If you’re in California studying English, one thing is certain to happen: you’ll pick up some California slang!
Not surprisingly, a lot of California slang has its roots in the surfing culture. Below are some words often used by surfers, but you don’t have to be a surfer to use these slang words; in fact, many are commonly used by Californians. In the cases when a word is used both by surfers and the land-loving populations, we have included both definitions.
Surfer Slang (used by everyone)
Generation definition: Having an aggressive attitude; having a bad attitude.
Example: You are such an aggro driver.
Surfer definition: Being aggressive in the water
Example: He became really aggro when he was stuck in traffic.
General definition: Getting excited about something.
Example: I’m amped about tomorrow’s test because I studied really hard for it.
Surfer definition: Getting excited to surf.
Example: I’m so amped for our trip to Las Vegas!
Generation definition: To leave.
Example: I’m tired. Do you want to bail? (from a place, such as a party)
Surfer definition: to jump of the surfboard in order to avoid being thrown off because of a wave.
Example: He bailed in the middle of the wave.
Surfer Slang (used only by surfers)
General definition: the purple dinosaur on a children’s show.
Surfer definition: An inexperienced surfer.
Example: I was a total barney for the first year, so don’t give up when you first try surfing!
General definition: There isn’t one! This is entirely a surfer term.
Surfer definition: A person who doesn’t bring their own supplies to the beach and borrows (leeches) yours.
Example: Your roommate is such a beach leech. I don’t have any sunscreen anymore because he used all of mine.
Generation definition: a name for a male.
Surfer definition: A non local.
Example: There were a bunch of bennies at the beach this morning.
To learn some more California slang, check out some of our other articles on the subject:
- In N Out Burgers and California Slang
- Five California Slang Words You Need to Know
- California English: the Word “Gnarly”
- Northern California vs. Southern California Slang
- Visit Santa Barbara (and Learn Some CA Slang!)
- “Don’t Call It Frisco”: Slang Words to Avoid in California
And be sure to check out our articles on surfing in California!
- The Present Perfect Progressive + Surfing in California
- CISL SD Students Go Surfing!
- Kitesurfing in SD
- Idioms with “Wave” + SD’s Wave House
Would you like to learn some more surfer slang? Check out this article from Surfing Waves about “surf speak.”
Photos from Shutterstock.