Manitoba slang


I absolutely love discussing regional dialects and slang words.  Manitoba is full of them.  One distinct Manitoban word that I have heard many times this spring is "booter".  I have never heard this word used anywhere other than Manitoba. 

Booter: Manitoba slang for getting water in your boots. Example: I was so busy sandbagging I didn't watch where I was stepping and the next thing I knew I had a couple of booters.

The term "booter" is used so often in the spring in Manitoba that it almost feels like you can't call yourself a Manitoban until you have experienced a booter for yourself.  Kind of like a rite of passage.

Recently I went fishing with my husband and almost had my first ever Manitoba "booter" experience.  I thought it was a small shallow puddle.  I decided to walk through the puddle to avoid the tall grass and ticks.  It turned out to be a big massive hole filled with mud and water.  I ended up stuck. Every time I tried to lift my rubber boots up I would sink deeper and deeper.  In the end my husband had to help pull me out, and I was spared my first Manitoba booter experience.  I must admit, a small part of me wanted to experience a booter, because then I would know I had truly become a Manitoban and crossed the rite of passage.  There is always next year!

matrimonial cake

I love a good craft fair.  I really love a good craft fair with a homemade baking table.  Some friends and I attended a craft fair on the weekend and lucky for me there was a bake table.  I spotted a favourite treat of mine - date squares - or what Manitobans refer to as matrimonial cake.  I first heard the term matrimonial cake about 3.5 years ago just after I moved to Manitoba and it has always puzzled me.  Is it a dessert that is served at weddings in Manitoba? Should I be making this for my husband? Do singles make it in hopes of attracting a mate?

I've asked around, and nobody really seems to know as date squares have just always been called matrimonial cake in Manitoba.  Some Manitobans even find it funny that I think it is strange to call it matrimonial cake. 

I am a bit of a geek so I decided to do some research.  My initial hunch was that it was named matrimonial cake as it was originally served at weddings.  In the east coast where I am from, besides having a regular wedding cake, it is an old tradition to serve fruitcake at weddings too and it is referred to as "groom's cake", so I thought matrimonial cake would be similar.  My research did not produce a definitive answer.  It appears to be a western Canadian thing to refer to date squares as matrimonial cake.  Some feel it is called matrimonial cake because of the two separate layers brought together by dates which symbolizes two people courting and solidifying the relationship in marriage.  Others feel that the smooth and rough textures of the date squares represent the easy and difficult times of a marriage.  Some believe that it was individually wrapped, handed out at weddings, and then single gals would place it under their pillow and dream about their future husband. 

No matter what the history or what you call them, they sure are delicious.  My package of matrimonial cake from the bake sale are almost gone, and they sure are tasty!