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Here are 22 Slang Terms You’ll Only Understand if you’re from Kentucky



Welcome to the Bluegrass State, where the rolling hills echo with laughter, and the bourbon flows as smoothly as the thoroughbred races. From the lively “Bourbon Bounce” to the stylish “Derby Dapper,” Kentuckians have a linguistic flair that adds a touch of humor to their rich cultural tapestry. In this exploration of 22 chuckle-inducing slang terms, join us on a journey through the colloquial charm that makes being from Kentucky a uniquely delightful experience.

Bluegrass State

Kentucky’s official nickname, occasionally used humorously to refer to residents and their pride in the state.

Dirty Bird

KFC. Slang for KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken).

Bourbon Bounce

The rhythmic and lively dance moves displayed during celebrations or events in Kentucky, often accompanied by a sip of bourbon.


Dessert. You might think it’s a name of a woman, but in Kentucky it’s a tasty dessert called a Brown Betty that’s similar to a crumble or cobbler.

Fair to Middling

Doing OK. Response to how are you? which means ‘I’m doing so-so/okay.’


Tip over. Combination of tip and dump, eg “Don’t tump that mug over.”

Thoroughbred Tickle

A term for a good-natured teasing or joking, referencing the state’s association with thoroughbred horse racing.

Butter My Butt and Call Me a Biscuit

Unbelievable. An expression of astonishment upon learning something unbelievable!

Mint Julep Mingle

The friendly socializing that occurs at events where the iconic mint julep is served, often during the Kentucky Derby.


Kentucky. What the state is referred to as by locals.

I Haven’t Seen You in a Month of Sundays

A long time. “I haven’t seen that kid in a month of Sundays!”

Hillbilly Highway

A light-hearted term for the winding roads and highways in the hilly regions of Kentucky.

Derby Dapper

The stylish and well-dressed look adopted by Kentuckians, particularly during the Kentucky Derby season.

Bluegrass Banter

The witty and engaging conversations unique to the Bluegrass State, often flavored with local humor.

Bourbon Barrel Roll

The jovial and carefree way residents celebrate festivals and events, perhaps with a nod to the state’s bourbon industry.

Kentucky Kiss

A friendly peck on the cheek or a light kiss exchanged between acquaintances or friends.

Blue Moon Boogie

The rare and celebratory dance moves brought out for special occasions or once-in-a-blue-moon events.

Thoroughbred Tater

A playful term for someone who appreciates and enjoys the state’s famous hot browns or other potato-based dishes.

Appalachian Aria

The soulful and melodious tunes heard in the Appalachian regions of Kentucky, reflecting the state’s rich musical heritage.

Moonshine Shuffle

The carefree and lighthearted dance performed at gatherings, perhaps inspired by the state’s moonshine history.

Kentucky Kettle Drum

The rhythmic sound of hooves during horse racing events, resembling the beat of a ceremonial kettle drum.

Bluegrass Backslap

A warm and friendly gesture or pat on the back exchanged between friends, reflecting the hospitable nature of Kentuckians.

Lover of all things travel related outside and inside the US. Leo has been to every continent and continues to push to reach his goals of visiting every country.