Santa Monica Phrases That Helps You Fit In Like A Local

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Santa Monica phrases

Just because you are on vacation, that doesn’t mean you want everyone to know that you are on vacation. It’s not uncommon to want to feel confident in a new place and possess the swagger of a local. Here are some phrases and things you should know if you’re going to blend in with the locals in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica And California Phrases

Just like anywhere else in the country, there are lingo or sayings that will make you appear to be a local to Santa Monica, or at least a native to California.


Locals to California do not call the northern parts of the state Northern California or the southern parts of the state Southern California. It is NorCal and SoCal. Use those terms to pass as a native California resident.


Gnarly is a term that originated with Southern California surfers. It is used to describe something extreme, either good or bad. Since Santa Monica is right on the beach, there is no shortage of surfers. This is a term worth knowing and adding to your vocabulary.

The Industry

Everyone in SoCal has heard of The Industry and knows what it means. The Industry refers to film, television, and Hollywood. Film and television aren’t limited to just Los Angeles; you will meet people all through the region who have been a part of The Industry. Being knowledgeable of this phrase will make you look like a local.

Do You Want Corn Or Flour?

Mexican style restaurants are prominent in Southern California. They don’t know a tourist from a local. They will assume you know that you can get either a corn tortilla or a flour tortilla. If you don’t know your options, that could make you stand out.

The 5, The 10, The 110

California is a state that is heavily dependent upon cars for transportation. You can get around some cities well on public transit, but the connections between the cities are not the best, especially in Southern California. The major roads that run through the area are Interstate 5, Interstate 10, and Interstate 110. Knowing these roads and where they go is crucial to looking like a local. Locals just call these roads by their number (ex: The 5, The 10).


Contrary to how this word is used in other parts of the country, in Santa Monica heavy refers to a feeling or emotion. It is used to describe when a person feels a very deep sadness.


This does not mean the giant boat that takes you places like the Bahamas. In Santa Monica, it means to go somewhere. An example would be saying you have to cruise by the grocery store before you go home.

Make A Stop At Big Dean’s A Part Of Your Visit

Big Dean’s has been a part of the Santa Monica community since the ’70s. We have served celebrities, locals, and tourists alike. To really feel like a local, make us a stop during your stay. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have before your visit. Also, if you want a preview of our outstanding food and location, check us out on Instagram and Facebook.

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