California Slang Words
Slangs, Social Media

50+ Best California Slang Words (And How to Use Them)

If you’re looking to learn the best California slang words that everyone is frequently using nowadays, then you’ve surely come to the right place. Here, we’ll cover 50+ of the top-rated and most popular California slang words and provide examples of how you can use them in everyday conversations. So if you’re ready to learn some Cali slang, let’s get started!

Every single region in the United States utilizes a distinct colloquial vocabulary because the nation is so vast. This can cause you to treat each territory as if it were its own state, complete with quite a dialect whose subtleties you’ve never before encountered.

The Golden State, or in other words, California, is not like other states. Because of the state’s prominence in American popular culture, slang terms coined in California have frequently spread to the rest of the country.

50+ Best California Slang Words (And How to Use Them)
Source: Giphy

In this blog post, we’re taking a close look at a bunch of California slang words. Take a glance at the following list and figure out how many you recognize to get a feel for what we’re talking about. Explore the unique and colorful culture of California with these 50+ best California slang words!

From the sun-drenched beaches to the hipster mecca of San Francisco, the Golden State has a unique language of its own. Learn the lingo and discover how to use these famous California slang words in your texting on social media networks. Whether you’re visiting the state or a local, you’ll be sure to make a great impression with your new knowledge of California slang!

How To Use California Slang Words

  • Aight (interjection) – A monosyllabic amalgam of “all” and “right”. It’s a neutral way to express approval or give the all-clear or the green light signal. (Eg.) May I rely on you to get me to the airport early tomorrow? The plane to Canada will be leaving soon at 6:00 AM. Aight! This shouldn’t be an issue at all.
  • Bomb (adjective) – This slang term was popularized during the 1990s. It does not really refer to a dangerous substance; rather, it indicates that the item in question is quite appealing. (Eg.) Have you listened to “Lose Yourself,” by Eminem? Trust me; the track was indeed a hell of a bomb! You must give it a go!
  • Brah/Bro/Bruh (noun) – An abbreviation for “brother” that first appeared in skater culture. Any man in your everyday life, whether an old pal or a new acquaintance, might be designated by this term. (Eg.) Hey bro, how about we catch a horror movie later tonight?
  • Brew (noun) – A colloquial term for beer or wine. (Eg.) When I get off of an assignment, I will be grabbing a brew. Are you willing to join along? If yes, text me within half an hour.
  • Bum (verb) – It means to acquire a thing by borrowing it from another person. (Eg.) Kindly let me bum your laptop for the next few days. My system is malfunctioning; therefore, I’ve had to have it serviced.
  • Butthurt (adjective) – When a person gets worked up over nothing when they could have easily handled the situation with more calm. (Eg.) The situation will go downhill for you if you give in to anger and get butthurt so quickly. We ask that you maintain your composure and do your best to deal with the current predicament.
  • Chill (verb) – Being at ease or unwinding quietly. Besides you can also use this term for calmly kicking back or lounging outdoors. (Eg.) After the project is finished and the dust has settled, Emma and Harry plan to take a trip to London to relax and chill out.
  • Come In Hot (verb) – Getting to a location quickly or maybe in a rush. (Eg.) The event starts promptly at 11, and it’s already 10:30, which is why Sarah is making such a strong showing and is coming in hot!
  • Come Up (verb) – The action of gaining something or having one’s condition improved. (Eg.) Now since Jane finally reached her losing belly fat target, she blossomed and absolutely came up.
  • Coo (adjective) – Meaningful truncation of the term “cool”. This is simply a different method of conveying the opinion that an object is excellent. (Eg.) The nightclub’s orange juice was quite coo. It was a great experience for me to have it. 
  • Cruise (verb) – Slang term for whether entering or exiting. It can be used to indicate travel, either in the form of departure or arrival. (Eg.) At approximately 6 o’clock, I will be cruising to the amusement park. Please let me know at least an hour in advance if you’d like to join me. 
  • Dank (adjective) – In California, where weed is legal, the term “dank” is frequently employed to denote high-quality marijuana. Yet these times, this slang word can be used for just about any item of high quality. (Eg.) Damn man! That new vape flavor was incredibly dank and tasted simply phenomenal. It was fantastic; I definitely enjoyed it.
  • Dirty Dog (noun) – One of Los Angeles’s most beloved street foods. A hot dog is bacon-wrapped and then smothered in chili peppers and onions. (Eg.) There is this one mobile kitchen that serves the finest and most delicious dirty dogs, and I know just where to find it. Want to give it a shot tonight?
  • Down (adjective) – Mean one is eager to participate in a given activity. Moreover, being enthusiastic about doing anything since you want to. (Eg.) Hey, would you like to pick up some hot dogs and head to the park for a picnic? Yes, count me in; I’m down for that.
  • Drag (noun) – A puff of smoke from a cigarette. Assuming a deep lungful of tobacco smoking. (Eg.) Jessica made a heavy drag from her cigarette before tossing it onto the pavement. 
  • For Real (adjective) – Whenever one intends to be honest and straightforward. (Eg.) Are you kidding me, or is that for real that you claimed you saw Emma Watson on the beach last Friday?
  • Fosho (interjection) – It’s just a fancy approach to stating “for sure”.  The word “fosho” can be used to express consent and approval. (Eg.) Do you plan on attending the FIFA World Cup Final between France and Argentina? That’s right dude, without a doubt, fosho!
  • Frisco (noun) – Shortened form of “San Francisco”. (Eg.) This summertime, Robin hopes to make a significant investment, and a villa near Frisco is on his list. Consequently, we can pay him a visit and spend our vacations there. 
  • Gnarly (adjective) – Another term for incredible, amazing, or fantastic in skater parlance. (Eg.) That red-haired girl standing in the corner has a gnarly figure, and the cherry on top of the cake is that she is wearing an outfit that is, to me, just built for her.
  • Greens (noun) – Greens is the slang term for marijuana in the Golden State, although, in other parts of the country, it could refer to any number of leafy green veggies. (Eg.) Even Johnny can’t remember his own name after he smoked so many greens last night.
  • Grip (adjective) – When describing a substantial quantity of something, you use this term. (Eg.) Alan owns a grip of outerwear options. Feel free to ask him for any if you’re interested. I have no doubt he will accept your proposal.
  • Grub (noun) – This term refers to food in informal contexts. (Eg.) No McDonald’s grub has arrived yet, despite my many attempts to contact the rider. Almost half an hour has passed since I placed the order.
  • Heavy (adjective) – To be clear, this does not refer to actual weight. Rather, it connotes a degree of seriousness and psychological depth. (Eg.) The more you dwell on such heavy and somber matters, the more your mental tranquility will be disrupted. Come over and watch a movie with me if you want to relax and unwind.
  • Hella (adjective) – A term that signifies “really” or “extremely” to emphasize what came before it. (Eg.) To put it bluntly, the beauty of Emma Watson is hella jaw-dropping. I have had a crush on her ever since I was a little kid.
  • Herb (noun) – Another way of referring to marijuana. (Eg.) For some late-night fun, I’ve asked Peter to bring fresh herbs.
  • Hyphy (adjective) – The condition of being extremely rowdy or agitated or experiencing a feeling of intense restlessness or bustle. (Eg.) Youngsters who had consumed excessive amounts of sugar displayed hyphy behavior.
  • June Gloom (noun) – A meteorological phenomenon that brings cloudy, dreary days during the first part of June. (Eg.) Jessica is depressed and not acting like herself owing to the June gloom. 
  • Killing It (verb) – To be performing at a high level or exceptionally well. (Eg.) At yesterday night’s dancing performance, he mercilessly killed the competition. Or, in last week’s gaming session, Johnson was really killing it. 
  • Legit (adjective) – Whenever someone or something is genuine and credible. (Eg.) Tom Cruise’s legit leap through a window was a convincing stunt. I really hope you take my word for it.
  • Like (interjection) – You’re probably familiar with the archetypal valley girl dialect, in which “like” is used as a synonym for nearly every other word. In this context, it functions as a filler word, much the same as “uh” or “um”. (Eg.) Rather than just ignoring each other, why wouldn’t we like move ahead and socialize together again? 
  • May Gray (noun) – The beginning of May is typically plagued by this weather phenomenon, which results in overcast skies and gloomy conditions. (Eg.) The May Gray has caused Rebecca to become melancholy and irritable. 
  • Mental (adjective) – That which defies belief or is just unbelievable. (Eg.) They say Amanda drank something around eighteen shots at the pub the night before. This can’t be right; it must have been completely mental and insane. 
  • Mob (verb) – A jargon word for going inside or coming out. It may be employed to signify perhaps the beginning or the end of a journey. (Eg.) Around 7 in the morning, I plan to mob to the gym. Want to join me on the way?
  • Norcal (noun) – This word is an acronym for “Northern California”. It encompasses a geographic area from the San Francisco Bay Area to something like the Oregon state line and beyond. (Eg.) When asked about his origins, Thomas always responds, “Norcal,” although he never specifies precisely. He really is a complete arsehole. 
  • Pilot Season (noun) – Seasonal peak, the period during the year when, on average, several very new television programs are produced. Newcomers to the acting profession often make their best efforts at this time to land a contract. (Eg.) Isabel has indeed been holding out for the pilot season just so she could check out for roles and see if she might end up making her acting dreams come true.
  • Post Up (expression) – A directive that a recipient should be patient and wait for something. (Eg.) I just wanted to let you know that you need to post up for some time since I’m cleaning up my bedroom to make way for the newly purchased cupboard.
  • Put On Blast (verb) – To name and shame openly in front of others. Either a lighthearted jab or harsh treatment is possible. (Eg.) Because of being terminated from his job for missing work to attend his grandmother’s funeral, Kevin unleashed a torrent of criticism and put on a blast on his former employer.
  • Send It (verb) – For the purpose of completing stuff. Occasionally individuals also employ it to encourage another person while they’re in the midst of performing a task. (Eg.) Next Sunday, I’m planning to take a pass at inviting Christopher to come on a date with me. My answer is, “Yeah, of course, please send it!”
  • SF (noun) – “SF” is an initialism that is shorthand for “San Francisco”. Whether you’re saying it aloud or typing this one, you may utilize it either way. It’s totally up to your own choice and desire. (Eg.) This coming Friday, a group of my pals and I are taking a road trip to SF. Are you coming along with us or not? 
  • Shred (verb) Colloquial term common among skateboarders that generally applies to extreme sports such as skateboarding or surfing. When you’re performing a task so effectively that you use the word “shred,” you’re excelling at it. (Eg.) It’s not easy to pull off a moonwalk on stage as Michael Jackson did, but seriously man, you shred it!
  • Sick (adjective) – “Amazing” as used in the skateboarding community. (Eg.) When it comes to freestyle football, Cristiano Ronaldo is sick and unreal. His skill moves are very incredible and not something that can be replicated by just anyone.
  • SigAlert (noun) – An incident on the motorway that forces the closure of one of its lanes. As more of an explanation for being late, it’s sometimes employed as the ultimate justification. (Eg.) Apologies for the delayed arrival; a SigAlert kept me from getting here on time.  
  • Snag (verb) – To obtain something through lawful agreement or dishonest means. (Eg.) Kate was able to snag cheap passes to the championship match between Mcgregor and Khabib.  
  • Socal (noun) – This region of California is the southernmost. To clarify, we’re talking about the areas south of Los Angeles. (Eg.) Michael’s standard response to the question of his background is “Socal,” albeit he offers no further detail. In reality, he is a total jackass.  
  • Stellar (adjective) – This slang word refers to anything spectacular. (Eg.) Lionel Messi is a footballing legend for his stellar dribbling skills. His maneuvers are extraordinary feats of expertise that can’t be duplicated by perhaps anybody else. 
  • Stoked (adjective) – Get one’s blood pumping in anticipation of something. (Eg.) This Sunday is the final of the FIFA World Cup; are you prepared? Man, I’m too stoked and pumped up!
  • Swag (noun) – Specific terminology for your apparel and wardrobe belongings. (Eg.) Take a closer look at all of that swaggy gear she’s rocking.
  • Swoop (verb) – To pick up a person or an object. (Eg.) On my way from the office to my apartment, I stopped at McDonald’s and swooped a cone of ice cream.
  • The Industry (noun) – Defamatory word for the film and television business that maintains a strong foothold in the Golden State of California. (Eg.) Just as William graduated from university, he’s been attempting to break into The Industry, but he hasn’t had any success yet. 
  • Tryna (verb) – Another way of saying “trying to”. (Eg.) I was tryna get passes to the tennis game, but unfortunately, they are now unavailable.
  • Yadadamean (expression) – This is a colloquial way of saying, “You Know What I Mean”. As a way to gauge whether or not your audience has grasped your point, you might use this phrase somewhere at the conclusion of a sentence. Saying this too steadily can elicit weird looks from onlookers; therefore, speed is of the essence. (Eg.) Emma’s girlfriends are the most stunning ladies in the area, yadadamean.
  • Yee (interjection) – A simple and speedy affirmative response. (Eg.) Do you happen to be Henry, the man’s sole child? Yee, it’s true; I’m the only child he’s ever had.  

Final Words

In conclusion, California slang words are an important part of the culture and language of the state. They demonstrate a unique, fun, and vibrant way of speaking throughout the territory. Whether you’re a native Californian or just visiting, learning some of these words will help you fit in and sound like a true Californian.

From expressions like “bro” and “cruise” to terms like “dank” and “gnarly,” the possibilities are endless. Even if you’re a guest or a resident, mastering a few slang terms will make you feel right at home in the Golden State. So, the next time you’re in California, don’t forget to pull out your best California slang. Also, don’t be shy – learn, practice, and enjoy these unique words and phrases!

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