Nevada has a long history of people making strong connections, going on adventures, and pushing the limits. And Nevada slang words and phrases reflect the culture we all love.
These special phrases from Nevada can help shape conversations in many ways. They can also give you a better understanding of what makes Nevada such a special place.
19 Popular Nevada Slang Words And Phrases!
Nevadans are known to have a unique way of speaking, as many Nevada slang words and phrases are used regularly.
These terms vary in topics, from tourism-related words like “gambling” to more casual terms like “bodacious.” Nevadans also use exaggerated Nevada slang when expressing emotions.
Everywhere you go in Nevada, you will surely hear locals using various regional slang words and phrases!
To assist you in adapting to the amazing language of this remarkable state, here’s an informative summary of some commonly used terms:
1. Yokel – A Country Bumpkin:
In Nevada, the term “Yokel” is used to describe rural locals and those unfamiliar with urban areas.
A yokel often comes off as simple and inexperienced but can sometimes be amusing. Their presence in Nevada discussions gives it a unique flavor and personality.
2. Janky – Something That Is Broken:
Nevada has its unique set of slang words and phrases; one of the most commonly used is janky.
Boasting its origin in the bustling streets of New York, janky is a term often used to reflect something that has become broken or severely deteriorated.
If you’re stuck with a key in your lock, listening to a drip from the faucet, or feeling like your screen door could fly off its hinges – all of these are considered “janky.”
3. Cussin’ Like A Sailor – Cursing Up A Storm:
Nevada is known for its salty lingo and colorful culture. Cussin’ like a sailor or cursing up a storm is just one example of Nevada slang used since the state’s establishment.
Over the years, Nevada’s population has been profoundly shaped by a vast array of diverse cultures that were brought to its land via generations of cowboys, miners, and global explorers.
This captivating range of cultural influences has indelibly impacted local communication methods.
4. Gonna – Going To:
If you find yourself in Nevada, you may hear some local slang words and phrases. One of these is “gonna,” a shortened version of the phrase “going to.”
Utilized in casual conversations, “gonna” is an informal way to express that something will likely occur later. For instance, one could utter “We’re gonna go shopping later.” when predicting their plans.
5. Jingle – Money:
Ever heard of ‘jingle’? Well, it’s a popular phrase in Nevada and refers to the small change we carry around – pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters – you name it!
Nevadans have come to know and love the familiar jingle of coins. So, if you’re ever in Nevada and hear someone say, “give me my jingle,” they may just ask for their change back!
6. Pop – To Hit Or Punch:
The term “pop” has more than one definition – it can mean to hit or punch, but when used in Nevada slang, the nuances of this word expand even further.
In Nevada, “Pop it up!” is an invitation to let loose and have a grand old time.
From listening to music, going out for the night, or anything in between – when someone utters these words, you know there will be no shortage of entertainment!
7. Gorram – A Mild Swear Word Usually Used For Emphasis:
Gorram is a mild swear word that originated as Nevada slang, often used by miners working in the Nevada desert.
The expression can be used to demonstrate amazement, convey enthusiasm, emphasize a point, or indicate displeasure.
However, one should use caution when using the term “gorram” as it may still be viewed as a rude expression in certain situations. Therefore, it is best to reserve its usage for more private settings.
8. Yardbird – Lazy Person:
The term “Yardbird” is a Nevada slang phrase used to describe someone as lazy.
In the days of Nevada’s bustling gambling and casino scene, those who chose to watch their opponents instead of participating themselves were known by the nickname Yardbird.
This term was used to describe lazy individuals who preferred spectating games rather than playing them.
9. Cowpoke – Slang For Cowboy:
Nevada is proud to display its slang words and terms, ‘cowpoke’ being one of them.
This phrase has been a long-standing piece of the Nevada vernacular across multiple generations, even before the state’s official formation.
Nevadans residing in rural areas favor this expression when referring to cowboys and other locals deeply entrenched in their traditional ways.
10. Chillaxin’ – Relaxing And Chilling Out:
The word’ Chillaxin’ has become increasingly popular and conveys the peaceful, calming feelings one experiences when taking a break from their responsibilities.
Chillaxin’ can be an excellent way to restore balance in your life while allowing you time for reflection and rejuvenation.
To truly Chillaxin Nevada-style, look for a chill spot outside with friends, grab a drink and enjoy the sun!
11. Gone West – Left Nevada:
Nevada residents love to use words and phrases that are unique to the culture of Nevada, but when Nevada natives move away, they often forget their Nevada slang.
For instance, “Gone West” is a phrase usually used to describe when someone has left Nevada for college or another job opportunity.
If you are from Nevada and move to another state, you can still share your love for Nevada by teaching the people around you some of the unique phrases specific to our state.
12. Hooch – Alcohol:
From Nevada’s unique cultural vocabulary, “Hooch” has emerged as the term for locals to refer to alcoholic beverages. Indeed, it is an essential part of life in this vibrant region!
In Nevada, when locals talk about alcohol and partying, it’s common to hear local vocabulary such as “slosh” or “hootch” being used.
These words are widely used in the community to describe alcoholic beverages and drinking events.
13. Coyote – Nevada Slang For An Obnoxious Tourist:
A phrase is ‘coyote’, which Nevada locals may use to describe tourists who behave particularly obnoxiously.
The term “coyote tourist” describes tourists who come to Nevada and monopolize resources the locals prefer to keep for themselves.
This can be disruptive to the locals’ day-to-day life. So the term is a way of expressing frustration while still having fun with it.
14. Gonzo – Crazy, Wild, And Extreme:
If you’re looking for a thrilling experience, “going gonzo” is the perfect way to push your boundaries and explore new heights.
Even in sweltering Nevada weather, locals are unafraid to take it up several notches with their escapades. So if you want something wild and exciting, why not try going gonzo?
Wherever Nevada residents take their boundless enthusiasm for living life to its fullest potential, it’s sure to be an adventure fit for the Nevada definition of “gonzo”.
15. Mashup – To Combine Two Or More Things:
The term ‘mashup’ has become a Nevada slang word for combining two or more things in an exciting and often unexpected way.
The Nevada culture generally encourages creativity, which can be seen through mashups.
Residents in Nevada have created their type of music by mixing Nevada slang words and phrases with catchy melodies.
16. Caboose – The Last Car Of A Train:
Nevada is known for its surprises, especially regarding unusual slang words and expressions.
Rich with history, “Caboose” has existed since the 1800s. It denotes the backmost car of a train- one that might have carried cargo and passengers alike!
Though we may never know where exactly this term came from, we know that it continues to be used by Nevadans today.
17. Goobers – Peanuts:
Goobers, Nevada slang for peanuts, are beloved by many Nevada locals and beyond.
Revered for its presence in beloved peanut butter cups, this classic nut has been used to create traditional dishes such as Nevada Pie, Nevada Sliders, and Nevada Salad.
Generations of people have enjoyed these palatable desserts with the delicious crunch of peanuts! Goobers are special in Nevada’s heart because they are so good.
18. Hoodoo – Nevada Magic Or Voodoo:
When Nevada residents talk about hoodoo, they typically refer to a risk-taking situation where luck prevails.
Nevada slang has it that such an experiment is likely to result in success, and Nevada folk wisdom indicates this is rooted in hope, faith, and the power of belief.
Nevada natives believe that luck intervenes to ensure that even when the odds seem stacked against them, triumph can still be within reach for those willing to take the plunge.
19. Tumbleweed – An Unmoored Plant That Moves Around With The Wind:
The mystique of the tumbleweed is an iconic symbol of Nevada, a plant that roams unhindered in response to nature’s gentle breeze.
This remarkable plant is often called “prickly pear” in Nevada due to its spiny exterior and hardy nature.
In Nevada, people have seen these adventurers walking along the roads. They are exploring a new land. People are interested in them because they are different from others.
Nevada has a unique dialect of its own, filled with Nevada slang words and phrases that set it apart from other states.
The most difficult challenge in this project? The state’s culture includes various backgrounds, mining and ranching legacies, and Nevada-born folklore.
To fit in among Nevada residents, you must learn this language full of colloquialisms that can be heard daily.
But don’t worry: once you get the basics down pat, speaking Nevada slang will come as naturally as walking over Salt Flats dunes.
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