This blog post is a little late – I should have written it a while ago, but I was busy watching the Stanley Cup playoffs. Yes I’m referring to our love of hockey, and right now in the NHL there are only 2 teams left – one Canadian and one American.
So if you are currently living or working in one of these countries, or are watching the playoffs because you enjoy hockey, you may be wondering about the strange names of the teams. We have the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins. But what do those names mean?
Well first off – the word Canuck is an old word, and is slang. The exact origins are not clear, but most of the research I’ve done leads me to believe it was first used to refer to early French-Canadians. However these days Canuck refers to any and all Canadians.
Is it bad, like “Yankee”?
No – 99% of the time we do not take offense to being called a Canuck. It is a soft term, and not only do we have a very good hockey team named the Canucks, but in our early history we had a character, almost like a super hero, named “Johnny Canuck” who would fight off the invaders of Canada and the Nazis during WW11 in comic books. As a matter of fact, the current Vancouver Canucks goalie, crowd-favourite Roberto Luongo, has a picture of Johnny Canuck on his goalie mask! I guess it’s for good luck – we’ll see soon if it works!
What does Bruin mean? A simple answer is it refers to a bear. It comes from Reynard’s fables. How it got to Boston, I’m not sure, but anyway it is a bear. And right now Boston is playing like bears!
Right now the series is tied 3-3, and the teams are travelling back to Vancouver for the final game 7 on Wednesday to see who will win the Stanley Cup for 2011. I of course am rooting for (cheering for) Vancouver. “Go Canucks Go!”
PS – if you are interested in hockey, you can find hockey vocabulary on this blog by searching it. The more words and phrases you know, the more you will enjoy the game.