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Canada

Toronto slang on the rise thanks to city’s growing pop culture relevance, professor says

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TORONTO – A Toronto-area professor says the city’s increasing relevance in pop culture is part of a growth in Toronto-specific slang.

Derek Denis, assistant professor at University of Toronto Mississauga, has been studying the prominence of Toronto’s unique slang lexicon for the past two years.

He says the city’s diverse population is part of why Toronto has such a unique slang vocabulary when compared to other cities.

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Denis cites words like “ahlie” which originates from Patois, or “bucktee” which originates from Somali and is used as an insult.

He says factors like Drake reaching worldwide fame and the championship win by the Toronto Raptors have helped popularize the city’s slang.

However, he points out that references to Toronto-specific lingo have deeper roots and can be traced back to the late 90s and early 2000s when Toronto rapper Kardinal Offishal made “BaKardi Slang,” a song about local slang.

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