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The 20 Funniest Californian Expressions (and How to Use Them)

by Julia Kitlinski-Hong Apr 26, 2017

1. “The City”

Bay Area locals don’t refer to San Francisco as Frisco, but rather “The City”. Other city nicknames include: The Town (Oakland) and The Island (Alameda), but these are less common and found mostly on hipster T-shirts.

2. NorCal and SoCal

Californians don’t refer to their state as California and definitely not as “Cali”, but instead break it up the only way it should be divided: NorCal and SoCal.

3. June Gloom

Californians love to complain about the foggy start to summer, even though they know it’s only temporary.

4. “That’s dank-ass.”

Food can be good, or if it’s on another level it is “dank-ass.”

5. “The Industry”

For Californians it’s never Hollywood, but “The Industry.”

6. “Don’t get so butthurt.”

Californians aren’t afraid to call someone out when they’re being extra sensitive.

7. “Would you like a side of kale with that?”

Californians love their veggies, especially trendy ones. Instead of traditional fries or a garden salad with their meal, kale salad is often offered as an alternative.

8. “Dude, I just caught some epic waves.”

Californian surfers refer to everyone as “dudes” (female and male) and think anything great is “epic”.

9. “Let’s go smoke some tree.”

We don’t smoke weed in California, we smoke tree.

10. “Can I bum a cigarette off of you?”

This is the way Californians ask for a cigarette when we’ve run out of them or more likely than not are just socially smoking when we’re out (because regular smoking is bad for you, duh).

11. “That’s hella ___.”

Californians have their own twist on “hell of” that originated in the Bay Area, but can be heard all around the state.

12. “Can I have that animal-style?”

A plain burger from In-N-Out just won’t cut it. This popular request from the not-so-secret menu always hits the spot from this classic California fast food chain.

13. “That’s tight.”

A Californian’s way of saying that they’re really excited about something, from a new song to the latest hybrid-food.

14. “Lemme see that.”

A lazy way of saying let me see that — Californians love to blend words together like no other.

15. “That’s so shady.”

When Californians do not trust something they’re not afraid to call it like it is.

16. “The Big One”

Californians are always overheard saying they are getting ready for the next big earthquake, since quake fear is very alive and well here.

17. “Let’s bail.”

Californians don’t leave, they bail.

18. “The 405”

You can spot a Southern Californian the moment you hear them say, “yeah, I’ll take the 10 to the 110 and end up on the 101.”

19. “Do you have a card?”

Californians are not ashamed of their love of pot, and since the legalization of their beloved herb still requires them to buy from a dispensary with a card, the first question you ask a fellow-pot smoker is if they’re a proud card carrier.

20. “I’m gonna wear tennis shoes.”

Californians do not wear sneakers they wear tennis shoes.

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