The Word on the Street Is . . . BS

Montreal Translation If you’re visiting Montreal, be wary of the acronym BS—it may not be what you think it is. In the rest of the English-speaking world, BS refers to cow paddies lying in a field. Once you cross the border into Quebec, those two letters take on a whole new meaning.

On the island of Montreal and its surroundings, BS stands for bien-être social, otherwise known as welfare. So if a road-raging granny cuts you off in traffic or a sales clerk short-changes you, bite your tongue before you shout, “That’s total BS!” Locals—both English and French—will wonder what you’re yelling about.

That said, feel free to toss around the term the same way you would welfare, low-rent, trailer trash, and the like. Just be careful of the karmic wheel—you might need some BS in your life one day, so keep the trash talk to a minimum.




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