This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Language is distinctive within each society, and the various states in the USA exemplify this uniqueness. Despite English being the predominant language in America, certain words and expressions can take on divergent meanings depending on the state. Some of these linguistic quirks are amusing, while others might leave you astounded with disbelief.
Have you come across any of these regional expressions?
1. Don’t Be Ugly
No one can be ugly on purpose unless you’re in Alabama. This is a phrase told to someone who’s making fun of someone else or one who’s being mean.
2. I Stamp
The people in Virginia don’t swear; they stamp.
3. Britches or Pants?
You get a pair of pants in most parts of the USA, but those in West Virginia say “britches.”
If a South Carolina person offers to carry you to a place, don’t hop onto their back. They mean they will drive you there.
5. Tag Sales
If you’re holding a sale to get rid of the household things you no longer need in Connecticut, you’re having a tag sale. That’s a garage sale for the rest of the world.
6. Colley Folley
If it’s a cauliflower in Delaware, then it’s a colley folley.
7. Hi Hon
The rest of the people may greet each other with “hellos”, but if you’re in Delaware, expect a lot of “Hi hon!”
8. Seagull With a French Fry
How do you rate a person’s happiness? Forget a clam in high water; the people in Florida will say ‘As happy as a seagull with a French fry.”
9. That Dog Won’t Hunt
In Georgia, this means that you don’t fully believe what someone is saying. If it’s suspicious and seems far-fetched, that dog won’t hunt.
For many societies, your auntie is your Mom or Dad’s sister, but in Hawaii, this is anybody of your parents’ generation.
Boise, the capital of Idaho, is pronounced as boy-see by the natives of Idaho.
What do you call a 10 dollar bill in your state? In Illinois, it’s called a sawbuck.
In most states, you drink beer at your favorite bar, but you get a brewski in Illinois.
Someone in Indiana will not appreciate being called a hoosier, as it means you’re calling them a redneck.
The common practical joke of polling up one’s pants is called a “wedgie” in most states. In Iowa, though, they call it a snuggie.
Believe it or not, fried chicken is called a yardbird in Kansas.
Now you know what to order when you go to a Kansas restaurant.
17. Loose Wig
If you seem to operate in a way that suggests you’ve lost a few marbles, Kentucky folks will tell you your wig is a little loose.
These are not a collection of greetings; it’s what the people in Kentucky call “valleys.”
19. Go By Your House
If a person from Lousianna promises to “go by your house,” they don’t mean they’ll pass by waving at you. They’re planning to visit you.
20. Leef Peepahs
With all the beautiful parks, Maine gets pretty good Fall foliage. If you’re a foreigner in Maine going to see the foliage, you’re a “leef peepah.”
21. Chicken Necker
You will be called a chicken necker if you’re trying to catch crabs in Maryland.
Calling incredibly good things “wicked” has caught on in the world right now, but the people of Massachusetts have had this slang as their language for ages.
Michigans, too, have their strange slang; you have to listen twice to understand. “Yoosta” is what they say instead of “used to”.
24. Holy Buckets!
If you need to express surprise while in Minnesota and do not want to curse, this is how they do it.
It’s soda in many other states but “pop” in Michigan and most Midwestern and western states.
In Mississippi, this term functions as an action verb, implying the intent to do something.
27. Put Out
Missourians say “put out” when they want to say someone is very angry.
28. Sweep the Carpets
Most people will say they’re vacuuming, but people from Missouri sweep their carpets.
29. Spud Muncher
If you’re from Idaho, the Montanas call you a “spud muncher.”
The shopping cart has inherited a new name in Nebraska, and they may not be the only ones. They call it a buggy. North Carolina is also popular with this term.
31. Slot Zombie
A slot zombie is an addicted gambler in Nevada.
When fog gets very dense and frozen in Nevada, it’s called a pogonip.
What the rest of the people call a fountain, the people in New Hampshire call a “bubbler.” It makes some sense, though.
Ordering your sandwich with eggs and additions like bacon is easy in New Jersey; if you need salt, pepper, and ketchup, just say SPK.
Youse is the slang term for a large group of people in New Jersey.
36. Orale wey…
Almost all New Mexico folks start most of their sentences with this phrase. It’s a phrase borrowed heavily from Spanish and is even harder to explain to non-residents.
The brand name for the luxury fashion goods is also how New Yorkers confirm that they are OK.
How are you?
38. Salad [or Not]
Most people know salad is a mixture of varied vegetables and some dressing. In North Dakota, salad is never really salad; it’s anything from canned fruit to Jell-O.
Chubinupto is a whole greeting if you’re in Ohio. It means, “What have you been up to?”
If you’re taking a leisurely walk in Oklahoma, that is called a Mosey.
A potato by any other name is just as sweet, and the Oregon folks call their potato wedges “Jojos.” We love jojos in all shapes, textures, and sizes.
42. Red Things Up
To “red things up” in Pennsylvania is not to paint the town red; it means to tidy up a space.
If you stare at something for too long in Colorado, you will be called a gaper. It doesn’t help that there is enough beautiful nature to “gape” in Colorado.
If you’re wondering if something will happen or not, and someone from Tennessee tells you “pert-near, then it’s definitely going to happen.
45. This Ain’t My First Rodeo
It doesn’t take much thought to determine where this is from. If a Texan tells you this, they mean they have enough experience on the matter.
46. Days Ending With “ee”
All days end with “y”, except in Utah, where we have Mondee to Sundee.
All of us folks who weren’t born in Vermont are flat-landers. That’s the phrase they use for non-Vermnt folks.
48. Fit To Be Tied
If someone makes you very angry in Arkansas City, it will be said that “fit to be tied.” With the state of the world today, there are enough things that make all of us fit to be tied.
49. Filthy or Excellent?
If a man from Washinton tells you your cooking is filthy, you have done an excellent job. Your food is awesome.
50. Get Flat
This is a common phrase from California that means “lie down.”
28 Verbal Landmines That’ll Kill All Communication in Seconds
Some words wield such power that they have the ability to swiftly erode the credibility of the speaker, a notion that strikes a chord within the online forum community. In a recent discussion, a forum member presented a question that sparked contemplation: “Are there particular words, the mere utterance of which compels you to disregard everything else a person conveys?”
25 Ridiculous Things Americans Have Actually Said to Foreigners While Abroad
Setting off on an expatriate journey in an unfamiliar land is an adventure brimming with excitement, perplexity, and occasionally, sheer exasperation. As you dive into the customs and quirks of a foreign culture, certain encounters may morph into amusingly vexing anecdotes along the path.
17 Bogus Old-School Trends That Are Slowly Fading Away with New Generations
The most youthful members of the Baby Boomer generation are rapidly approaching their 60s, and a number of their once-iconic trends have become foreign to the current generation. While they undoubtedly bequeathed us with the legacy of Rock and Roll and played a pivotal role in the advent of personal computers, some of the celebrated trends from the post-World War II era may wane with the passage of time.
22 Boomer Recommendations That They Actually Got Right
Have you ever cast your eyes upon the world and longed for a journey back to the year 1946? The saying “old is gold” finds special resonance with the baby boomer generation. Age brings along a constant companion in the form of wisdom, and in our present era, there exists a treasure trove of knowledge waiting to be gathered from the Baby Boomers and the older generations, who have traversed the entire spectrum of life’s experiences.
30 Disastrous Baby Names That Parents Sadly Name Their Kids
Choosing a name for a newborn is a weighty responsibility for new parents, as it wields a profound influence on a child’s identity. Yet, what unfolds when the selected name emerges as undeniably cringe-worthy? Some parents go to great lengths to deviate from tradition, occasionally venturing into the domain of bewilderment, which leaves others puzzled and scratching their heads.