Anaheim Slang

Anaheim Slang

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In preparing for a visit here, I recommend learning a bit about Anaheim slang. It will give you some insight into Californian culture and allow you to better navigate the local language. You will find that even though Californians all live in the same state, Northern California slang is much different from Southern California, and even L.A. has a few differences from Orange County. Below is a compilation of five must-learn Anaheim slang terms and phrases, which are highly recommended for visitors to this Orange County neighborhood. Armed with this list, you and your fellow travelers will not only understand the youth of the area, but you might just be able to communicate with them!

1. "Anacrime"

Example: "I went to school in Anacrime."

What sounds like a less-than-flattering nickname for the city of Anaheim, "Anacrime" is used jokingly by Anaheim and Orange County residents. Far from what the name implies, Anaheim is actually not a dangerous or crime-ridden city. Like most of the rest of Orange County, Anaheim is one of the safer places in California, boasting crime statistics well below the national average, and the affluent Anaheim Hills neighborhood that is home to many actors, musicians, professional athletes and politicians.

I'm not sure when the term originated, but I know it has been tossed around as early as the late '90s. Finding the nickname amusing, many Southern Californians just chalk it up to Anaheim slang and don't take the term too seriously.

2. "The Orange Curtain"

Example: "Oh please. He's never even seen a homeless person before; he grew up behind the Orange Curtain."

This is one of the most common Anaheim slang phrases referring to the boundary separating the southern edge of Los Angeles County and the northern edge of Orange County. It is a term in the local lingo that is popularly used to accompany criticism of Orange County and its residents.

The people living in Orange County tend to lead suburban lifestyles and be more conservative politically than their Angeleno counterparts and as such are commonly criticized as "sheltered" and "spoiled" by those living north of "The Orange Curtain." Though sometimes you will find Orange County residents using "the Orange Curtain" to denote a nicer, more luxurious lifestyle, this Anaheim slang term, for the most part, has a negative connotation.

3. "Brah"

Example: "We're going to paddle out (surf) tomorrow, brah. You in?"

Another way to pronounce the surfer slang term "bro," the word "brah" was once very popular in Anaheim slang. Born out of surf and skate culture, both of which Anaheim has plenty, "brah" is what Southern Californian males call other males in a friendly manner. Though lately fewer and fewer people have been using it, hang around the skate parks in Anaheim long enough and you can be sure that this is one of the slang terms you'll hear at least once.

4. "Late"

Example: "Hey I gotta go, but I'll talk to you soon? Late."

Starting out as a truncated version of the word "later," "late" is now commonly used by Southern Californians in place of "goodbye." Sometimes you will hear people adding an "s" sound at the end, but for the most part, the slang is used without it. So relax and don't worry when you hear people using this word. They are not actually late for anything, they are just saying goodbye in SoCal slang.

5. "A grip"

Example: "My teacher just gave me a grip of homework to do! I'm going to be working all night!"

One of Anaheim's most common slang phrases, "a grip" is equivalent to saying "a lot." Often you will hear people use it unfailingly in every single instance where "a lot" is traditionally used. After shopping, someone might say he or she spent "a grip of money." After eating out, he or she might say they just ate "a grip of food."

It might sound a little strange to the unpracticed ear, but after a little time in sunny Southern California you'll hear this phrase so often that it will start sounding normal, even natural, to you. Who knows, after your visit behind the Orange Curtain, you might find yourself using a grip of Anaheim slang terms back at home.
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