West Coast Phrases To Know

My mother, the real librarian (not a digital muckety muck thingamajig like me), will be visiting me here in San Francisco next week. Since she will be hanging around with non-Midwesterners, I thought it would be good to provide her with an introduction to west coast language. I know, right?

  • I know, right?

    Rumored origin: L.A.
    Literal meaning: “Can you believe this thing we are talking about? It goes without saying, and yet we are saying it.”
    Connotation: “We are all in agreement here. Also, I have never read Beowulf.”

  • Hella

    Rumored origin: NoCal.
    Literal meaning: Intensifier. “Their pie is hella good.”
    Connotation: “I am twelve.”

  • Yeah yeah yeah

    Rumored origin: Coffee-fueled Berkeley undergraduates
    Literal meaning: “I agree so strongly that it can be quickly dismissed with a rapid exclamation.”
    Connotation: “We are getting things DONE in this conversation.”

  • Chill

    Rumored origin: The 1960s.
    Literal meaning: “Good. Calm. Without trouble. Easy.”
    Connotation:”I have had lots of therapy and/or drugs.”

Got more? Send ’em in!

6 Replies to “West Coast Phrases To Know”

  1. Oh man! Don’t get me started on Like. Like isn’t even slang anymore, it’s a generational indicator. It’s a distancing word, a conciliatory word, the preface to a quotation or impression.

    Like is, like, like.
    You know?
    I know, right?

  2. I would like to exempt Santa Cruz County from the NorCal region in regards to use of the word Hella. We do not. Unless you’re from the valley. I’ve never lived anywhere but this here west coast, so maybe these are universal, but what about:

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