8 Washington Phrases Out-Of-Staters Won’t Understand
I grew up in Bremerton, spent my 20s and early 30s in Seattle, and returned to Washington, residing in North Central Washington since my late 30s. Washington is home. And I've noticed some phrases we make that make out-of-staters wonder WHAT THE HECK DID YOU SAY?
“Do the Puyallup”
The Washington State Fair in Puyallup used to be called The Puyallup Fair. When you planned to take the family and go, you’d say, “We’re gonna Do The Puyallup.” I still use it to this day.
“Over on the Coast”
This is mainly a phrase uttered by people from North Central Washington - Wenatchee, Moses Lake, Quincy, Cashmere, etc. “Over on the Coast” refers to anywhere in the Puget Sound region in Western Washington.
“The Mountain is Out”
When Mount Rainier is visible - Washingtonians say “The Mountain is Out”
“The Boys Are Back in Town”
Whenever a US Navy carrier came back from a long overseas deployment, I heard this phrase referencing the several thousand sailors that would return to Bremerton or Everett.
“Aroma of Tacoma”
When I was a kid in the 1970s, I heard adults refer to the foul smell of Tacoma as the “Tacoma Aroma” Today, younger generations have switched it up and it means the same thing. Usually driving by the Tacoma Dome on I-5, you could smell the sediment in Commencement Bay, sulfur released from the Simpson Tacoma Kraft pulp and paper mill, a rendering plant, the U.S. Oil refinery, or a combination of all of these factors.
Refers to any Seahawks fan by the players, coaches, or other fans talking about other Seahawks fans. Once called “The 12th Man” - The Seahawks organization wisely switched over to the phrase “The 12s” to avoid paying a fee to Texas A&M University who copyrighted the phrase “The 12th Man”
A few years ago, I used this phrase near someone from the East Coast - when talking about a downpour of rain happening downtown. They looked at me like I had three heads on my shoulders and said emphatically that they’d never heard of a “Rain Squall” A “Squall” is when a storm pours down buckets of rain, seemingly all at once.
I know this word was and still is used in California. But it made its way here. “Hella” means a lot or an abundance of something. Example: Man, I don’t know if I’ll go back - Those Fish and Chips were “hella” expensive.
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