The United States is a vast and diverse nation that’s a melting pot of different languages, dialects, cultures (yes, we do have some culture) and also peculiarities. It’s a little secret that Americans are proud of their state’s culture. In another article, “The Best Things in Each US State,” you will discover every state’s source of pride and fame.
In a country of at least 350 languages and dialects, it’s not surprising that you’ll find plenty of slang words from each state that are downright bizarre but truly fascinating. But maybe that’s another thing that makes the United States unique.
Alabama – “A ways”
“A ways” means any distance between ten minutes and two hours in an approximate direction.
Alaska – “Outside”
In other states, “outside” means any outdoor setting. But in Alaska, the term refers to any state outside of Alaska. Alaskans usually use the phrase “going outside” as they have to leave the state for some reason.
Arizona – “Snowbird”
Arizonans affectionately use this term to refer to the state’s wide-eyed visitors from the colder regions “up north.”
Arkansas – “Roofer”
It may sound like you’re a cool person. But trust us, you don’t want anyone to call you this when in Arkansas. It’s apparently reserved for people who aren’t so sharp (in other words, idiots).
California – “Bomb”
When something is “bomb,” it means it’s really, really cool.
Colorado – “Gaper”
If you’re new to the slopes, Colorado natives will call you that word (sometimes in a mean-spirited way).
Connecticut – “Apizza”
It’s not like you’re asking for a slice of pizza. The term refers to a unique pizza recipe from New Haven, Connecticut. It’s a usually irregularly-shaped and thin-crusted pizza with charred specks in the dough as a result of being baked in a coal-fired oven (instead of the traditional wood-fired oven). It’s topped with tomato sauce, a bit of cheese, garlic, oregano, olive oil, and often, littleneck clams. It’s also known as New Haven pizza.
Delaware – “Baggin’ up”
When someone’s jokes cause you to get stitches in your sides because you’re “baggin’ up,” it means you’re laughing.
Florida – “Dale”
Rather than the name of a person, “dale” means “okay.”
Georgia – “Quit being ugly”
The phrase means to change one’s attitude or behavior.
Hawaii – “Poho”
“Poho” is defined as a waste of time.
Idaho – “Potato drop”
It’s just like the New Year’s Eve ball drop tradition in New York City’s Times Square. But instead of the ball, it involves an actual potato.
Illinois – “LSD”
No, it’s not what you think. “LSD” means “Lake Shore Drive,” a stretch of road next to Lake Michigan running into Chicago.
Indiana – “Hoosier”
Someone who is a native or inhabitant of Indiana. It is thought to have derived from a Native American word, “hoosa,” meaning “corn.”
Iowa – “Pork queen”
Although it sounds somewhat demeaning, being called “pork queen” in Iowa is considered a great honor. Each year, the Iowa Pork Producers Association crowns pork princesses, along with the prestigious winner of the coveted title, during the Iowa Pork Congress in Des Moines. The pork queen and pork princesses go on to become ambassadors at the World Pork Expo.
Kansas – “Shucky darn”
“Shucky darn” is a Kansan way of saying “wow!”
Kentucky – “Hot brown”
The term refers to the scrumptious open-faced sandwich, served piping hot and dressed in Mornay sauce. The dish was first invented in a Louisville hotel during the 1920s.
Louisiana – “Pass a good time”
The phrase simply means have a good time. Mardi Gras, anyone?
Maine – “Bazz on”
To “bazz on” means to get very, very drunk.
Maryland – “Bop”
Marylanders use this term to describe a distance longer than they would like to travel.
Massachusetts – “It’s brick”
When you’re experiencing extreme cold in Massachusetts, you might say, “it’s brick.”
Michigan – “Yooper”
The term “yooper” refers to anyone living in the upper peninsula of Michigan.
Minnesota – “Dontcha know”
The phrase is often said at the end of the sentence to make people sure that they understand you.
Mississippi – “Fixin’”
“Fixin’” is the Mississippians’ equivalent to “about.” For example, “I’m fixin’ to cook breakfast.”
Missouri – “Jeffin”
This strange-sounding word refers to the act of faking kindness or friendliness to someone you don’t know or don’t like.
Montana – “Cowboy up!”
Thankfully, this phrase doesn’t involve horses, spurs, and lassos. It simply means telling someone to deal with a particular situation in a mature or adult way.
Nebraska – “Red beer”
If you’re somewhat an adventurous drinker, you may want to try this unique beverage in the Cornhusker State. It’s beer made with tomato juice and a shot of hot sauce.
Nevada – “Pigeon”
Nope, not the bird. But as you might expect, this is a term in a true Las Vegas fashion. It describes a desperate attempt to bet on one’s losses, hoping to turn them into winnings by some stroke of luck. But if you want to boost your winnings even if it’s your first time making a bet online, learn online gambling tips for beginners.
New Hampshire – “Beater”
The term refers to an old, damaged car.
New Jersey – “Benny”
It’s a derogatory term referring to all Bayonne, Elizabeth, Newark, and New York residents (take the first letter of their names to form “Benny”) who crowd the Jersey shore during the hot summer months.
New Mexico – “Christmas”
No string lights or jolly, bearded old men in red associated with this term. Instead, “Christmas” refers to the red and green chilis. If you’re asked at a restaurant, “red, green, or Christmas?” and you know you want both red and green chilis, reply with, “Christmas!”
New York – “Deadass”
“Deadass” means to be completely and honestly serious.
North Carolina – “Dime”
If someone is a “dime,” it means someone is attractive, a “10/10” (the value of a dime).
North Dakota – “Uff da!”
North Dakotans usually say “Uff da!” when they’re puzzled or concerned.
Ohio – “Hollin’”
It’s an unpleasant word that means to insult someone.
Oklahoma – “J’eet”
A contraction for the question “did you eat?”
Oregon – “Spendy”
“Spendy” is an Oregon (specifically Portland) slang for something fancy or expensive.
Pennsylvania – “Youse”
“Youse” is a Philadelphian equivalent to “y’all.”
Rhode Island – “Packy”
In Rhode Island and other parts of New England, “packy” or “packie” refers to a liquor store. It is thought to have originated from the Prohibition era, where alcohol had to be hidden in a package after it was sold.
South Carolina – “Chunk”
A local slang meaning “to throw” or “to toss” something. For example, “I’ll chunk this baseball to you.”
South Dakota – “Kattywampus”
The term may not make sense to anyone living outside the state, but South Dakotans use it to describe something located in a diagonal direction. The term may also mean “askew” or “confused.”
Tennessee – “Meat and three”
If you crave some good-ol’ Southern meal, go for “meat and three,” which refers to a meal consisting of meat with three side dishes.
Texas – “Kicker”
The term refers to the final and most persuasive reason or argument.
Utah – “Sluff”
If you “sluff” in Utah, you skip classes, work, or other obligations.
Vermont – “Dink”
“Dink” is a demeaning slang in Vermont. It means a stupid person, jerk, or a-hole.
Virginia – “Yonder”
It’s a whimsical term that means the distance rather than the location.
Washington – “Pre-funk”
“Pre-funk” is a shorthand term for “pre-function,” which means drinking before attending an event. It is similar to a “pre-game” or “pre-party.”
West Virginia – “Peck”
This term means not only a little amount, but a substantial amount of something.
Wisconsin – “Cripes”
It’s a unique Wisconsin exclamation when someone is surprised or confused.
Wyoming – “Couple two three”
It’s a phrase that simply means “a few” in the Wyoming Valley.