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In the current lingo of Canadian racetrack bookies and touts, a “Borden” is a 100-dollar Canadian bill. Check out this modest scenario that finds three unsavoury lay-abouts at the track, slouched on the rail at New Woodbine in Toronto.
Freddy No-Socks (race track tout): Hey, Louie, how much yah down this aft?
Louie: Couple uh Bordens.
Freddy No-Socks: Whaddabout youse, Nail Gun?
Nail Gun: Since 12 bells, I personally waved bye-bye to 4 brownies.
Louie: Them tips of yours was crap, Freddy. You're the last of the big-time shits. You're an endangered feces.
This means Louie has lost approximately two hundred dollars betting on the ponies so far today, and Nail Gun, nicknamed after his weapon of choice, is down four hundred dollars.
Louie might also have said: “Two brownies.”
This picture of the previously current Canadian one-hundred dollar bill explains both bits of Canadian slang. Our hundred-dollar bill is chiefly brown and it features the eighth Prime Minister of Canada, Conservative stalwart Sir Robert Laird Borden.
Robert Laird Borden was Prime Minister of Canada from 1911 to 1920. Borden appeared on two previous versions of Canada’s one-hundred-dollar bill.
A Nova Scotia lawyer, Conservative Prime Minister Borden led Canada through the First World War and promoted Canadian interests during the treaty negotiations that followed. In the realm of international affairs, Prime Minister Borden enhanced Canada’s diplomatic reputation and status as a sovereign nation and, through astute bargaining, achieved equal status for Canada with England within the Commonwealth.
Money Terminology in Canadian English & Quebec French
In 1987 the Canadian paper one-dollar bill was replaced by a coin with a loon depicted on the coin’s reverse. Thus “loonie” became a slang term for one dollar.
Applied to the two faces of a coin or medal, the noun obverse refers to the face containing the head and the principal inscription, whereas the noun reverse applies to the other side of the coin. The obverse of the Canadian loonie depicts the head of Queen Elizabeth II.
With the introduction of the two-collar coin in 1996, the slang term “toonie” arose to signify a two-dollar coin.
In Quebec, le dollar is a buck. Quebec monetary slang also includes older synonyms for a dollar such as un piaster or piasse. Huard (French, loon) denotes a loonie. The modern Quebec slang word for penny is cenne, spelled but not pronounced like the standard French word cent ‘a hundred.’ An older continental French word for penny in Quebec is sou.
© 2012 William Gordon Casselman
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Reviews of my Book
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A Great New Review of My Latest Book!
October 26, 2011
Welcome to the Enchanted Forest
By WB Johnston
This review is about Bill Casselman’s latest e-book about words: Where a Dobdob Meets a Dikdik: A Word Lover’s Guide to the Weirdest, Wackiest, and Wonkiest Lexical Gems (Kindle Edition)
“Wade Davis, lately of National Geographic, once described each living language as “an old-growth forest of the human spirit.” Once you decide to enter the kleptomaniacal woods of our mother tongue, what you need is more than a tour guide. This is no Disney-fied ‘keep-your-hands-inside-the-car-at all-times’, point A to point B, clear-cutting mining of language. You, here, are in the hands of Sir William of Cassel, a genuine shaman modestly posing as a simple lover of words.
Leave it on your desk at work and trust that someone will riffle through it when you are out at lunch. Shamans are magicians of the highest order. The work of their hands and hearts is game-changing. Or, hey, put it on your Kindle and just feel comforted that you can wander back out into the forest with Bill even in the middle of a boring lecture.
(Casselman replies: Thank you so much, Dr. J., for the kudos. )
Jenni French of San Fancisco, California writes on her blog “My Corner of the Universe” for March 19, 2011:
Casselman, Bill. Where a Dobdob Meets a Dikdik: A World Lover’s Guide to the Weirdest, Wackiest, and Wonkiest Lexical Gems. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2010.
And the author has quite a way with words, so I have found myself rereading many sentences in this book and slowing my progress through it.
My current favorite sentence is found in a discussion of dog hybrid breed names: “What a revolting concatenation of cutesiness and smarmy nomenclatorial treacle parading under the name of canine hybrid breed names” (19).
I’m sure I’ll have another favorite sentence in a day or two.
This book is just that good and just that entertaining.”
(Author Bill Casselman replies: “Thanks, Jenni!” )
Just a reminder that this book contains my ALL-NEW word esssays, none of which are available anywhere else in print or online.
Cindy Lapeña on her blog “Creativity Unlimited” of July 19 ,2011, writes:
Posted by mimrlith in 365 Things to Look Forward to.
19. Starting a book
To a certified bibliophile like me, a.k.a. bookworm, one of the most exciting things to look forward to is to start reading a new book. In fact, sometimes the prospect of starting to read a new book is so exciting that I have to hurry to finish the book I am currently reading, just so I can start a new one.
If there’s one thing I can’t resist, it’s a book, especially if it promises to be a good one. Of course there are certain books I just won’t touch or be seen with, but at the risk of being hung by my thumbs by fans of such literature, I will not mention any genres in particular. . .
Seeing a book with a title that totally captivates me, like Where a Dobdob meets a Dikdik (yes, that is a book title!) has me so worked up, I just can’t wait to dive in. I imagine all sorts of deliciously fancifully outrageous words with a title like that. Is it obvious? I just love books on words. You won’t believe how many dictionaries I own. Or books on lexical oddities and other lexical explorations. Yes, I am a logophile of sorts. I love the new words I pick up from new books. I relish finding out the meanings of all manner of words and phrases and expressions. What could be more fun?”
(Replies author Bill Casselman: Please scroll to bottom of page or click here to link to a free seven-page preview of my new book, Where a Dobdob Meets a Dikdik.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Dear Mr. Casselman,
. . . I revisited the paraprosdokian page, and have finally quit laughing again at “Casselman’s Conclusion.” You were not unkind to the “profligate prof-lets.” During my years as an acquisitions editor, in rejection letters I often quoted Prof. Moses Hadas, classicist at Columbia University, who wrote a young scholar in response to having been sent the prof-let’s first book, “Thank you for sending me your book. I will waste no time reading it.”