Bay Area Slang for Dummies

061511-music-rappers-over-40-e-40The bay area is a world like no other. We have musicians like E-40 and Kehlani, as well as athletic teams like the Golden State Warriors, Raiders, 49’rs, and the Giant’s, with monumental cities like San Francisco, Oakland, and of course, Benicia.

The bay is full of creative people starting internet trends, fashion trends and slang. It’s almost a language all on its own, with words like “yadadamean” and “fasholey”. Every day, there seems to be a new trend, word, or hashtag. With the words changing and evolving everyday.

Here’s ten words you have to know in order to survive the bay area:

  1. On MommasNoun. Basically, it’s shortened language of “I swear on my mother’s grave”.

-There’s no way you did that!

“On Mommas.”

  1. BootsieAdjective. Bad or phony. Popularized by Vallejo’s E-40 and the Click.

-What’s wrong with your sandwich?

“It’s hella bootsie.”

  1. HellaAdjective. Appearing in language as early as the 1970’s, hella means excessive.

-How much homework does Mr. Hughes give out?


  1. ScallyAdjective. A shady or untrustable person. Typically not your best pal.

-Why don’t you hang out with Maddy anymore?

“She’s scally.”

  1. 415Noun. The area code for The City (that’s San Francisco for you townies).

-Where are you from?

“The 415.”

  1. SwoopVerb. To pick someone up, usually by car (unless you have a tandem bike).

-I’m home alone today, wanna swoop?

“Nah you don’t have gas money.”

  1. BrainsNoun. Slang for the Bart trains.

-How are you getting to the Giant’s game?

“The Brains.”

  1. AtlasNoun. A joking nickname for someone who knows their way around the yay.

-Atlas! How do I get to the Brains?

“Nearest one is on Montgomery.”

  1. Go ToesVerb. To fight someone. Anyone.  

-Wanna go toes?

“Fight me.”

  1. GassedNoun. To put someone on blast, or to roast someone.

-Did you hear what Mr. Hughes said to Patrick?

“Yeah he gassed him in front of the whole class.”

By Abi Seaman

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