Here is a conversation I had with an Aussie mate the other day:

Me: “Do you have a nickel?”

Aussie Mate: “A what?”

Me: “A nickel”.

Aussie Mate: “A what?”

Me: “Oh for god’s sake. A nickel! You know – a five-cent piece!”

Aussie Mate: “OH! A five-cent piece!” (hands over said currency)

Me: “Why? What do you call five-cent pieces here in Australia?”

Aussie Mate: (pause). “Um…five-cent pieces”.

Of course.

I have to give Australians credit for their penchant for practicality.

But this in turn, sparked a comparison of our respective Canadian and Australian coins, and what they are called. I realized, in turn, that we Canadians are a little….well…loony.

Here is a breakdown of our respective coin denominations and names:


Five-Cent Piece (not shown here)

Ten-Cent Piece

Twenty-Cent Piece

Fifty-Cent Piece (not shown here)

One Dollar Coin

Two Dollar Coin

And in the name of practicality, these coins are all named just what they are. This leaves little to the imagination. Canadians, on the other hand, like to confuse and befuddle:


Penny – one-cent piece (unlike Australia, we still have the penny)

Nickel – five-cent piece

Dime – ten-cent piece

Quarter – 25-cent piece

Loonie (yes, you read it right) – dollar coin

Toonie (no really, I’m serious) – two dollar coin

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  • Nora Dunn

    In 2006, Nora sold everything she owned in Canada (including a busy financial planning practice) to embrace her dreams of full-…

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