Funniest Slang Term From Every State
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The Funniest Slang Term From Every State

50 states, 50 slang terms
Funniest Slang Term From Every State
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The United States is a large, diverse country. Not only do the 350 million or so citizens of this country come from different backgrounds and exist in all shapes, sizes and colors, they all live in vastly different areas and states. So even though most Americans speak English, they all speak it a bit differently. And that means one thing: funny slang terms from each and every state.

There are some things only people in the Midwest say — "ope," anyone? Meanwhile, Southerners have slang all their own. But even within those smaller regions, phrases exist that are completely and totally normal to citizens of one state is totally and completely hilarious to people from one of the other 49 states.

Alabama: “Coke”

Alabama: “Coke”

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That sweet fizzy water we all know and love is “pop” in the Midwest, “tonic” in parts of New England and “soda” across the country, but in Alabama, it’s simply “Coke.” Yes, Coca-Cola is “Coke” — but so is Pepsi. And Sprite. And 7-Up. If you simply ask for a coke at an Alabama restaurant, you won’t automatically receive a standard cola. You’ll be asked follow-up questions.

Alaska: “Sourdough”

Alaska: “Sourdough”

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Alaskans have slang for everyone. Newcomers are cheechako, but Alaskans who have lived in the state their whole lives are… sourdough. Sourdough became the nickname for miners heading to the Klondike at the turn of the century since they often relied on sourdough starter to leaven bread before commercial baking powder and yeast were easily obtainable. In fact, sourdough starter was so important that Alaskan miners supposedly slept with it in order to keep it from freezing at night. Nowadays, seasoned Alaskans happily wear the title with pride.

Arizona: “Swamp Cooler”

Arizona: “Swamp Cooler”

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What’s a swamp cooler? Well, it’s just another word for an evaporative cooler. OK, great... Follow-up question: What’s an evaporative cooler? If you live in the drier parts of the Southwest, you’ll probably already know that this is an air conditioner that uses the evaporation of water to both cool the air and add moisture to it. It’s a great way to cool your home in a dry heat, like they have in Arizona.

Arkansas: “Cattywampus”

Arkansas: “Cattywampus”

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Cattywampus is funny to hear and fun to say, but in Arkansas, it has a serious meaning. Cattywampus or caddywonkers or caddywonked is a term for sideways, unconventional or askew. It’s the perfect word to describe all those back roads in the South that also happen to make for a great road trip.

California: “Hella”

California: “Hella”

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Want a sure sign you grew up in California? Well, you say “hella.” Popularized nationally by Gwen Stefani in the No Doubt song “Hella Good,” this is a slang term for “very,” “really” or “a lot.” It originated in the San Francisco area before expanding to the greater Northern California area. It’s hella useful, actually.

Colorado: “Pow-Pow”

Colorado: “Pow-Pow”
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“Pow-pow” may sound like the noise a little toy gun would make, but it’s actually very important in Colorado. It’s the fresh powder that falls on the mountaintops. It not only makes for a super fun phrase, but it also makes for some premium skiing conditions.

Connecticut: “Apizza”

Connecticut: “Apizza”

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Connecticut has some truly incredible pizza, and people from New Haven or people who are familiar with people from this region will call it “apizza,” pronounced “a-beetz.” It’s a Neopolitan-style pizza, and the best apizza pies come with clams on them. Trust us. It’s the best pizza in America.

Delaware: “Bagging Up”

Delaware: “Bagging Up”

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Although it might sound like what a cashier does with your groceries after scanning them, this Delaware term actually means something totally different: to laugh uncontrollably. It makes just about as much sense as cracking up.

Florida: “Sun Shower”

Florida: “Sun Shower”
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You know that brief, 15-minute rainstorm that happens every day around 3 p.m. while the sun is still out? Oh, no? Then you must not be from Florida. This very specific weather describes when just one cloud bursts in to rain. It’s probably right over your head, but don’t worry. You can walk 50 feet away and be dry again.

Georgia: “Mama’nem”

Georgia: “Mama’nem”
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Short for “mama and them,” this phrase refers basically to a Southern family. “How’s your mama’nem?” is a friendly way for Georgians to ask how your household is doing. It’s not only a useful slang term, it’s fun as heck to say!

Hawaii: “Da Kine”

Hawaii: “Da Kine”

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“Da Kine” is a phrase in Hawaiian Pigdin (a Creole language based partially in English that is commonly used by Hawaiians) that is likely derived from “the kind.” “Da kine” had endless uses, and it’s something only people from Hawaii say. It can be a placeholder (similar to “thingy” or “whatchamacallit”), a noun, a verb, an adverb or an adjective. You can basically use it anywhere, anytime, anyhow.

Idaho: “Jockey Box"

Idaho: “Jockey Box"
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If you're going on an incredible road trip with someone from the great state of Idaho and they ask you to reach into the “jockey box,” don't panic. They just want you to grab a map, box of tissues or the driver’s manual from that little box in front of the passenger’s seat. Called the glove box or glove compartment in most states, Idahoans gave this storage space a unique name.

Illinois: “Woo Wap Da Bam”

Illinois: “Woo Wap Da Bam”
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This phrase was introduced to the rest of America by the Chance the Rapper’s verse from Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam,” but this Illinois slang has been popular in Chicago for a while. It’s basically a more fun version of “yadda yadda yadda” or “so on and so forth.” Fill in the blanks as you will with “woo wap da bam.”

Indiana: “Ope”

Indiana: “Ope”
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When something small but silly, startling, or surprising happens, you’ll hear a little “ope!” Somewhere between “oops” and “uh-oh,” this phrase is a charming exclamation that’s a guaranteed sign someone grew up in the Midwest. And few states are more truly Midwestern than Indiana.

Iowa: “Padiddle”

Iowa: “Padiddle”
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Listen, before the iPad took over backseat entertainment, the only way to entertain yourself on long road trips was to play games. In Iowa (and across the Midwest), that meant playing the fun-to-say and even more fun-to-win padiddle. Did you see a car with one tail light out? Hit the ceiling of the car and say this phrase. Related games include punch buggy and the alphabet game.

Kansas: “Shucky Darn!”

Kansas: “Shucky Darn!”

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You might not be one of the overly polite people that use “shucky darn” as an exclamation of awe, wonder or frustration, but if you’re from Kansas (and other rural areas), you’ve probably at least heard it. If not, well, shucky darn…

Kentucky: “Kentucky Waterfall”

Kentucky: “Kentucky Waterfall”
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No, this one isn’t a beautiful scenic hiking spot. It’s a mullet, a signature haircut for the people of Kentucky, according to this slang phrase.

Louisiana: “Wrench”

Louisiana: “Wrench”
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You should never wrench your chicken before cooking it. In most places, that means maybe hitting your chicken with your toolbox. In New Orleans and throughout Louisiana, it means washing your chicken under running water. (And, seriously, it’s a bad idea.)

Maine: “Ayuh”

Maine: “Ayuh”

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If you’ve ever visited America’s easternmost state, or simply read a Stephen King novel, you might know that folks from Maine have another way of agreeing or saying yes: “ayuh.” Just be sure, for true accuracy, to pronounce the “A” as if you’re saying the name of the letter. This term is one of the most Maine things you can possibly say.

Maryland: “Bop”

Maryland: “Bop”
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While this phrase refers to a killer pop song or a whack on the head in most of the country, in Maryland a “bop” is a distance that’s just a little too far away to be worth the effort. Is that bar a bop away? Yeah, you’re drinking at home tonight.

Massachusetts: “Wicked”

Massachusetts: “Wicked”

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Though most of the English-speaking world would use “wicked” only when referring to something evil, Massachusetts natives use it as an alternative to the word “very.” As in: “‘Wicked’ is a wicked fun word to say.”

Michigan: “Yooper”

Michigan: “Yooper”
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If you think the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a different place from the rest of the state, you’d be right. People from downstate even have a very specific slang term for people from up there: “Yoopers.”

Minnesota: “Uff da!”

Minnesota: “Uff Da!”

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Adopted by Scandinavian-Americans and Minnesotans from a similar phase of Norwegian origin, “uff da” (or huffda, uff-da, uffda, oofda, or numerous other spellings) is used to express sensory overload, as well as emotions like surprise, astonishment, exhaustion, relief, dismay and almost anything else. Uff da! That’s a lot of uses.

Mississippi: “Buggy”

Mississippi: “Buggy”

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A “buggy” is best known in most of the country as that thing horses cart around. But in Mississippi and other parts of the South, it’s a different kind of cart: a grocery cart.

Missouri: “Hoosier”

Missouri: “Hoosier”

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Though “hoosier” has a different and more positive meaning in the Hoosier State (Indiana), in Missouri it’s a derogatory slang term for local yokels or rednecks.

Montana: “Graupel”

Montana: “Graupel”
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You know that sort of snow-like precipitation that’s like little balls of ice stinging your skin? You may not have a phrase for it, but in Montana, they call it “graupel.”

Nebraska: “The Farmer Wave”

Nebraska: “The Farmer Wave”

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You don’t need to be from Nebraska to know about or use the farmer wave (also called the “lifted finger”), but considering the fact that the Cornhusker State has a higher percentage of farmland than any other state in the country, they use this gesture more here. The farmer wave is a very casual wave, using minimal effort, that people do while driving a car, truck, tractor, or other vehicle. It usually involves keeping part of your hand on the steering wheel while briefly waving with only one or two fingers. It’s a subtle “thanks” or “hey.”

Nevada: “Toke”

Nevada: “Toke”

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If you think “toke” has something to do with illicit drug use in Las Vegas, think again; a toke is actually a tip given to a casino dealer. It may be short for “token of appreciation,” but that’s not known by everyone, so be careful if you say you “want to give your dealer a toke” when in Nevada.

New Hampshire: “Hornpout”

New Hampshire: “Hornpout”
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What the rest of the country refers to as catfish, people from New Hampshire almost exclusively call “hornpout.” If you’re going out on the river and fishing for this particular sea creature, you’re going hornpouting.

New Jersey: “Jughandle”

New Jersey: “Jughandle”

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Jughandles exist all over New Jersey but are seldom seen elsewhere throughout the country. For those who are unfamiliar, these are ramps or slip roads that force drivers approaching major intersections to exit to the right prior to making a left (or sometimes both a left and right) turn. There are also “reverse” or “far-side” jughandles that occur just after major intersections and forces drivers to exit to the right and loop around in order to make what would normally be a left-hand turn at the intersection. Confusing? You bet. Frustrating? Oh yeah.

New Mexico: “Christmas”

New Mexico: “Christmas”

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We’re not talking about the best Christmas light display in New Mexico, we’re taking about another red and green display: chiles. If you want both red and green chiles with your meal, there’s no better (or more fun) way to express this than asking for Christmas while in New Mexico.

New York: “On Line”

New York: “On Line”
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Want a sure sign you grew up in New York? You don’t wait in line for your burger or morning bagel, you wait on line. It’s just different enough to make other people’s ears wonder if they misheard, but they did not.

North Carolina: “Bless Your Heart”

North Carolina: “Bless Your Heart”

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“Bless your heart” showcases that perfect balance between the Southern charm the region is known for and the snide confidence Southerners can often have. Sure, “bless your heart” can be delivered directly to someone’s face with sympathy and sincerity, but it can also be used with pity or with the intention of being condescending or patronizing someone. It’s something only people from the South say, but it’s also certainly a North Carolina phrase through and through.

North Dakota: “Hotdish”

North Dakota: “Hotdish”
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What is known as a casserole to the rest of the country is called “hotdish” in North Dakota. This meal is immensely popular in the region, thanks in part to the frequently frigid weather. The exact ingredients can be tinkered with, but ground beef, green beans, corn and a can of cream of mushroom soup make for a solid, standard base.

Ohio: “Sweeper”

Ohio: “Sweeper”

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“Sweeper” sounds like another term for a broom, but it actually refers to a vacuum. People born in Ohio know that sweeping the living room means that you break out that Hoover and suck up all that dirt. It’s all about context, you see.

Oklahoma: “Quakenado”

Oklahoma: “Quakenado”

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A “quakenado” is not an official weather term, but Oklahomans have sure had their fill of the word ever since it was coined in November 2011 when a magnitude 5.6 earthquake struck the state while it was also under a tornado warning. Locals took the name and ran with it, as both a joke and a badge of honor for experiencing and surviving such a unique event.

Oregon: “Spendy”

Oregon: “Spendy”

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Want to learn a new way to say something is pricey and expensive? Try saying it’s “spendy.” This simple term is used in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

Pennsylvania: “Yinz”

Pennsylvania: “Yins”

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“Yinz” is basically the Pittsburgh slang equivalent of “y’all.” English is a deeply flawed language, because it has no plural version of the word you, so this is the western Pennsylvania solution to that very specific query.

Rhode Island: “Frappe”

Rhode Island: “Frappe”
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For most people in the United States, a frappe is a blended, iced coffee drink (you know, like you get at Starbucks). In Rhode Island, if you order a frappe, you’re going to get a simple milkshake. No caffeine added.

South Carolina: “Yonder”

South Carolina: “Yonder”
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In South Carolina, if something is “over yonder,” it’s a fairly significant distance away. Is it north, east, south, west? I don’t know. It’s over yonder, accompanied by a broad hand gesture.

South Dakota: “Pert’near”

South Dakota: “Pert’near”

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In South Dakota, saying something is close by or pretty nearby is too taxing, thus “pert’near” This phrase also can substitute for “almost,” as in: “The hotdish is pert’near done cooking in the oven.”

Tennessee: “Fixin’”

Tennessee: “Fixin’”

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“Fixin’” (almost always said without the final “g”) is used in Tennessee to say you’re about to do something, preparing to do something or want to do something. Like, “I’m fixin’ to head down to Bojangles’ for some biscuits.” It has nothing to do with making repairs.

Texas: “Washateria”

Texas: “Washateria”
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You eat in a cafeteria, and you do your laundry in a washateria. At least, that’s the case if you grew up in Texas. What most people call a laundromat, Texans refer to by this fun portmanteau.

Utah: “Sluff”

Utah: “Sluff”
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If you’re cutting class or playing hooky from work, in Utah, you’re sluffing it. It’s fun to say and even more fun to do.

Vermont: “Peepers”

Vermont: “Peepers”

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Those in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest may take for granted the glorious, rich shades of gold, red and orange that leaves bring to the landscape in the autumn. But in Vermont, this phrase refers to city dwellers (often New Yorkers) who travel up the coast to take in some of that sweet, sweet fall foliage.

Virginia: “Poke”

Virginia: “Poke”
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What most people in the United States refer to simply as a bag is a “poke” in parts of Virginia. It’s related to an old colloquialism “to buy a pig in a poke,” which is when grocers would try to pull a fast one on customers in the Middle Ages by selling them a cat or dog in a bag instead of a pig.

Washington: “Tolo”

Washington: “Tolo”
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This is one of the few Chinook jargon terms to have a lasting and mainstream usage in Washington. What’s known as a Sadie Hawkins dance (where girls ask boys out) in most of the country is a “tolo” in the Pacific Northwest.

West Virginia: “Britches”

West Virginia: “Britches”

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Many people around the country know this phrase, but very few use it — with the exception of West Virginians. Britches are pants. Common uses of the term include the sayings, “He’s too big for his britches.”

Wisconsin: “Recombubulation”

Wisconsin: “Recombubulation”
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You’ve heard of being discombobulated, but in Wisconsin, you can get recombobulated. Thank the Milwaukee airport, which has officially designated that tricky area after you get through the TSA checkpoint as the “Recombubulation Area.”

Wyoming: “Buckle Bunny”

Wyoming: “Buckle Bunny”
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Are you attracted exclusively to rodeo cowboys? Well, not only are you probably from Wyoming, but you’re also what is often referred to as a “buckle bunny.” And if you think this regional phrase is hilarious, wait until you read the absolute weirdest regional slang terms.

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Things Only People in Small Towns Say

25 Phrases Americans Say That Other Countries Don't Understand

20 Things Only People From the West Coast Say

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