Travel & Day Trips

10 Words That Only People from SoCal Say – Do You Say These, Too?

Southern California, often affectionately referred to as SoCal, is not just known for its sunny beaches and Hollywood stars, but also for its unique linguistic flair.

If you’re from SoCal or have spent any time there, you might find yourself using words that are almost exclusive to the region. Here are 10 words that are quintessentially SoCal, so let’s see if you recognize any!

1. The 101

Small roadside sign for US Highway 101

Outside of SoCal, it’s just a highway or a freeway. But here, it’s ‘The 101’. Adding ‘the’ before highway numbers is a SoCal staple.

2. June Gloom

Illustration of June Gloom

This refers to the weather pattern that brings cloudy, overcast skies with cool temperatures during the late spring and early summer.

3. SigAlert

Originating from Southern California’s traffic alert system, this term is now used to describe any major traffic jam or road closure.

4. Gnarly

While its roots lie in surf culture, ‘gnarly’ has evolved to describe anything extreme or awesome.

5. Dude

More than just a word, it’s an expression of camaraderie. In SoCal, ‘dude’ can refer to just about anyone, regardless of gender.

6. Super

“Super” is used to emphasize something or to describe a large amount or degree. For example, “That was super cool!” conveys tons of excitement. It’s a bit like Norcal’s “Hella.”

7. SoCal

Illustration of a beach bonfire

Speaking of SoCal, the term itself is a regional identifier for Southern California, used by locals and visitors alike.

8. Cruising

Bugati in Beverly Hills

In SoCal, this doesn’t just mean driving; it’s about enjoying the drive, often along the scenic coast, and often in a fast car!

9. No Worries

Illustration of a relaxed SoCal person

A phrase that embodies the laid-back lifestyle. It’s used to express that everything is fine or to reassure someone.

10. Chillax

A blend of ‘chill’ and ‘relax’, it captures the quintessential SoCal vibe of taking it easy.

These words are more than just regional slang; they’re a part of the cultural fabric that makes Southern California unique. So, whether you’re a local or just visiting, try slipping some of these terms into your conversation and see how SoCal you can sound! Remember, it’s all about embracing the laid-back, sunny spirit of the region. Catch you on the flip side!

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Back to top button