Posted on: Thursday, October 11th, 2018

It can be daunting to move to a new city. The stress of getting all your stuff there, being comfortable in your new dream home, and most of all fitting in with the culture can be overwhelming. We’ve got your back! We’ve come up with five Calgary-isms every new Calgarian should know.

Chinooks are your friend

The folk-etymology of the word Chinook means “ice-eater” which is no surprise considering it often causes any present snow to melt (much to the delight of Calgarians). A new Calgarian can spot a Chinook by it’s signature cloud arch which will often seem to reach across the entire sky. But watch out because it is also known to cause a spike in migraine occurrences so stock up on some Advil!


Ginger beef was invented in Calgary

There are many cities and chefs that claim to have invented ginger beef but it is most widely accepted that the true origin of the dish is none other than Calgary. The dish is said to have been developed during the mid-1970s by chef George Wong at the Silver Inn in Calgary. The dish has become a staple of Chinese take-out in Calgary and across Canada. The CBC Radio One program The Main Ingredient even featured it in one of their radio segments.


The Caesar (the cocktail) was also invented in Calgary

This Calgary favourite is typically a mixture of vodka, clamato juice (a mix of tomato juice and clam broth), hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, served in a glass rimmed with celery salt and garnished with a celery stalk and lime. It was invented in 1969 by restauranteur Walter Chell at what is now the Westin Hotel. If you’ve never had one you are missing out!


It is acceptable to drink a slurpee in any season

It’s no secret that Calgarian’s like their slurpees (slushies for those not in the know), as do many people, on a hot summer day. What can catch a new Calgarian off-guard is seeing a true blood Calgarian, slurpee in mitted hand while huffing through a blizzard! That’s right, Calgarians will treat themselves to a slurpee in any and all weather. It is truly an all-season drink.


It’s pronounced Cal-grie, not Cal-gar-ie

If you want to truly fit in with the native Calgarians you must be able to talk like them. A native will spot you a mile away if you pronounce it as the three-syllabled Cal-gar-ie. True Calgarians always drop the extra syllable and pronounce it Cal-grie.



Now that you know how to talk and eat like a Calgarian you’re going to fit right in!