When I first moved to SoCal, it took me about a good year to learn all of the different slang. I also had to retire some of my Midwestern terms, such as exchanging “pop” for “soda” and “semi truck” for “big rig.”
Before you make your venture out to SoCal, it’s important to understand the different lingo:
1. Dope: something that is incredibly awesome. “That new car is dope!”
2. Dude: can reference a guy or a girl. “Dude! Are we going out tonight?”
3. Flip a B**ch: when you miss your turn and you take an illegal u-turn. Another thing to remember is in SoCal, 3 rights equals a left.
4. Gnarly: when something is very good or very bad. “Dude, that burger was gnarley!”
5. Hella: it replaces the word “very” in a sentence. It’s more of a NorCal term, but I have heard some people use it in SoCal. “That’s hella cool!”
6. High Speed Chase: everyone just drops what they are doing to watch these, they are fascinating. Most of the time the bad guy is caught, but I have seen a few get away. The longest chase I ever saw was from Riverside to San Diego.
7. June Gloom: when there is a constant overcast for the month of June and the sun hides. I’ve seen it start as early as late May (“May Gray”) and go into early July.
8. Like: I definitely use this word, like, a lot. It originated from the SoCal valley girls. It’s popular everywhere these days.
9. Minutes: it’s measured in time, not miles. “It takes 25 minutes, depending on traffic.”
10. Roach Coach: another name for a food truck, usually Mexican dishes.
11. SigAlert: as I stated in my traffic post, by definition, a “SigAlert” is when more than one lane will be blocked for more than 30 minutes due to an unplanned event (i.e. accident, debris, fire). The SigAlert App also shows you the traffic congestion time on the freeway by color – red (jammed), orange (moderately jammed), yellow (slow) and green (clear). It shows the traffic via the California Highway Patrol traffic cameras depending on the roadway. We weren’t allowed to use this feature when I worked for my company (it was our competition) but in my opinion, SigAlert is the most accurate app when dealing with the traffic. I swear by it every time before I drive a freeway!
12. Stoked: when we’re excited about something, such as a trip or an upcoming event. “I’m so stoked about the trip to Tahoe!”
13. Santa Ana’s: it’s a saying where the winds are strong and the allergies are high. It can also be dangerous if it’s hot and the fire danger levels rise. “The Santa Ana’s are blowin’!”
14. The Industry: it’s one of my sections on the blog! It refers to anyone that works in media and entertainment.
15. Trippin’: when you make a big deal out of something that shouldn’t be. “Why are you trippin?”
16. The 405, the 10: this was also stated in my traffic post! According to an article from KCET, “the answer begins with the region’s early embrace of the freeway. Long before the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956 gave most U.S. cities their first freeways, Los Angeles had built several. These weren’t simply extensions of federal interstate highways through the city; they were local routes, engineered to carry local traffic and (partly) paid for by local funds. It only made sense that, as they opened one by one, they’d get local names, ones that succinctly denoted their route or destination. The freeway through the Cahuenga Pass thus became the Cahuenga Pass Freeway, and Angelenos knew the freeway to San Bernardino as the San Bernardino Freeway.”