Just What is a GAB Exactly?

Just What is a GAB Exactly?

Submitted by Job Patstone

A sign, for the sign of the times.

I took this picture on the corner of 41st st. and 4th ave.  In Quebec City at an ESSO station which has a “depanneur” (convenience store) and a GAB.

The sign represents Tim Horton’s, Canada’s best and most patronized coffee and donut shop, (Canada’s Starbuck’s if you like) and a Royal Bank of Canada acronym stating there is a GAB inside. It took me a while to figure out what GAB stood for, and then it hit me. Since businesses try to accommodate the French language (and it’s laws) here in Québec I deducted from local jargon that it probably means “Guichet Automatique Bancaire”, replacing the global term ATM which is in English. So we have Canada’s favorite coffee shop and a “French” rendition (to satisfy the locals) of an RBC banking machine on this one sign, how Canadian is that! The paradox of this whole thing is that “gab” is actually an English word which makes the translation thing a bit confusing.

For anyone who doesn’t know the neighbourhood, this “depanneur” could actually be a Tim Horton’s where people come to gab and fill up with gas or, even better, gab at the bank. “Got gab, got gas, Got milk” and hey, get money too. Maybe some other bank could try MAC, for Machine ā Cash. It would certainly be more French wouldn’t it? Could this become the next “Pastagate” called “Gabgate”?

Categories: News, Opinion

About Author

Job Patstone

Job Patstone was born in Hamilton, ON. and has lived in Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer AB. He is presently living in Quebec City, with his wife. He worked for Xerox for 26 years and was an ESL teacher for another ten.

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