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Slang Words No One Outside Your State Will Understand

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

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Pennsylvania: Yinz

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.

Slang-Words-No-One-Outside-Your-State-Will-UnderstandTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

Massachusetts: Rotary

Don’t worry; Massachusettsans have upgraded from rotary phones to keypads. A rotary in The Bay State is probably referring to a traffic circle. These slang words are actually in the dictionary.

Slang-Words-No-One-Outside-Your-State-Will-UnderstandTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

Iowa: Garf

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.” It’s not specific to manicures though. You can also use it for other dings, like on your car chipped mug. We can't stand these slang words from 2019.

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Florida: Snowbirds

If you live in a colder area but flee south for warm weather in the winter, locals have a name for you: snowbirds. Find out the 70 words and phrases you're probably using all wrong.

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Wisconsin: Bubbler

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.” We really love these brand new slang words. 

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Minnesota: On-sale liquor

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.

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North Dakota: Hotdish

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.

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Alabama: Cattywampus

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, for instance. Learn new nicknames for your cat or dog with these pet slang words.

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Arizona: Bear Down

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.

Slang-Words-No-One-Outside-Your-State-Will-UnderstandTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

Massachusetts: Slush

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.

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Alaska: Sourdough

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. Learn about the origins of these 14 common sayings.

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New Hampshire: Janky

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.

Slang-Words-No-One-Outside-Your-State-Will-UnderstandTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

Pennsylvania: Jawn

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.” Next, don't miss these 12 surprisingly offensive words you need to erase from your vocabulary.