Ohio slang words and phrases are unique and characteristic of the Ohio area. This includes terms like greeting each other, foods, activities, and expressions describing something or someone.
What will I learn?
Ohioans have developed unique slang words and phrases over the years. Ohio natives use these expressions to communicate more effectively with each other and easily recognize when someone is not from Ohio.
Ohio Slang Words And Phrases
Ohio is full of unique and colorful expressions passed down through generations.
Ohioans use these Ohio slang words and phrases to express themselves in a more casual, friendly way.
Some Ohio slang words come from the Ohio Valley region, which includes southeastern Ohio and parts of western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky.
Ohioans often take on the various dialects from these different regions when speaking informally.
Ohio slang has been around for centuries, and many Ohioans can trace their Ohio slang roots back to their grandparents.
Ohioans have taken advantage of this rich heritage in terms of language, turning the unique history of Ohio into phrases that are heard among Ohioans every day.
Ohio’s role in the Ohio River valley has also influenced Ohio slang words and phrases.
The Ohio River was a highway for Ohioans to travel across the state, and with it came different cultures from each side of the river.
These cultures have mixed and mingled, resulting in some unique Ohio slang terms.
Ohioans may use different words and phrases to describe the same thing depending on which side of the Ohio River they are from.
30 Famous Ohio Slang Words And Phrases
Ohio slang is unique and varied, with many phrases used to communicate in Ohio, from greeting someone on the street to discussing Ohio’s favorite sports teams.
Ohioans have a set of sayings and words that make it easier for them to express themselves.
Here are some of the most commonly used words and phrases you may hear when visiting Ohio.
This term refers to Ohio’s state tree, the Ohio buckeye. It is often used as a nickname for Ohioans and Ohio natives.
It symbolizes the state and its people, representing strength, resilience, and solidarity.
The buckeye tree has been featured on Ohio license plates since 1987. It is also part of the state’s official seal and flag.
For example, Ohioans may call each other Buckeyes, or Ohio natives might call themselves “Buckeye Born.”
The term is also used to describe Ohio pride and enthusiasm. It can also be used in combination with Ohio phrases, such as “Buckeye State,” “Roll Ohio,” and “Go Ohio!”
2. Rust Belt:
This term refers to Ohio’s industrial past when Ohio was known for its steel industry.
The phrase is often used nostalgically, but it has also been adopted by Ohioans who are proud of their state’s history and want to honor it.
For example, Ohio State University’s sports teams are known as the Ohio Rust Belters.
The term is also commonly used to describe Ohioans who are rough around the edges but still proud of their state and its history.
3. By Golly/By Go:
These phrases are Ohio slang words that mean “by God” or “by golly” and express surprise, amazement, or excitement.
Ohioans often use this phrase when surprised and in disbelief that Buckeye Candy is so delicious!
It’s safe to say Ohioans have a lot of love for their Ohio treats. The term is usually used in Ohio and some of its neighboring states.
This is Pittsburgh slang which has spread throughout Ohio. Yinz means “you guys” or “you all”, and Ohioans have adopted it.
Ohioans often use this slang term to refer to a group of people. For example, “Yinz ready to go?” The term can also mean “all of you” or “everyone.”
It’s a great Ohio slang word to use if you’re with a group of Ohioans.
Ohioans call shopping carts in stores buggies. This term is unique to the state and can confuse people visiting from out of town.
That is probably because Ohio used to have an abundance of horse-drawn carriages called buggies back in the day before cars were common.
Ohioans still use this traditional Ohio slang word today. For example, Ohioans might say, “Let’s get a buggy and start shopping.”
The term can also be used as a verb, as Ohioans might say something like, “I’m going to buggy around the store for a bit.”
Ohioans use dawg to mean friend. Ohioans will often refer to their friends using this Ohio slang term.
For instance, they could say, “That’s my dawg!” Ohioans might also use this term to refer to themselves, as in “What’s up, dawg?”
The term is typically used as a friendly greeting. It’s a classic Ohio term that continues to be used today.
Ohioans use pop to mean soda or other carbonated drinks, such as Sprite or root beer.
Ohioans might say, “Let’s get some pops at the store.” Ohioans also use this Ohio slang word to refer to certain alcoholic drinks, such as beer.
They might say, “Let’s grab a pop at the bar.” The term has become so commonplace that Ohioans often use it without realizing it’s a slang word. It’s just part of Ohio culture!
Ohioans use the terms Reds and Caps to refer to Ohio’s two major league sports teams: the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians.
The term can also refer to Ohioans; Ohioans are often called Reds or Caps when talking about Ohio sports.
For example, “All the Ohioan Reds and Caps are cheering for their teams.”
It can also reference Ohioans, such as “There’s a lot of Ohio Reds and Caps at this game.”
Goetta is a sausage-based Ohio dish that Ohioans are especially proud of. It’s made from mashed potato, pork crackling, onions, and spices.
It’s usually made in the shape of a log and then fried. It can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Goetta can also be added to other dishes, such as casseroles, soups, and pizza!
Many folks enjoy it topped with ketchup or honey mustard. It’s also an Ohioan way of saying, “I’m hungry.”
As Ohioans might say, “I’m gonna make some goetta tonight!” The term is also used to refer to Ohioans more generally, like “All the Ohio goetta are rooting for their teams.”
10. Polish Boy:
The Ohio Polish Boy is a sandwich that Ohioans love. It’s made with kielbasa sausage, French fries, coleslaw, and hot sauce, all tucked inside a bun.
Ohioans might say, “I’m gonna get me a Polish boy!” The term can also refer to Ohioans, like “All the Ohio Polish boys are out celebrating Ohio State’s win.”
It’s also an Ohioan way of saying, “I’m hungry.” It’s Ohio’s version of a sub sandwich.
11. The Jake:
The Ohio Jake is a term Ohioans use to describe someone from the city of Cleveland.
It’s used in sentences like “My Ohio jake friends are all cheering for the Browns this weekend.”
The term also refers to Ohioans: “All the Ohio jakes are out celebrating Ohio State’s win.” It’s Ohioans way of showing pride in their state.
This is an Ohio version of a southern term. Ohioans often use it to refer to themselves as Ohioans proudly.
Such as “We Ohioans celebrate Ohio State victories like no other.”
Ohioans use Ohioans to show their pride in their state, and it can be used interchangeably with Ohio Jake when referring to Ohioans as a group.
The term Ohioan is specific to Ohio and not used outside of Ohio.
This Ohio slang refers to a vacuum cleaner. Ohioans use the term sweeper to refer to any vacuum, like “We need to get a new sweeper because this one isn’t doing its job.”
The term can be used in various contexts, from discussing household chores to talking about cleaning up messes.
It’s an Ohio-specific slang word that Ohioans use to refer to any vacuum cleaner.
13. The Three C’s:
Ohioans refer to the three C’s when discussing Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus.
Ohio natives often use this term to reference Ohio’s three major cities and all of the great things Ohio offers.
This phrase is another Ohio-specific slang word that Ohioans use to show their pride in their state. It’s a great way to connect Ohioans and Ohio culture.
Ohioans use this term to refer to an overly eager or enthusiastic person.
It’s an Ohio-specific slang word that Ohioans use when describing people who get too excited about things.
The term can be used positively and negatively to describe someone’s behavior.
For example, Ohioans may say someone is “a real chubinuptu” when overly enthusiastic about something. It’s an Ohio-specific term that Ohioans use all the time.
This Ohio-specific slang word is used to describe someone who is acting silly or goofy.
Ohioans often say this when they’re trying to make fun of someone’s behavior in a lighthearted way.
It can describe someone pretending to be silly or acting foolishly. For example, Ohioans might say, “He’s being a real gliddling today.”
The term “gliddling” is commonly used among Ohioans, so it may take some getting used to if you’re not from Ohio.
This Ohio slang term is used to describe someone who is being completely clueless or ignorant about something.
Ohioans often use this phrase to express their annoyance about someone’s ignorance.
For example, Ohioans might say, “That guy is such a Cincinnati!” “Cincinnati” is often used in Ohio and the surrounding area.
Ohioans use this term to describe someone who is acting in an uncoordinated or clumsy way.
It can also refer to someone who is not paying attention or is easily distracted.
For example, Ohioans might say, “that gumbie spilled his drink” when referring to a clumsy person. The term “gumbie” is derived from Ohio’s state tree, the buckeye.
18. Double O:
Ohioans use this term to refer to Ohio State University, commonly called “Double O”.
Ohioans love their Ohio State teams and the university.
So this term is often used in conversations about Ohio State sports or academics. For example, Ohioans may say, “Go Double O!”
19. Woolly Bugger:
Ohioans use this term to refer to someone from Ohio who has an especially thick accent.
This term is often used in a humorous way, and it’s usually considered an endearing gesture rather than an insult.
For example, Ohioans may jokingly say, “That Ohioan sure has a mighty woolly bugger accent.”
The phrase derives from the Ohioan pronunciation of “wooly bear, ” a caterpillar native to Ohio and other parts of the Midwest.
Ohioans use this term to refer to a hot dog or sausage topped with chili, cheese, and onions.
This dish is popular throughout Ohio, but it’s especially beloved in Ohio’s larger cities like Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus.
Ohioans often refer to the dish as a “Coney” and may add other toppings such as mustard or ketchup.
Ohioans use this term to refer to any trouble or difficulty. For example, an Ohioan might say, “I’m in a right Bexley now!” to express their predicament.
The term also describes bad luck, such as “I’ve been having a Bexley of a time with this project.”
It can also describe someone causing trouble or difficulty, such as “That guy is always creating a Bexley.”
In some cases, it is used to describe someone who is clumsy or accident-prone, such as “I swear she has a Bexley magnet attached to her!”
The term comes from the Ohio city of Bexley, which is known for its crime rate. It has become a slang term for Ohioans to describe any difficulty.
22. Fer Shur:
Ohioans use this phrase when they want to confirm or agree. It’s the Ohioan way of saying, “for sure!”
For example, Ohioans might say, “Fer shur, I’ll be there!” The term can also be shortened to just “shur.” It is also sometimes used as a response to thank someone for something.
23. Red Apple:
Ohioans use this term to refer to something that is very difficult or time-consuming. It originates from the old Ohio saying: “If it’s too hard, just call it a red apple.”
The term is used to describe any task that is seemingly impossible. It can also be used to refer to anything Ohioans find difficult.
For example, Ohioans might say, “Getting this project done on time is like trying to bite a red apple.”
This Ohio slang term is derived from the words “hex” and “hexagonal.” Ohioans use this phrase to describe anything that is hexagon-shaped.
It can also be used as a verb when someone puts an object into a hexagonal shape.
For example, “I’m hexing this piece of paper into a shape.” The term is also used in Ohio to describe the shape of a hex nut, like those found on wooden fences.
Ohioans use this term as an affectionate nickname for someone who is acting silly or immature.
It’s usually said with a smile and implies that the person being called a “cootie” is still young at heart and having fun.
It can also be used as a term of endearment. For example, “You’re such a cootie!”
The term is also used a lot in Ohio to refer to the small flying bugs that can be found in puddles and other areas of standing water.
This Ohio slang term is short for “wrecking” and describes the act of destroying something.
It’s typically used when someone has been caught doing something wrong or has made a mess of something.
It can also be used to describe someone who is making a lot of noise. For example, “Stop rackin’ in the house!”
This Ohio slang term is used as an exclamation or expression of surprise or shock. It’s similar to saying “Gosh!” or “Wow!”
Fritz can also be used to show admiration or express excitement. It is an informal term and should not be used in formal settings.
For example, “Did you see that? Fritz!” The term is derived from the German word “fritzen,” which means to tremble. It’s often used to express shock or surprise.
This Ohio slang term is usually used when referring to a big storm that produces a lot of rain.
It’s typically used in the phrase, “There was a bathtub last night,” which means it rained very hard.
It can also be used to describe a long period of heavy rain. Such as, “We got a bathtub this week.”
It originates from Ohioans comparing the amount of rain that falls during a storm to a bathtub overflowing.
29. Gussied Up:
This Ohio slang phrase is used to describe someone dressed nicely or fixed themselves up for some event.
For example, if you were going out on the town wearing a nice outfit, your friends might say, “You’re all gussied up!”
The term originates from Ohioans using the word “gussy” to describe making something look better by adding extra decoration.
In Ohio, “dope” is often used to describe something that is cool or awesome.
Ohioans may use this term to refer to anything from their favorite clothing item to the latest movie in theaters.
It’s also used to describe people they admire or places they like.
Such as “That restaurant is dope!” The term has become so popular in Ohio that it has been included in Ohio state license plates.
Ohioans are known for their unique Ohio slang words and phrases. From “buckeye” to “pop,” Ohioans have a rich language to express themselves with that is all their own.
While Ohio slang may be hard to understand by outsiders, Ohio natives know exactly what they mean when they hear certain terms.
Ohioans have their unique way of speaking, so brush up on Ohio slang before visiting the state!
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