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Here are 20 Slang Terms You’ll Only Understand if you’re from Washington




Welcome to the Evergreen State, where the rain is more of a lifestyle than a weather pattern, and the locals have a language all their own. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the unique linguistic tapestry of Washington, unveiling 20 slang terms that resonate with the residents of this Pacific Northwest paradise. From deciphering the Puget Sound Lean to celebrating the rare appearance of “The Mountain,” get ready to embrace the insider vernacular that truly captures the essence of Washington living.

The 206

Refers to the primary area code for Seattle, emphasizing a strong sense of local identity.

Jumble Sale

Also known as a “Yard Sale”

Emerald City

Emerald City is the official nickname of Seattle. Rain City, Jet City, Seatown and Queen City are also used as names.


Very good. “Man, these fries are absolutely filthy!”

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.


Sun-break is used when the sun shines through the clouds. Rarely happens on the west side of the state.

The Puget Sound Lean

When people subtly tilt their bodies to avoid the rain, a common sight in the rainy Pacific Northwest.


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.


Brief periods of sunlight that break through the often overcast sky, celebrated as a rare meteorological phenomenon.

Fill me up with leaded

Coffee! “I’m so sleepy, fill me up with leaded!”

Ferry Fumes

The distinctive smell of diesel exhaust from the Washington State Ferries, a scent familiar to frequent ferry commuters.

The Mountain is Out

A phrase used when Mount Rainier is visible on a clear day, signaling a picturesque view and a moment of awe.


I lived in Spokane, and a lot of people refer to it as “Spo-Compton” “Spoka-Vegas”.


Another Chinook word that is sometimes mispronounced as “muckity-mucks” or “mucky-mucks.” This what important people or VIPs are called.


There are Chinook words that are used around the state. One is “Tolo”, which is called a Sadie Hawkins Dance in most other places.


Short for Vancouver, Washington, often used by locals as a term of endearment for their city.

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”.

Seattle Tuxedo

Flannel shirt/fleece and jeans.


Refers to the bioregion that includes Washington, Oregon, and parts of British Columbia, emphasizing the unique culture and environment of the Pacific Northwest.


A term that migrated from Northern California slang, used casually in Washington to mean “a lot” or “very.”


Microsoft employee. Someone who works for Microsoft; usually a programmer at Microsoft, especially a low-level coder with little chance of fame or fortune.

Sounder Train

Specifically refers to the commuter trains that connect various cities in the Puget Sound region.

Sasquatch Sightings

Playfully used when encountering a friend unexpectedly, as if they were as elusive as the mythical Sasquatch.

East of the Mountains

Refers to the eastern part of the state, beyond the Cascade Range, which can have a distinctly different climate and lifestyle.

Seafair Pirates

A group of costumed characters who participate in the annual Seafair festival, known for their quirky antics and community engagement.

The I-5 Shuffle

Navigating the often congested Interstate 5, especially during rush hours, characterized by slow-moving traffic and frequent lane changes.

Coffee Goggles

The effect of consuming too much coffee, leading to a heightened sense of alertness and hyperactivity.

Geoduck Necking

A humorous term for the act of digging for geoducks, a type of clam with a long neck, often associated with shellfish harvesting in the region.

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.

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