22 Silly Washington State Slang Phrases YOU Probably Say
Slang Words Said in Washington State
These are phrases you will mostly only hear in Washington State!
Do You Say These Slang Phrases?
There are foods you can only get in Washington State, and I guess there is slang also!
I have lived my whole life in Washington, which is why I was surprised to find out that a lot of these phrases on this list are not even spoken in other parts of the United States. These slang phrases are heard mostly only in Washington State or the Pacific Northwest.
One example of this would be "the mountain (or mountains) are out" because one of Washington's huge mountains is not covered in clouds. That means it is a nice clear day if someone from Washington says that to you in conversation. Just say "Yes, it is beautiful today". There are a lot of sayings and slang that come from Washington State. Do you say any of these phrases on the list?
1- Joe Joes
These are called potato wedges pretty much everywhere else. You can hear people say this in a few other northwest states. Some people think it was started by Safeway.
2- Emerald City
Emerald City is the official nickname of Seattle. Rain City, Jet City, Seatown and Queen City are also used as names.
I lived in Spokane, and a lot of people refer to it as "Spo-Compton" "Spoka-Vegas".
I guess everywhere else they call carbonated soft drinks "soda". In Washington we mostly call it "pop". In the South, they call it "Soda Pop", go figure!
5- Bag of Dick's
The phrase "eating a bag of Dick's" means something completely different in Washington State. It means you just stopped at either Dick's Drive-In (Seattle) or Dick's Hamburgers (Spokane), not what you were thinking.
There are Chinook words that are used around the state. One is "Tolo", which is called a Sadie Hawkins Dance in most other places.
Another Chinook word that is sometimes mispronounced as "muckity-mucks" or "mucky-mucks." This what important people or VIPs are called.
8- Rack of Beer
The phrase "racks of beer" mean a full 24 cans of beer or a full case. A "half-rack" is 12 cans, and 30 cans are also known as "30 racks".
9- Sun Break
Sun-break is used when the sun shines through the clouds. Rarely happens on the west side of the state.
For some reason, 'pillow' is just too hard to say for some people in Washington. It is just too hard of a 'pillow' to swallow.
No this is not milk from an Elk, it is just how some people think 'milk' is pronounced. Do not try to change someone that says it that way, because you can't.
I know multiple people that throw an 'r' into the word Washington. If you know one of these people, go up and ask them how to spell "Warshington State". They WILL NOT spell it that way, but can not help but keep saying it.
13- Warsh the Clothes
Just another version of Warshington. "Warsh those dishes...make sure you warsh the car!" This one's heard in the Southern U.S. too.
A term made up by Mark Arm, and the name of a musical movement in Seattle, Washington.
The name of a Seattle arts and music festival and the English word for Umbrella.
16- Vitamin R
You used to hear people say they needed to take some "vitamin R" when they got some after work. That meant having a few cans of Rainier Beer to relax.
17- Seattle Freeze
A term used to describe the superficial friendliness that greets newcomers. Is the Seattle Freeze a real thing?
It means to have a lot of something, even to the extreme. Costco comes to mind when I think of a mass of stuff.
The word that Washington residents use to describe big snow storms. This phrase seems to be used more and more recently.
These next 3 words were published by the New York Times about Seattle in the 1980s. There are more on the list but only 3 are kind of still used today. Fuzz is one of the 3, meaning a warm fuzzy sweater. "I love your fuzz!"
Another one of the New York Times words, it means great, awesome, or fantastic but in a northwest kind of way.
22- Rock On!
Usually, there is a friendly hand gesture that goes with this phrase. If you don't know, it's a way to say goodbye in a happy way and with excitement. Someone says "I'll see you tomorrow"...the friendly Northwest answer will probably be "Rock On!"
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Gallery Credit: Aj Brewster