Ocean City Slang

Ocean City Slang

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Ocean City, Md., is a small town with a population of only about 7,500 year-round residents. However, during the peak tourism season, it's not unusual for more than 300,000 visitors to be in residence. What this means in terms of Ocean City slang is that there isn't much – at least, not in the traditional sense. A small town with a lot of external influences, Ocean City hasn't developed a colorful dialect (or a barn-full of derogatory terms for tourists!). Of course, there's a good bit of fishing and maritime lingo, which you'll most certainly hear if you spend any time at one of the marinas. Believe it or not, you might also encounter some surfing slang terms – Ocean City has historically been a hub for surfers.

Peruse these Ocean City slang terms and see what you can overhear as you explore the boardwalk or devour a few of those famous Maryland blue crabs!

1. OC: No, not Orange County, or Officers' Club. Here in Maryland, OC is Ocean City slang for Ocean City. It's sometimes also called OCMD, and it's not to be confused with that other Ocean City in Jersey.

2. Chicken neckin': To go crabbing. A crab pot is baited with a raw chicken neck, hence the slang term. You can also fish for crab using a chicken leg tied to the end of a string.

3. Chicken necker: A person, usually an amateur or tourist, who fishes for crabs using chicken necks as bait.

4. Bimbo: A female blue crab.

5. Jimmy: A male blue crab.

6. Demoflush: In Ocean City lingo, this is the term used to describe seasonal population change, which is determined by the amount of waste water generated.

7. The Boards: Ocean City slang for "The Boardwalk." Also heard in Ocean City, NJ.

8. Boardwalk fries: French fries made and sold on the Ocean City boardwalk. More specifically, the phrase usually refers to the fries sold by Thrasher's, which are served with only vinegar and salt (no ketchup).

Thrasher's Fries
801 N. Boardwalk
Ocean City, MD 21842
Seasonal hours

9. Stoked: Originally a surfing term, the word has become commonplace in American slang and is now used to indicate something you're excited about.

10. Natty Boh: An affectionate name for National Bohemian Beer, which is brewed in Baltimore.

11. Assawoman: No, it's not a slightly off-color Ocean City slang term. It's the name of the bay between the northern end of Ocean City and the mainland. The name has Native American origins.

12. The Tram: The Boardwalk Tram is a small open-air vehicle, something like a golf cart-bus hybrid, which ferries tourists up and down the length of the boardwalk, from the Inlet to North 27th Street. The cost is $3 per person. For more information, call 410-289-5311.

13. The Inlet: The narrow strip of water that separates Ocean City from Assateague Island. The Inlet was formed by a hurricane in 1933, and Ocean City became a port.

14. Senior Week: It sounds like it might be a specially designated time for senior citizens to enjoy extra discounts, but in Ocean City lingo it's actually quite the opposite. Senior Week is the Ocean City equivalent of Spring Break week elsewhere. Masses of recently graduated teenagers flock here to celebrate, making the month of June less than ideal for family vacations. If you're between the ages of 18 and 21, it's perfect.

15. Candy Kitchen:Candy Kitchen is a local candy shop chain that has been in business since 1937. Regular OC visitors swear by the fudge and saltwater taffy here. There are 11 locations in OC including one at 402 South Boardwalk (call 410-289-9003 for information), with an additional 11 outlets in Delaware and Virginia.

16. Come-heres: Ocean City slang for tourists. As opposed to "from-heres."

17. Kite Loft: The Kite Loft is a long-standing Ocean City tradition. Most visitors are familiar with the boardwalk location, which is one of the most colorful spots in town. The Kite Loft sponsors a couple of kite-flying festivals during the year, too.

Kite Loft
511 Boardwalk
Ocean City, MD 21842
Seasonal hours

18. Fisher's: Nope, it's not a boring Ocean City slang term for those guys who hang out on the pier with fishing rods and a tackle box. It's the name of a local caramel corn maker, Fisher's Popcorn, which has been pleasing palates since 1937.

Fisher's Popcorn
200 S. Atlantic Avenue
Ocean City, MD 21842

19. Crab Shack: Not an actual shack, but a general term used for a restaurant that specializes in preparing Maryland blue crab. Crabs are usually steamed with water or beer, Old Bay seasoning and salt. They can be tough to get into, but persevere and you will be rewarded.
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