The term "Canadian English" is first attested in a speech by the Reverend A. Constable Geikie in an address to the DCHP-1 Online, s.v "Canadian English", Avis et al. 1967). Geikie, a Scottish-born Canadian, reflected the Anglocentric attitude that would be prevalent in Canada for the next hundred years when he referred to the language as "a corrupt dialect", in comparison with what he considered the proper English spoken by immigrants from Britain.
Canadian English is the product of five waves of immigration and settlement over a period of more than two centuries. The first large wave of permanent English-speaking settlement in Canada, and linguistically the most important, was the influx of Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution, chiefly from the Mid-Atlantic States – as such, Canadian English is believed by some scholars to have derived from northern American English. The historical development of Canadian English is underexplored, but recent studies suggest that Canadian English has been developing features of its own since the early 19th century, while recent studies have shown the emergence of Canadian English features. The second wave from Britain and Ireland was encouraged to settle in Canada after the War of 1812 by the governors of Canada, who were worried about American dominance and influence among its citizens. Further waves of immigration from around the globe peaked in 1910, 1960 and at the present time had a lesser influence, but they did make Canada a multicultural country, ready to accept linguistic change from around the world during the current period of globalization.
The languages of Aboriginal peoples in Canada started to influence European languages used in Canada even before widespread settlement took place, and the French of Lower Canada provided vocabulary, with words such as toque and portage, to the English of Upper Canada.