Jesus Murphy! A Case Study of Canadianisms with WAX
June 29, 2018
Illustration for the phrase 'Jesus Murphy'
Canadians use a lot of euphemisms, or “Canadianisms,” that cover a variety of topics. From food and drink slang (“double double”) to phrases and sayings (“splittin’ the rocks”). But what do these Canadianisms mean to those who aren’t Canadian? This idea inspired Calgary-based creative agency WAX’s new “Eh” issue for Wayward Arts, a publication produced by Flash Reproductions that features a different designer and theme every issue.
Just in time for Canada Day, WAX approached 21 international artists to illustrate 21 popular Canadian euphemisms. The catch? The artists were not allowed to Google the phrases, to capture their original interpretations. WAX then asked 21 Canadian artists to illustrate the true meanings of the phrases and placed both illustrations beside each other in the newest edition of Wayward Arts. The double-page spreads show the quirky and sometimes strange meanings behind Canadian slang. "Our inspiration coincidentally came from our time spent outside of Canada," explains Nick Asik, creative director of WAX. "We realized there are so many words and phrases we use in Canada that no other country uses."
Illustration for the word 'Cariboozer'
Alongside the magazine issue, the illustrations can also be seen online here, and in a video below. —Sabrina Gamrot