland or on the side of a steep Alpine mountain where you go to yodel and herd goats. Chalets have sloped roofs.”

I ignorantly provided my students with other terms like summer house, country home, cottage, cabin, and camp—anything except the local lingo, chalet. Little did I know that whether you speak English or French, chalet is the word of choice in Quebec.

So to all my former students, please forgive me. That place where you go to fish and boat is indeed a chalet—even I have changed my ways.

 

What do you call a summer getaway in your neck of the woods? Let us know!

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