Welcome to the Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles Online (DCHP-1 Online)

This is the online edition of A Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles based on the first edition of the dictionary, published by Gage Educational Publishing in 1967 under the editorship of Walter S. Avis (editor-in-chief), Charles Crate, Patrick Drysdale, Douglas Leechman and Matthew H. Scargill. See Copyright Notice.

As an historical dictionary, this work shows changes in the meanings of words over time, using a series of dated quotations to illustrate these shifts. For the sake of historical completeness, it includes words that have become obsolete or outdated. DCHP-1 Online has 9,900 headwords, with 13,400 meanings, which are illustrated by 31,400 quotations from 1505 to 1965, and 115 original drawings. Note that some obsolete words or dated descriptions may not be consistent with modern standards of usage.

In the production of this online edition, the original print dictionary was scanned, tagged and uploaded into a custom-built online environment. The changes required by this shift of medium are described in the section How to Use. Apart from minor corrections in bibliographic references and quotations, the first edition was not altered in any way.

For a brief history of DCHP in all its guises since the 1950s, see Project History.


The project was carried out by the Canadian English Lab at the University of British Columbia under the leadership of Stefan Dollinger (editor-in-chief) with co-editors Laurel J. Brinton and Margery Fee. For a complete list of the team members, see Project Team.

The second, updated edition is currently being compiled and is expected to be completed by 2015.

DCHP-1 Online should be cited as:

Dollinger, Stefan (editor-in-chief), Laurel J. Brinton and Margery Fee (eds.). 2013. DCHP-1 Online: A Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles Online. Based on Avis et al. (1967). http://dchp.ca/DCHP-1/.

To start using the dictionary, use either “Browse” to search entries by letter or “Search” to enter a search word or phrase.