All Canadian English dictionaries appear to be under a paywall model.

Can anybody help?

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    The free online dictionaries I'm familiar with include meanings from multiple dialects. For example, the AHD includes a "chiefly British" sense bonnet for the hood of a car, and has entries for billabong and loonie; OALD has the Canadian and Australian uses of washroom and drongo; Collins includes the Canadian senses of keener and chesterfield and the antipodean uses of swag and bushranger. What would an exclusively Canadian dictionary provide? – choster Jul 24 '19 at 14:49
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    @choster - well, someone took the pain to make a dedicated dictionary for Canadian English. oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780195418163.001.0001/… – user 66974 Jul 24 '19 at 15:10
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    @choster - and more.. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Canadian_English_dictionaries – user 66974 Jul 24 '19 at 16:41
  • I'm not disputing their existence or purpose, I'm questioning your purposes; again, what would a Canadian dictionary provide that the major online dictionaries do not? – choster Jul 24 '19 at 16:59
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    @choster - my purpose is to have a complete reference for Canadian English for whatever purpose it may serve. I think the more general dictionaries you are referring to just mention a small and probably more popular part of the Canadian/Australian terms or expressions. – user 66974 Jul 24 '19 at 17:27
  • behind a paywall – Mari-Lou A Jul 24 '19 at 17:53
  • Your best bet is to look up the word or expression in a dictionary and see if it's BrEng, AusEng, or AmEng. Canadian English spelling I believe follows that of BrEng. Failing that enclose the expression with speech marks and search for a Canada domain – Mari-Lou A Jul 24 '19 at 17:57
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    @Mari-LouA - “The site currently operates under a partial paywall model, where the majority of its content is made publicly available at no cost to readers.dictionary.cambridge.org/it/dizionario/inglese/paywall – user 66974 Jul 24 '19 at 17:57
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    "Under a paywall" sounds a bit weird to me, see dictionary.com/browse/paywall and here authorea.com/users/8850/articles/… – Mari-Lou A Jul 24 '19 at 17:59
  • @Mari-LouA - yes, thanks for the suggestion...,so the answer to my question is..there is no free online Canadian English dictionary, I suppose. – user 66974 Jul 24 '19 at 17:59
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    I agree with @Mari-LouA - “operating under a model” is not the same thing as “behind a paywall”. – ColleenV Jul 24 '19 at 19:16
  • You just added a quote of a close reason. Did you have a question that was closed? If so, please edit to add a link to that question. – Mitch Jul 25 '19 at 12:40
  • @Mitch - there are CVs on this question for the stated reason. I’d like to understand if this question is off-topic here on Meta. That’s it. – user 66974 Jul 25 '19 at 12:59
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    @JJJ - I am specifically asking for free online Canadian English reference, which is not mentioned, as far as I can tell, in that post. Plus that post is not meant to be a definitive one. – user 66974 Jul 25 '19 at 19:19
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    @user067531 and should you want to promote the fact that you are looking for such resources, then I suggest making a meta post (possibly this one), aimed at that: promotion. It's not a good idea to have those sources spread out over different questions if the consensus is to put them centrally. Now, you may get a nice answer but others who just look there will probably miss out. By the way, Mari's suggestions are also covered by that thread, Sven's aren't, I think. – JJJ Jul 25 '19 at 19:21

In addition to the Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles, which Mari-Lou A mentions and links to in her answer, you may occasionally find Margery Fee & Janice McAlpine, [Oxford] Guide to Canadian English Usage helpful. The second edition (2007) is available in searchable snippet view only—but that may be enough in some instances.

For instance, a search for the word "hospital" yields three snippet matches, including this one:

Five youths clad in just T-shirts and sweat pants were in hospital yesterday after police found them running around in the snow in -20 C temperatures. [—]Province (Vancouver) 26 Nov. 1990: 6

Although the quotation appears in the context of a discussion of whether Canadian English accepts clad as an alternative to clothed as a past participle of the verb clothe, it is at least circumstantially relevant to the question of whether Canadians say "go to hospital" because typical US English usage would (I believe) have included a definite article between "in" and "hospital" here:

...were in the hospital yesterday...

In any event, Fee & McAlpine is a serious and useful work—and it is available online in a limited form that permits snippet searches.



The Government of Canada’s terminology and linguistic data bank.
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A Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles
As an historical dictionary, this work shows changes in the meanings of words over time, using dated quotations to illustrate these shifts. Thus, DCHP-2 includes words that have become outdated or obsolete and lists for the sake of historical completeness words and meanings that are considered offensive or derogatory today. These words, however, are clearly marked.

  • Thanks, but it doesn’t appear to be a dictionary in the common sense. Idioms, saying usage etc. – user 66974 Jul 24 '19 at 18:07
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    It aspires to be the equivalent of Mitford Mathews's great A Dictionary of Americanisms on Historical Principles (1951)—which is to say that it is essentially a dictionary of words that have meanings peculiar to all or part of the country in question. I have the first edition of the Dictionary of Canadianisms and find that it is not as comprehensive as I might wish; for example, it has no discussion of "go to hospital" (the subject of a recent EL&U question), which I believe is a common phrasing in Canadian English. Still it's a useful resource for (some) quirky Canadian regionalisms. – Sven Yargs Jul 24 '19 at 18:50
  • @SvenYargs - that question brought me here. – user 66974 Jul 24 '19 at 19:29

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