New words out west

10/08/2018 Posted by admin

One of the most interesting things about moving around is getting to know the lingo, the slang, the jargon of a new place. Different words mean different things in different places, and it’s always an adventure figuring them out, so I thought I would share some of my experiences:


When I moved to Los Angeles from Toronto, my vocabulary started to revolve around the words “yo”, “dude”, “hella”, “totes” (aka totally).

The laid-back feel of Southern California starts to get to you after a while and, at least for me, I noticed I started to shorten words…even if they were already short to begin with!

People in California are notorious for not really having an accent. They tend to speak very flatly, though surfer twangs pop up every now and then.


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When I crossed the country and started a new life in Kentucky, I noticed a southern drawl slowly creeping onto my lips. “Y’all” became a norm as did “sir” and “ma’am”, “do what?” stands in for “what did you say?” or “pardon me?” and, for some reason, athletes score in basketball goals instead of basketball hoops.

Kentucky may be the northernmost part of the South but the southern accent was there and it was strong. Don’t get me wrong, I love it! I sometimes wish we talked like southerners up here in the Great White North.


And that brings me to Kelowna. In Canada, we have our own words: “eh” and “poutine” are the first words that come to mind. And for some reason, people in the U.S. say we pronounce words such as “roof” and “about” like “rough” and “aboot”. But even in the same country, slang differs out here than back east.

For those of you from B.C. or who may have lived your whole life in the Okanagan, this may be news to you that some of the things you say…made no sense to me at first, but they are starting to cotton on:

“Buddy” – someone who you don’t know the name of, a random stranger – e.g. I was driving along the 97 when buddy cut me off

“Hooped” – screwed, caught in a situation where you don’t know what to do – e.g. My computer crashed and I didn’t save my files, I’m hooped

“Choked” – angry, really upset – e.g. I got into a fight with my best friend, ah I’m so choked right now

What other slang am I missing? What words do you think I need to know so I can fully assimilate into life in the Okanagan?

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