Welcome to the Dictionary of Island Terms. Its purpose is to pin down the patois of Vancouver Island by recording its toponyms, nicknames, phenomena, slang, personalities and places. Explore the ever-growing A-Z here.

Pag’s | hospitality, icon | Short for Pagliacci’s, the popular casual restaurant located at 1011 Broad Street in downtown Victoria. The western lexicon has long fixed the word pagliacci (“clown” in Italian) to the 1892 opera of the same name by Ruggero Leoncavallo, hence the restaurant’s logo featuring a clown banging on a drum in the same manner immortalized by famed tenor Luciano Pavarotti in his prime.

Since its launch in 1979 the irreverent little restaurant – inspired by co-founding brothers’ David and Howie Siegel’s shared love of cinema and jazz, not to mention the nostalgia of their native New York – has helped to loosen the cultural sphincter of a city long suffering an especially tight ass. Pag’s remains locally famous for hosting live music, plating good value, and generating good times.

Note: though the “g” in pagliacci is silent in the vernacular, it is hard in the case of Pag’s, rhyming with bags.

Usage: “When I was at my poorest I basically survived on bottomless soup and focaccia bread at Pag’s…”


There are 0 comments

How Some BC Neighbourhoods Once Tried to Keep People of Colour Out

"So this racist lady on the bus starting ranting about Land Title Covenants, asking a young Asian couple if they were servants..."

That Time Our Government Made Millions Being Unabashedly Racist

"Most of my younger friends think racism towards Chinese people is a new thing in BC. Then I tell them about the Head Tax..."

The Thing Travelling Islanders Cross Their Fingers and Hope For

“I know it's Friday afternoon on a long weekend and I don't have a reservation but I'm crossing my fingers and trusting in ferry luck...”

The Legendary Tofino Restaurant at the End of the Canadian Road

"The first thing I do whenever I get to Tofino is hit SoBo for some Tofu Pockets and a big slice of Key Lime Pie..."