re: frayne

Imlach puts ‘eh,’ with the question mark, at the end of positive statements, a habit acquired in Quebec City where the practice is commonplace. He lived in Quebec City for eleven years as a player, coach, general manager and eventually part owner of the Quebec Aces, a senior and later a minor-pro club. He had another speech idiosyncracy unrelated to Quebec City, an addiction to an old army word that serves as a verb, a noun or an adjective. Repetition seems to numb the listener’s senses to the word but it accounts for an observation on Imlach by the veteran defenceman Tim Horton: “Punch preaches a strange gossip, but he gets results.” Imlach said one time that the word has no real meaning to him. “It’s kind of a term of endearment, eh?”

• Trent Frayne, “Hockey’s a Game For Old Heads,” in It’s Easy — All You Have To Do Is Win (1968)