“Hella” & More Californian Slangs You Need To Start Using

21 June 2023
By Sarah Angela Almaden
Japanese House
Unsplash: Travis Yewell

People go to California for the same reasons as they go to an amusement park — to have a very fun time under the sun, to make memorable memories, and to feel the adrenaline rush of the fairground rides. I mean you can easily say that you’d enjoy all of those things and more in any corner of the world, not only in California. And that totally makes perfect sense. But then you cannot argue the fact that nothing comes close to the golden coast experience as there’s just something in this wild, wild West Coast air and water that can make your adventure resemble the colorful pages of a pop-up book. In this case, I am talking about a colorful California dream pop-up book, one that you cannot find and buy at any bookstore.

Speaking of pop-up books, do you know what else jumps out as you flip through the pages of your one-of-a-kind California dream pop-up book? It’s rows and rows of California slang words. Words you’ve heard of and words you’ve not heard of. I mean it’s safe to say that words like Hollywood, Kardashians or KarJenners, and the Bay area are topping the “words you’ve heard of” list. But what about the “words you’ve not heard of” list… maybe this mini-glossary of California slang can help you with that?

  • NorCal: Northern California
  • SoCal: Southern California
  • WeHo: West Hollywood
  • NoHo: North Hollywood
  • yeah no: no
  • no yeah: yes
  • sick: to describe something very good
  • post up: to chill or hang out
  • heavy: to describe something emotionally serious
  • bomb: to describe something very cool
  • hella: another word for "very"
  • dip: to leave
  • amped: to feel excited
  • dank: very good
  • stoked: another word for "excited"
  • down: to be okay with something
  • legit: to describe something that is not fake
  • bail: another word for "leaving"
  • PB: Pacific Beach
  • OB: Ocean Beach
  • clutch: to come in handy
  • the industry: the film or entertainment industry
  • butthurt: to be very upset for no reason at all
  • the City: San Francisco
  • slaps: to describe something very good
  • tech bro: a term to describe a guy who works in tech
  • rad: cool
  • gnarly: cool
  • three commas club: someone with $1 billion in assets