Origin of the Name Twoonie
I remember the day I saw the Canadian Two Dollar Coin for the first time, it was in the mid Nineties, standing at the counter of my local A & W Restaurant. The counter girl was serving hamburgers to me and a friend. We paid for our food and she gave me the coin as part of my change. I said to my friend, “Hey, here is one of those new Two Dollar Coins”. I rolled it around in my hand and examined it, my friend said “Let me see it” I passed it to him and he examined it. I remember asking the counter girl how long they had been giving them out as change, she said that they had gotten them the day before. I took the coin back from my friend and thought to myself, Gee this coin should have a name like our One Dollar Coin the “Loonie”. I said to my friend, I wonder what we should call this coin, it’s a Two Dollar coin and needs a name like the Loonie ....... That’s when it hit me “Twoonie” I said it out loud “Twoonie”, my friend laughed, I put the coin in my pocket. As I picked up my tray of food, I said “That’s what I’m going to call it”.
Later that day I started showing the coin to my friends, as I pulled it out of my pocket I would formally announce “Here is one of those new Twoonies”. My friends would look at me kind of funny, some would comment “That’s a Stupid Name” others would simply look at the coin. A few weeks went by and I was at the local Chevron Gas Station in the Convenience Store, which incidentally is almost directly across the street from the A & W, a customer was at the counter and as he received his change he said “Oh a Twoonie”. I looked at him as he left the store and pondered, did he here that name from someone else or is it just a natural response to someone when they first see the coin?
No one seems to know the official origin of the Name “Twoonie”. I guess its just one of those Crazy Canadian Things.
Mark A. Boileau