If you’re a Bay area transplant like me, you’ve definitely noticed that everyone around here kind of has a different way of communicating. Like any other cultural hub, new trends develop that are specific to the area. The lexicon specific to our little chunk of paradise is a rather colorful one. One I’ve studied pretty intensely and have adopted with open arms.

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Now, before a bunch of Bay area rhetoric aficionados come at me all sideways, this is a collection of words and terms not only started in the Bay, but also ones I’ve personally found to be prevalent typically amongst East Bayers. So fall back.

e-40 hyphy oakland bay area slang

E-40 a.k.a. the Godfather of the hyphy movement was a strong advocate of promoting bay area slang.

(ON) FLEEK – state of perfection, ideal; can replace “on point”; “Did you see Laura the other day on Instagram? Her eyebrows were on fleek.”

 MARK – a derogatory statement used to identify a specific person whom you wish to call out; “This dude was being a little mark the other day on the Bart.”

 THOT – an acronym for That Hoe Over There; “Look at Brenda over there, bein’ a little THOT.”

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LIGHTWEIGHT – to a small degree; can replace “kind of” or “sort of”; can be used at the end of sentence or before the word it’s describing; “Lightweight trying to go the lake today.”

 BAE– term of endearment used for a (potential) significant other; (allegedly an acronym for Before Anyone Else, but this has been debated by Bay area alum claiming it’s simply a shortening of the typical “babe” or “baby”); “Did you see James today?” “You mean bae?”

OUTTA POCKET – something completely irrelevant to the situation at hand; can replace “out of left field”; “Me and Monica were talking about Felicia the other night, and she started saying some outta pocket sh** about the Warriors game.”

I SEE YOU – an affirmation given when in agreeance with a peer; can replace (or be used concurrently with) “alright/ok” or “for sure”; “So then I told him I’d go out with him.” “Oooooh! Ok, I see you!”

JUICED – a state of excitement or anticipation; can replace “pumped”; “So juiced about that show at The Fox next week!”

and last but certainly not least

HELLA – denoting an excess (another form commonly used: HELLOF); can replace “so many” or “a lot”; “There were hellllaaaaa fine dudes at the party the other day.”

Hope this has been helpful for some of you newcomers! Go forth and prosper in this big ol’ beautiful Bay!