Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right California icon-chevron-right Los Angeles icon-chevron-right 10 phrases that have a different meaning in LA than anywhere else
Double double at In-N-Out
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

10 phrases that have a different meaning in LA than anywhere else


There are a lot of languages spoken in Los Angeles, but we don’t often give credit to our local language—or, ordinary phrases that take on a whole different meaning in L.A. You know that “traffic” here can mean anything from a couple of cars on a two-lane street to a full-on parking lot situation on the 10, but here are a few other phrases that mean something entirely different in L.A..

“He’s over the hill.”

Elsewhere: He’s getting old.
In L.A.: He’s a resident of the San Fernando Valley.

“Animal style.”

Elsewhere: ;)
In L.A.: A fantastic way to make In-N-Out even more delicious.


Elsewhere: A large, crunchy tortilla filled with a cross between sloppy joe filling and lunch meat, sour cream and cheese.
In L.A.: $1 minimalist perfection.

“When it rains, it pours.”

Elsewhere: It’s raining very heavily/a lot of good or bad things (such as freelance work or gigs, or lack thereof) are happening at once.
In L.A.: It just doesn’t, period.

“The industry”

Elsewhere: Any industry.
In L.A.: Making movies, baby.

“Let’s get lunch!”

Elsewhere: Let’s get lunch tomorrow. Hell, today if you’re free.
In L.A.: Let’s plan on getting lunch at a vague time in the near future with the intention of rescheduling multiple times until our texts are just one long string of “sorry!”s and “next week, for sure!”s.


Elsewhere: A drink that’s usually made from oranges, apples or other common fruits.
In L.A.: An $8 beverage consisting of several fruits and vegetables that are cold-pressed and then bottled in trendy containers/a diet/a verb meaning you’re consuming only liquids.


Elsewhere: Something you get from your friends, family or Facebook.
In L.A.: Something you get from a machine at the ArcLight.

“The market”

Elsewhere: Some sort of old-timey bazaar.
In L.A.: The farmers’ market, the grocery store, the flea market—everything’s a market when there’s fresh produce everywhere.

“See you in 5 minutes.”

Elsewhere: See you in 5 minutes.
In L.A.: See you in at least 20 minutes.

Share the story
Latest news