1. “Nice boots!”
Considering we’re a statewide tribe of snow dwellers, fish wranglers, mountain climbers and trail blazing bush whackers, this is a year-round compliment that will immediately get you on anyone’s good side. In Alaska, boots are the bee’s knees and pairing boot to occasion is on the same level as pairing wine and cheese.
2. “Gorgeous rainbow!”
No, we’re not talking about Noah’s Ark or the rainbow flag. We’re talking fish. And by fish we specifically mean: a trophy-worthy rainbow trout.
3. “That your camper?”
This one is tricky as it can be taken two different ways. If your neighbor has a shiny new home-on-wheels parked in the driveway, it’s the subtle Alaskan acknowledgement of approval peppered with a pinch of ‘shiny-new-thing’ envy. Anywhere else and it’s code for, “Better move it now, Ace. You’re disrupting traffic!”
4. “Monster rack!”
Whether moose, deer, reindeer or caribou this is species irrelevant. We call it like we see it and firmly believe in giving credit where credit is due. During hunting season in Alaska, size matters on a whole new level. The hunter who bags the beast with the biggest rack wins bragging rights for the duration.
5. “Look at that rack!”
This is reserved for local moose-in-residence who wander around town and have racks that leave you at a loss of words. Speaking of the Alaskan alces alces gigas with impressive racks, anyone seen “Hook” running around Anchorage lately?
6. “New plow?”
Whether mounted on a truck, an ATV, or stand alone hand propelled snow blower, devices intended to expedite snow removal processes are highly valued. A good quality plow with the latest bells and whistles is a sure fire way to earn extra cash for Christmas or vacation and a new one is always guaranteed to turn heads.
7. “The driveway looks great!”
Considering many of us live on top or at the bottom of hills with weirdly curved driveways, we collectively accumulate thousands of hours each winter unsticking ourselves from the front our own homes. Visiting a friend’s house with a driveway you can’t get stuck in is a heavenly experience and we have no reservations whatsoever expressing our gratitude over avoiding yet another weather and climate related time-sucking mishap.
8. “Is that… from Nordy’s?”
In Alaska, ‘Nordy’s’ is code for good quality, expensive fashion, and is pretty much our only source of designer labels. When someone asks if something you own is from Nordstrom’s, you’ve basically just won the fashionista jackpot.
9. “What’s your secret for growing…?”
The Alaska-wide ‘green thumb brigade’ will likely concede that, “growing and/or successfully harvesting anything in Alaska in any sort of formalized gardening capacity is challenging.” When someone manages to produce a beautiful, healthy specimen of a plant, fellow Alaskan gardeners can’t help but pour on the sweet talk in hopes of rooting out the secret.