"What's up, hoser?" "Yeah, I'm talking to you, jar-head!"

What do those two terms mean?

If not for the “McKenzie brothers,” I never would have heard of the term “hoser.” Is that real “Canada-speak?” Is it a neutral or a negative term? And just what is (the origin of) a “hoser.”

Same thing with “jar head.” I’ve heard it used to refer to marines. What is the significance of “jar head,” and is it neutral or negative?

Swabbies called the marines with their dress hats set low on their foreheads “jar heads” because they looked as if the hats had been screwed down onto a jar.

(A swabbie, of course, is a creature that swabs a deck with a mop.)

Not sure where hoser came from.


tomndebb: Pffft… Don’t you know anything? Swabby’s are the guys who sit cross-legged and charm snakes.

I heard the term hoser, but only in Ontario. And I was about 9 when I moved, so for all I know it could be a term only little kids use. I suppose it’s just a generic insult.

Ugh, you people are so culturally ignorant, eh. Hoser is a realy annoying jerk, often a culturaly ignorant American, eh. And We do say eh alot, eh.

“C’mon, it’s not even tomorrow yet…” - Rupert

If you need a graphic solution, http:\ alk.to\Piglet

hoser noun [C] Canadian slang 
a man, esp. one who works at a job that uses physical rather than mental
skills and whose habits are slightly offensive but amusing 
You hoser – leave some beer for the rest of us!(sorta like a sailor only he uses a hose instead of a mop-mj)   http://www.cup.cam.ac.uk/esl/dictionary/cmd_search.asp?searchword=hoser&dict=a ,eh.
tomnkon ,you’re both wrong a swabbie is a thing witwitch you clean a baby’s ear.Konrad you’re thinking of a swan. a sailor is a squabbie. I thot Jarhead was Jughead’s girl friend. could be the sailors called the leathernecks jar head cause when they said jug head they got beat up. Isn’t there some derogatory something head meaning a Hungarian or Chezc or Pole?

“Pardon me while I have a strange interlude.”-Marx

When I took a tour of the USS Constitution, the guide gave the following etymology for “jar head”. The marines were picked for height and were unusually tall. The space between decks on sailing ships was very low. Thus, the marines would continually “jar” their heads against the beams. So “jar head” would be a term used by sailors to refer to the marines.

Then again, the guide could have been blowing smoke for all I know.

“Hoser” is a Canadian television creation by “the McKenzie Brothers”. It may have something to do with their constant beer drinking. It is used in a derogatory sense, as in “you hoser”. I’ve never been able to figure it out, the best I could do is douche bag to hose bag to hoser. “Douche bag” and “hose bag” have been around for a long time as insults so maybe the comedians just came up with “hoser”. The only people who can answer this are Rick Moranis or Dave Thomas, the two comedians that coined the phrase. Did anybody ever hear “hoser” used to describe someone before Second City Television started to run the Mackenzie brother skits?

I always thought that ‘jarhead’ referred to the lack of neck. Lack of neck referring or course to the lack of a neck narrower than the head, making it look like there’s a cylindrical jar sitting on top of the shoulders. They have thick necks, usually being solidly built. Like a bull.

The flat top hair cut, flat top BDU cap, and low and flat dress uniform cap all add to the illusion, like the cap of a jar (head).

Semper fi

I recall seeing an interveiw long ago when Second City TV has at it’s peak. According to Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, “Hoser” is what you call your brother when your mother is within earshot.

They also stated that, at the time, any show produced in Canada, must have at least 10 minutes of “purely Canadian content”. The Great White North was created to meet this requiremnet.

“Eh?” is definitely real. I used it all the time in the 50’s, and I didn’t even live in Canada, but central Maine.

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

what a bunch a hosers ,eh? See the funny lookin string of letters that starts off with http and has /‘s and .’'s and a line under it , eh. click on those and they link you to neat places. In this case to an Authoritative dictionary. Dave and Doug invented the phrase Great White North too,eh? And they had to create the segment so that a show produced in Canada, with a canadian crew, canadian cast, canadian writers, about a fictitious canadian tv station in a fict. canadian town would have some canadian content,eh? That has got to explain why when watching a canadian documentary about the amazon I was puzzled to see a canoe full of mounties over turn and be attacked by pirana.

“Pardon me while I have a strange interlude.”-Marx

Point taken mr john, but I still say the expression “hoser” was coined by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas in the early 80s. It may be in general use now and it may have made it into an authoritative dictionary, but I’ve lived a long time all over Canada and I never heard the expression before it appeared on SCTV. Did anybody ever hear “hoser” used in the above dictionary defined sense (which sounds a lot like the usage made by SCTV) before the early eighties?

When it comes to things Canadian I will yield to a Canadian. Though I used to live 20 miles south of the Canadian River. I DO think there is some regulation that a movie or TV program produced in Canada has to have a certin percent of cast and crew etc be canadian. I don’t give up easy tho. I think Hoser was a term used by some small enclave,dockworkers,roughnecks, or such from the definition I found, that the Mckenzies popularized. I shall continue my research after some beers ,eh? BTW is that Canadian ,some beerS as a plural? Most folks I know say SOME beer, but 5 or 6 beerS.

“Pardon me while I have a strange interlude.”-Marx

I am an expert on Canadian beer drinking and we also use “beer” and “beers” as you say - “Let’s go drink some beer” and “after eighteen beers I felt the urge to rape and kill”. One might invite a friend to go for a beer but the real truth of the invitation might be better conveyed by using “beers”. You know you have a Canadian in your house when you see someone dressed to go outside sitting at your kitchen table. Canadians will drink all your beers, then go through your cupboards to see if there’s any booze left, before they leave.
We do have major Canadian content rules for the media. Radio stations must play a certain percentage of Canadian songs which results in nauseating constant play of the occasional Canadian pop hit. One of Canadian Bryan Adams’ recent hits was disqualified because he recorded in the USA with American backup and support. It’s the good old Canadian bureaucracy making work for themselves syndrome. The path to financial success and security in Canada is usually on the taxpayers’ back. Masses of patronage appointments of well connected people are required in Canada to monitor and protect “Canadian culture”. There’s always another seat on the gravy train for friends of the politicians in power.
I suppose the US isn’t much different. I was interested to see that Linda Tripp had a $90,000+ job at the Pentagon after working at the White House and it seems Monica Lewinski was about to be hired into a sweet job at Revlon in New York before the jizz hit the fan. But I digress…

Has anybody ever heard “hoser” used before the early 1980s?

I live in Montreal; before that, I lived in Winnipeg; and I’m 18 years old. I have never heard the word “hoser” used as a serious insult.

Young fella, you weren’t even born when “The Great White North” hit Canadian TV screens and, according to my theory, coined the insult “you hoser”. In the early eighties we were all calling each other hosers. There’s a lady I used to work with and we still call each other “hoser” and “hosette” in memory of our beer drinking days.

Al, don’t you mean " In our days of drinking beers." Canadian culture mm canaian culture let me muse hmmm…OH ! … no hmmm… Hockey and Mounties! The Mounties were here for the State Fair doing precesion riding every day, They were the hit of the fair. Also visited every hospital and childrens shelter they could find and there are a lot of them here.They were the talk of the town for a month and a half. Definatly NOT Hosers, prob had there share of beers too.Prob the only ones left on horse back and red tunics. Actually I think they were here to check up on how we were treating Stanley’s Cup.

“Pardon me while I have a strange interlude.”-Marx