Slang Words No One Outside Your State Will Understand

These words will leave your out-of-state friends scratching their heads.

Pennsylvania: Yinz

Slang-Words-No-One-Outside-Your-State-Will-UnderstandTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com The South has “y’all,” but Pennsylvanians call out to a group with “yinz.” Don't miss these other sayings that reveal where you were born.

Massachusetts: Rotary

Slang-Words-No-One-Outside-Your-State-Will-UnderstandTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com Don’t worry; Massachusettsans have upgraded from rotary phones to keypads. A rotary in The Bay State is probably referring to a traffic circle. No matter what you call it, we'll gladly take a roundabout over this insanely complicated overpass.

Iowa: Garf

Slang-Words-No-One-Outside-Your-State-Will-UnderstandTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com We finally have a name for those annoying grooves that show up in your nail polish when you aren’t careful; Iowans call them “garfs.” (Though with tricks for protecting your nails, you can keep it out of your vocabulary for good.) It’s not specific to manicures though. You can also use it for other dings, like on your car chipped mug.

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Florida: Snowbirds

Slang-Words-No-One-Outside-Your-State-Will-UnderstandTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com If you live in a colder area but flee south for warm weather in the winter, locals have a name for you: snowbirds. By taking advantage of off-season travel deals, you could save your money and save yourself from nicknames.

Wisconsin: Bubbler

Slang-Words-No-One-Outside-Your-State-Will-UnderstandTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com When Wisconsinites are parched, they’ll ask where the bubbler is. Hopefully the water won’t be carbonated though; it's just slang for “water fountain.” If there isn't one in sight, use these clever tricks for staying hydrated.

Minnesota: On-sale liquor

Slang-Words-No-One-Outside-Your-State-Will-UnderstandTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com Sorry, but you aren’t getting a great deal on “on-sale liquor” from Minnesota. In the state, you drink on-sale liquor where you buy it (like at a bar) but take off-sale liquor somewhere else (like away from the liquor store or gas station) to open it. Don't miss these other unusual state liquor laws.

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North Dakota: Hotdish

Slang-Words-No-One-Outside-Your-State-Will-UnderstandTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com It’s not strictly North Dakotan, but around the Midwest, you’ll hear entrees called “hotdishes.” Anywhere else in the country, you’d probably call the dish a casserole; it just refers to a main course served in a baking dish. Check out these other foods with regional names to see if you're in the majority.

Alabama: Cattywampus

Slang-Words-No-One-Outside-Your-State-Will-UnderstandTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com When you hear its definition, “cattywampus” means basically exactly what it sounds like. It’s defined as “crooked, tipped over, sideways, crazy, messed up,” according to Slate. So you might say your hair is all cattywampus when you first wake up—until you use these tips for styling frizzy hair.

Arizona: Bear Down

Slang-Words-No-One-Outside-Your-State-Will-UnderstandTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com Anyone familiar with University of Arizona sports teams will know “bear down” means to “go get ‘em.” When student president and athlete John Byrd Salmon passed away after a car crash in 1926, his last message to his coach was “Tell the team to bear down,” according to the university. Nearly a decade later, his message stands.

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Massachusetts: Slush

Slang-Words-No-One-Outside-Your-State-Will-UnderstandTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com Prepare to be pleasantly surprised if you order a slush from the Boston area. The spoon-eaten treats are closer to what you’d call probably Italian ice, and locals say they’re way tastier than a convenience store slushie. If you aren't in Massachusetts, satisfy your craving with these healthy frozen desserts.

Alaska: Sourdough

Slang-Words-No-One-Outside-Your-State-Will-UnderstandTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com Native and longtime Alaskans call themselves “sourdoughs.” No, it doesn’t mean they have not-so-sweet personalities. Because the state is so isolated, it had to use sourdough instead of shipping in yeast and baking powder to leaven bread, according to The Daily Meal. Even now, the name sticks.

New Hampshire: Janky

Slang-Words-No-One-Outside-Your-State-Will-UnderstandTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com In the Northeast, people say “janky” as slang for something that's poor quality. So if you step into a not-so-clean restaurant, you might wrinkle your nose at how janky it is. Steal these effortless tips from clutter-free people so no one says the same about your home.

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Pennsylvania: Jawn

Slang-Words-No-One-Outside-Your-State-Will-UnderstandTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com Not all Pennsylvanians use this, but around Philadelphia you might think there are an uncanny number of people named John. Nope—people just use the word “jawn” as a slang catchall, like “thing.”
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