Humboldt’s unique lifestyle begets its own unique lexicon, which we will now chronicle here together for future anthropologists and cryptolinguists.
What we’re looking for: Humboldt-specific slang, with special exceptions made for terms that could be used in, say, Mendocino county but can be woven into daily discourse without explanation (See: “Larf”).
Rule of thumb: Would someone moving here want to know it?
Expect some live updating and incorrect alphabetization.
Please offer your suggestions or clarifications below. We’ll clean up the formatting later.
Virtually all Many of the suggestions below come from KHUM listeners, but but now we open it up to you. Let’s go!
UPDATE 11-23-13 11:08am: This list is still expanding with new terms and refined definitinos. - MD
UPDATE 11-26-13: We removed some debunked/nonlocal entries and added still more. -MD
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101: US Highway 101. Colloquially pronounced “one oh one.” Saying “The one-oh-one” betrays non-locality. Holds true for 299, 36, and 96. (h/t Aunt Svea)
Arcata No-Go: The four-way stop dilemma in which all drivers insist that the others proceed first. Alternately known as the Arcata Courtesy Fight and/or the NoYouGo.
Arkleyville: Arcane moniker for Eureka, in reference to local businessman Rob Arkey. Arkleyville bumper stickers can still spotted on old cars.
Black Snake: backcountry water line. Alternate: Humboldt Creeping Blackvine
Bluecata: Rural community behind the hills of northern Arcata. Culturally distinct from Glendale, Blue Lake, and Fieldbrook. Alternate: West Endies
The Bottoms: 1) Arcata’s low-lying hinterlands 2) Ferndale’s low-lying hinterlands. Can also be singular (bottom).
C.A.M.P.: acronym for Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, a paramilitary-style pot eradication task force focused on SoHum and northern Mendocino. Low-flying helicopters were alleged to be in violation of our constitutional rights.
Contractor: 1) see “grower” 2) contractor
Crabbies: shorthand for the Humboldt Crabs baseball club (h/t lbis)
Cream City: amazing and legit nickname for the victorian village of Ferndale
Carson Heights: Eureka’s flagship ‘Fancy Romney Republican’ neighborhood, north of EHS and west of West. May be also known as Cooper Heights.
“BOON”: The correct pronunciation of the Eureka street spelled B-U-H-N-E. This is the most controversial entry in this glossary. (NOTE TO LOCALS: This particular entry was worded by Andrew Goff, who was born at General Hospital)
“Del Nort”: No ‘eh’ sound on Del Norte. It’s the correct pronunciation our northern neighbor. Saying ‘Del Nor-tay’ might feel right, except that the northern county’s etymology seems to be of Portuguese, not Spanish, origin.
Diesel Dope: Indoor marijuana grown from lights powered by diesel generators. (h/t dire wolf)
Drizzlepiss: Fog that is almost rain. Alternates: Fogging, Pizzle, Snot
Faugust: A moniker of August. It can get foggy in NoHum in summer.
Ferntucky: A moniker of Ferndale
Fortucky: A moniker of Fortuna
Freeway Ball: A left field home run from Arcata Ballpark (h/t KHUM listener Vikki), one that lands on US 101
Frumboldt: Born and raised in Humboldt. ‘Becomeboldt’ happens to permanent transplants.
Green Rush: economic and agricultural phenomenon, refers to a post-2000 influx of growers, often associated with a lack of land stewardship and/or care for community. Can be indoor/outdoor. Alternates: Pot Miners, Greed Growers, Gold Rushers, Get-Rich-Quickers (h/t Heady Green)
Grow Ho: (noun, sexist pejorative) She who hangs with growers, a green gold digger. Alternate: Potstitute
Grow House: a residence in which one or more rooms is used for marijuana production. Sometimes identifiable by blocked-out windows, raggedy landscaping, un-neighborly inhabitants, and structure fires.
Grower: Shorthand for marijuana farmer. Never associated with a food, flower, or oyster farmer.
Growdozer: A conspicuously expensive, inefficient, customized, and otherwise underutilized pickup truck or SUV driven by someone who doesn’t care if you know what they do for a living. Sometimes a status symbol, sometimes replaced annually. Alternates: Humboldt Cadillac (h/t Joel Mielke) or Grower Truck
Growrrage: a garage converted to a marijuana grow room (h/t Sup Dog)
Gulchers: A frequenter or resident of Cooper Gulch park in Eureka. Gulchers are not necessarily disc golfers, but they are certainly high and sometimes up to no good. Alternate 1) a person making his home out in an urban green belt. Alternate 2) those who live in Whale Gulch, a canyon on the coast shared by Mendocino and Humboldt counties (h/t August West)
The Hill: a generic term for a remote growing/trimming operation. I.e.: “I’m going up The Hill this weekend.”
HenCen: A discarded nickname Henderson Center
Hendo: An approved nickname for Henderson Center
Humboldt Crud: the cold, sniffles, & hacking generally endured from December-February, thought to be brought on by abundant moisture and/or mold (h/t Amy)
Humboldt Hilton: The county jail (also, see ‘Salmon House’) Alternate: Pink House
Humboldt Honey: a female whose attractiveness positively correlates with her innate Humboldtness; transcends traditional beauty standards
Humboldt Slowdown: “There’s my exit, I’d better start slowing down now.”
Humboldt Time: Like whenevs, bro
Jaws: (nautical origin) the treacherous entrance to Humboldt bay. Often used in conjunction with “crossing the bar.”
The “J”: Humboldt State University’s largest residential dining hall/recreation center
Larf: low-quality trim detritus. UPDATE: “shitty buds that never tightened up and got hard. They are all loose and airy, “larfy.” (h/t Jake)
Milkcan Game: hypercompetitive annual football game between Fortuna and Ferndale high schools (h/t @rockhouse)
Mom & Pop: small, family-based marijuana farm. Frequently outdoor, often only for supplemental income. (h/t Heady Green)
Murrish’s: A SoHum cred-heavy name for what is now the Shop Smart in Redway, formerly Murrish’s Market.
Myrtletown: mostly residential ‘hood near Eureka northern border. Known for friendly locals, as well as streets, lawns adorned with semi-functional boats,RVs.
NoHum: shorthand for northern Humboldt county, whose Mason-Dixon line is debatable but generally thought to be in the Scotia area.
Oklahoma by the Sea: A moniker of McKinleyville.
The Peninsula: almost always refers to the finger of land between Manila and the Jetty (which, in turn, is almost exclusively in reference to the North Jetty). Alternate: The Spit
Pierson Home: post-war architectural residential template common in Eureka and Arcata, characterized by ‘modern’ design. Features include low-sloping roofs, exposed ceiling beams, floor to ceiling windows, and open floor plans. (h/t Honey Bear)
Real Dull: a moniker of Rio Dell (h/t John Wayne)
Redwood Curtain: mythical and metaphorical palisade that insulates Humboldt county from the real world, for better and worse (h/t abalone_girl)
Redwood Summer: Summer of 1990 in which environmental protests of old-growth redwood forests hit critical mass
Reggae: 1.) shorthand for Reggae On The River, a summertime music festival 2.) reggae
Rosewood: Eureka neighborhood along southern F street known for prestige and errant swine
Rippers: A marijuana thief who pulls the almost-ready plants from an outdoor farm. Usage may be in decline Alternate: rip-off (h/t Heady Green)
SMIG: Single Mother Indoor Grower
Salmon House: 1) Humboldt County jail 2) dormant live-music venue in Arcata circa 2006 and/or 1992 (h/t beel)
Scene: Cannabis garden & associated people, equipment, & location. Alternate: Sitchee
SunnyBrah: Twenty-something male resident of Arcata’s toniest suburb who probably drives a growdozer
Spangers: Panhandlers asking for “spare change.” Can somehow rhyme with both “strangers” and “bangers”(h/t to Sup Dog and his 20+ supporters).
SoHum: Shorthand for southern Humboldt.
Soooouthboooound: see “Freeway ball”
Steelie: shorthand for Mad River Brewery Steelhead ale. Alternate: actual steelhead fish
Stinky Beach: An unstinky, west-facing beach inside Humboldt bay, near the south end of Hikshari’ Trail. Inaccessible by car. A now-defunct tallow plant once spewed a sublime palette of odoriferous emanations downwind.
The Square: Hoopa tribal reservation
Tavern Row: The bar-laden north side of the Arcata plaza, comprised of Everett’s, Toby and Jack’s, The Alibi, and Sidelines. Heavily trafficked by students, police, and spangers. (h/t arcatanative)
Trustafarian: (pejorative, used outside of Humboldt but is a must-know word in Arcata) A Humboldt State University student whose family wealth, atrophied ambition and lifeless eyes are easily spotted. (I.e: Ras Trent)
Trimmigrant: a migrant laborer who trims raw marijuana buds into a sale-ready form. Fall is trimmigration season.
Tuppies: Rural safe deposit box; cash is buried in Tupperware (or similar) underground. Only an issue during wildfire. Similar to Bank of the woods, Bank of the Hill
Two Street: a retro moniker of 2nd street in Eureka.
Plazoid: (pejorative) Leisure specialist (h/t Kevin Hoover) who refines his/her craft on Arcata’s town square. Often associated with homelessness, begging, and the thing Arcatans complain about
Union/Uniontown: former name of Arcata
Upriv: (Orig. Hoopa) shorthand for upriver (anotonym: “downriv”, h/t KHUM listener Mario)
Westside: Eureka’s most densely-populated neighborhood, up and coming. Home of the Jefferson Project