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20 Los Angeles Slang Expressions To Make You Sound Local

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Los Angeles, speak the language the locals do. When you go to any place, the first thing to learn is slang, which is the local language spoken. Knowing Los Angeles slang words will help you to communicate better with locals. You can understand the real meaning of what they are saying and can communicate back using Los Angeles slang expressions. If you do not know these expressions, you could be confused about what locals are saying.

Why learn Los Angeles Slang Expressions?

You may be planning to visit Los Angeles for a holiday. Knowing the local Los Angeles slang expressions will help you understand the voices around you. In case you are planning to stay in LA, whether for a short duration or a long one, knowledge of Los Angeles slang becomes vital. Particularly, if you planning to study in one of the LA colleges, then you may feel lost without knowing the meanings of these slang words. Learning the various Los Angeles slang words will help you make friends with the locals. You can be a part of the local crowd by speaking slang.

Learning Los Angeles slang expressions

Slang is not a new language that needs a lot of effort to learn. Learning Los Angeles slang expressions or for that matter, any slang expressions helps you communicate better. Learning the language from a textbook or a teacher will help you learn grammar and conventional language. Learning slang helps you use the language while talking to locals. You can manage without knowing slang words, but it always helps to know slang.

Here are some reasons why you should take the pain of learning Los Angeles slang expressions before you visit LA:

  • You can understand key local words, phrases, and expressions used. This helps you in being current with your ability to speak a language.
  • An important reason to learn Los Angeles slang expressions is to avoid making any faux pas. If you speak a slang word and it means something offensive, you can end up in an embarrassing situation. This is why it is important to know these slang words.
  • It helps in creating a sense of belonging while communicating with the locals.
  • Knowing Los Angeles slang words and phrases will help you express yourself in a better way by evoking emotions. Using slang helps you express your thoughts in a better way. This is why learning slang expressions in any language is recommended.

What are the top Los Angeles slang expressionsto know?

Are you planning a visit to LA in the near future? If so, our guide on Los Angeles slang expressions will be helpful. We have compiled 20 different Los Angeles slang expressions. These are words or phrases that are frequently used by locals while talking. Knowing these expressions will help you communicate better with locals. You can understand what they are saying and reply using the same kind of words to establish a better connection.

1. The ‘<Number>’

If you hear the phrases like ‘the 101’ or ‘the 405’, you don’t have to wonder what numbers are being spoken. Los Angeles slang makes use of ‘the’ before a highway number. ‘The 405’ is one of the common Los Angeles slang expressions used to refer to the highway route number 405. There is a reason for this. Earlier highways had names and so ‘the’ was used to refer to the name. Now the same is being used to refer to highway numbers as in “Take the 101 if you want to go to Studio city”.

2. Stoked

If you hear someone say, “I am really stoked thinking about our weekend trip”, then it means they are excited about the trip. Stoked is one of the Los Angeles slang expressions used as an adjective to denote excitement or enthusiasm. When you hear some good news and are looking forward to something that excites you, the word ‘stoked’ can be used to show how happy you are.

3. Gnarly

This is an interesting Los Angeles slang term. It traces its origin to the surfer culture in 1960. It used to be used to denote waves that were difficult to handle. Gnarly in the dictionary means ‘twisted’ as in gnarly roots. As slang, it denotes something crazy, intense, risky, or horrible. “His guitar playing is gnarly” refers to intense or crazing playing. A typical slang youngster likes to use!

4. Snagged

To snag is to get or acquire. It can also mean stealing. The dictionary meaning of ‘snagged’ is to get caught, as in ‘snagged in a net’. As a Los Angeles slang word, it means to get in some way, including illegally. “I snagged your book yesterday” means the book was taken not necessarily with the permission of its owner.

5. Grub

Grub is one of the most common Los Angeles slang words used. It is a common slang used in many places. Grub refers to food or snacks. The dictionary meaning of the word grub is the larva of an insect. As a slang word, it refers to any type of food. “Let’s go and get some grub quickly”, is an invitation to join for a meal/snack.

6. The Industry

When you are in LA and talking about “the industry”, the obvious reference is to the film industry or Hollywood. If someone says that they are working for the industry”, it’s a typical Los Angeles slang referring to either the film industry or the television industry. There may be different industries in and around LA, but when you say “the industry”, it only means one thing.

7. Hella

Hella is a word you won’t find in any dictionary. That’s because it’s a typical Los Angeles slang that means “a lot” or “very”. It doesn’t refer to hell, but rather refers to “a hell lot of” signifying a lot. In slang, it also refers to “really”. “That girl is hella cute” is a compliment, where the speaker is praising the girl for being very cute. This slang originated in the Bay area and is today part of the Los Angeles slang.

8. Dirty Dog

You may think that ‘dirty dog’ refers to a real mangy dog but its meaning is something else. A dirty dog is Los Angeles slang referring to a particular type of hot dog or a snack. It is a hit dog that is wrapped in bacon and generally served with pepper and onions. It is a popular snack in LA. Usually, carts sell this snack outside bars and various places at night. “Let’s grab a dirty dog” is slang for let’s get a hot dog.

9. Fosho

Fosho is a typical Los Angeles slang expression used by youngsters. It is a short form for “for sure”. It can be used to confirm something and means “Okay”. It is usually used as an answer to a question. For example, if you are asked, “Are you coming to the movie tonight”, you can answer “fosho”. This is a confirmation that you are coming.

10. Bail

Bail is a common enough term and is a legal expression. It means getting someone released from prison temporarily. As a Los Angeles slang expression, it has a different meaning. “Bail” means leave or go. “I am gonna bail out from here” means “I am going to leave from here”. It usually is used when someone is leaving suddenly or in a hurry. Eg: “I gotta class and got to bail on you guys.”

11. Bum

You will find the word ‘bum’ in the dictionary. It refers to the posterior part of the body. It can also be used to refer to a homeless person. But as a Los Angeles slang word, ‘bum’ means ‘borrow’ or ‘have’. Don’t get offended in LA if someone asks you, “can you bum me five dollars?” They are just asking you to lend five dollars.

12. Butthurt

Butt refers to the posterior and hurt – well you know what it means. ‘Butthurt’ is a Los Angeles slang expression that signifies someone is very much upset about something. It doesn’t refer here to physical pain but refers to being highly offended about something. “He was butthurt when he found that Bob had taken ten dollars from his purse”, signifies his anger and taking offense to Bob’s action of taking money without his permission.

13. Dude

This is one of the most common Los Angeles slang words that has become a universal slang word. “Dude” refers to a person. It is usually used to refer to someone when you don’t know that person or his/her name. For example, “Ask that dude, he was there when it happened.” It is also used to address a friend. “Dude, do you know what just happened?” Sometimes, it is also used instead of “Hey” or “Woah”, as in “Dude, there was no need for a gift.”

14. Angeleno

This word has nothing to do with Angelina Jolie! Neither does it have to do with the blessed angel. Angeleno is Los Angeles slang for a resident of Los Angeles. If you live in LA, then you can proudly call yourself an Angeleno. You won’t find this word in a dictionary but it's what every true-blue LA resident will call themselves. Don’t make the mistake of correcting the spelling to Angelino, it’s a big no and you may be shamed for it.

15. Hit up

When you hit up someone, you are not assaulting that person. ‘Hit up’ is a Los Angeles slang expression for asking something. Usually, it refers to asking someone for a meeting. “Hit me up later in the week” is not an invitation for assault but an invitation for a meeting later in the week. “Hit up Jim and ask him if he will come” refers to contacting Jim and inviting him to come.

16. Grip

The word grip is a common word in the English language. It means holding something physically as in “gripping the railings”. It can also refer to being engrossed in something, as in “the book was gripping.” As a Los Angeles slang, the word grip means a big amount or a large quantity. “I have a grip of cash”, means having a lot of money. “I got a grip of bacon” refers to a large quantity.

17. Dank

The dictionary meaning of the word dank is damp or cold. In Los Angeles slang, “dank” means “good” or “cool”. “That food is really dank” doesn’t mean the food is damp, it means the food is good. “That’s a dank bike” would mean the bike is cool and trendy. A variant of the slang word dank is dankastic, which is ‘dank’ + ‘fantastic’ and refers to something extremely good or very cool.

18. Mob

A mob is a large group of people but it means something else in Los Angeles slang. Mob here is treated as a verb. It refers to come quickly either by foot or by bike. “Mob over dude” would mean “Come fast.” Another Los Angeles slang word similar to 'mob' is 'cruise'. To cruise is to go or move.

19. Rock

Rock is not a stone but is Los Angeles slang for something that is fashionable. “I rock jeans” would mean that the person likes to wear jeans since he/she would look stylish while wearing jeans. “Do I rock this” while referring to clothes is asking if the clothes look good on a person. It could also mean using an object well as in “I am going to rock this bike.”

20. Trip

A trip is not a journey but has a different meaning in Los Angeles slang. Trip refers to making a small thing big or making a mountain out of a molehill. “Stop tripping out” would mean don’t make a big deal over something. It also refers to overreacting to something. “Why are you tripping out?” is asking someone why they are overreacting.

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