10 Things only People from Louisville, KY Would Understand


People who were born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky have grown up in a unique culture that has its own brand of colloquialism. There are things that outsiders simply would not understand unless it is carefully explained to them by one of the locals. Taking a trip to this city offers an educational experience for those who are interested in learning.

If you are planning to visit there any time in the near future, it’s a good idea to become familiar with their unique customs and habits. We’ve put together a few of the most important facts about the area and we’re happy to present the ten things that only people from Louisville, Kentucky would understand for your consideration.

1. Name pronunciation

The first and most important thing that you absolutely must know is that the name of the city is not pronounced the way that it is spelled. If you don’t get it right the first time, you’ll never hear the end of it. When you’re in Louisville, Kentucky you must pronounce it as “Loo-uh-vull. There are no exceptions to this rule. Many a newcomer has failed in their attempts to get this right so you may want to practice before you embark on your visit.

2. College Basketball is more than a sport – it is a way of life

The quickest way to fall out of grace with natives of this city is to dis on their team. They take college basketball more serious than a heart attack. You may choose between the Cardinals or the Wildcats but once you make the choice, you’re on a track that you cannot morally change.

The rivalry is intense so it gives the locals plenty to talk about and to argue about. If you don’t have an opinion on this, listen graciously and don’t point out any obvious flaws in the predominant team of the gathering or you won’t like the results. Only people from Louisville understand the importance of showing the appropriate etiquette when it comes to this issue which rivals the toughest politics.

3. Traffic rules are different in Louisville

This is very important if you plan to do any of the driving during your time there. It is absolutely vital that you know that people use a variety of different turn signals when they are driving so you won’t get confused. Be prepared for anything and don’t get offended if you don’t understand what other drivers are doing or you will breach the protocol for driving ettiquette.

4. Driving directions are delivered in a unique format

People from Louisville understand that a request for driving directions is going to result in a rundown of all of the landmarks that you’ll encounter along the way. This means that you’ll need to familiarize yourself with them in advance. The names of the streets may or may not be included in the explanations. As long as you have a good memory you’ll be fine with going to the local gas station and turning left for three or four blocks. Only people from Louisville get this completely and are fine with it because they do it themselves.

5. The preferred alcoholic beverage is Bourbon NOT WHISKEY

Kentucky is famous for its production of some of the finest Bourbon whiskey on the planet, but the caveat is that it must bear this distinction. If you make the mistake of referring to it as whiskey you’re bound to offend someone. Don’t even bring up the Jack Daniels brand.

6. Muhammad Ali is their hero

Whether you’re a boxing fan or not, you’d better at least act like you have a high opinion of Muhammad Ali. Louisville, Kentucky is his home town and the locals all rally behind the success of this local who made it big during his lifetime. It might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the cool contributions that he made during his life in case the subject comes up.

7. The Oaks is preferable to the Kentucky Derby

Yes, the Kentucky Derby is wonderful, but people from Louisville have an affinity for going to the Kentucky Oaks the week before. They will put off doing other things that have the potential to interfere so if you’re there when it’s slated to be on, plan on attending or don’t get in the way of the locals who do.

8. Never argue with the fact that the cheeseburger was invented in Louisville

This is one great invention that people from Louisville grasp tightly and will not let go. If you go against this claim you’ll be viewed as a traitor and a turncoat. If you disagree, your best bet is to smile warmly and close your mouth because you’ll stir up a fight if you challenge this fact with a native.

9. Louisville locals prefer to think of their city as a small town

This is a part of the comfort that the folks from the city gain from living there. The real fact of the matter is that Louisville, Kentucky is spreading out and the population is rising like crazy. If they prefer to maintain a small town atmosphere, that is their choice entirely. There is a strong sense of community and people who are raised there find it difficult to leave and frequently return for visits if they do. Understand and respect their sense of community and you should do well there.

10. People from Louisville understand that zombies are really cool and it has become a part of the culture

Some towns have wild west or dinosaur themes but Louisville takes pride in its Zombies. The town sponsors a Zombie attack and its been around for over ten years. It brings scores of visitors into the town annually and it is gory and bloody fun for everyone.

Final thoughts

These are ten things that you should be aware of before visiting the city of Louisville, Kentucky. The residents have their own peculiar ways including different ways of talking, giving directions and holding the things that they love dear close to them. The people are friendly and welcoming and the only thing that they really ask is that anyone who pays them a visit shows the proper respect that a house guest should.


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