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10 Words That Mean Something Different In Washington DC

Your Guide To DMV Slang

View of the nation's capitol building


Washington DC is one of the most unique cities in the country. Despite its small size, the nation’s capital has a distinct culture that is hard to ignore. With its combination of north, south, and mid atlantic, Washington DC comes together to create the perfect blend. While DC has a lot of cool things going on, one of the easiest for outsiders to notice is the language. Like many places in the country, slang is a big part of communication in DC; however, if you’re not familiar with the area you may find yourself feeling a little lost. If you’re planning on taking a trip to DC, or are simply interesting in learning some new slang terms, now is a good time to get out your pen and paper.  Here are 10 words that mean something different in Washington DC.

Bama

Washington DC slang Bama


Thanks to Beyoncé, the term “Bama” has been getting a lot of attention. However, despite the clever lyric from her newest song, “Formation,” some people may be unaware as to what the word means to the good people of the nation’s capital. While it’s easy to assume that Bama is a slang term for someone from the state of Alabama, that isn’t actually the case at all. In DC, the term is used to refer to a person who is lame. If you’re ever in the area and you hear someone calling you this, just know that it isn’t a compliment.

image via washingtoncitypaper.com

Jonin’

jonin washington dc slang


If you don’t live in or around DC, you probably have never heard the word jonin’. However, in Washington DC the term is used frequently among young people as a way to say joking or playing around. Another form of the word, sometimes spelled ‘jont,’ is also commonly used as stand in noun or pronoun for almost everything and everyone.

imaged via urbandictionary.com

Cised

cised twitter definition


If you’re in Washington DC and someone tells you they’re cised, there’s no need to be alarmed. While this word may sound a little strange, it’s simply another way of saying extremely excited. If you’re getting the hang of all these new words, you should definitely be pretty cised.

image via https://twitter.com/derekhaller

Lunchin’

DC Slang Lunchin


If you’re like most people, you probably think the term “lunchin'” has something to do with food. Well, not when you’re in DC. Instead of referencing everyone’s favorite afternoon meal, the word lunchin’ is used in DC in a similar fashion to the word “trippin'” which means acting stupidly and/or being annoying.

image via urbandictionary.com

Or whatever

Nene Leakes hairflip gif


To most people, the phrase “or whatever” is simply a phrase used when people want to go with the flow. However, in DC, “or whatever” is the perfect fill-in when you just don’t know exactly what to say. So while people all around the country are using words like, “like” or “um” to fill in the empty spaces in their sentences, people in Washington DC have found their own way of doing things or whatever.

image via bitterkittens.com

Moe

Moe washington DC slang


Depending on your age, moe could mean a number of things. To some, it may bring back memories of the Three Stooges, while to others, it is short for the phrase ‘money over everything.’ However, in Washington DC, moe means neither. Instead, the word is used to refer to a friend or associate in place of words like homey and bro.

image via urbandictionary.com

Young

"young" washington dc slang


Okay, you’re probably wondering what on earth the word young could mean besides, well, young. Well, if you’ve been noticing a trend here, it means something completely different in Washington DC. Short for youngin’ the word young is used as another word to refer to a friend or an associate. While most times calling someone “young” simply means that they’re younger than you, that isn’t always the case.

image via urbandictionary.com

DMV

Map of the DMV


In many parts of the country, DMV is an acronym used the Department of Motor Vehicles AKA the worst place on earth. However, in Washington DC, the DMV has a whole different meaning. Used to describe DC, Maryland, and Virginia, the DMV is home to some pretty cool people, and obviously, some pretty cool slang.

image via vegabharadwaj.wordpress.com

Beat your feet

Not only does DC have its own slang, but it’s also go its own unique style of dance. Beating your feet may sound like some strange form of abuse, but it’s actually a common dance in the DC area typically done to go-go music.

Carry-Out

DC Carryout Guide


Getting food to go isn’t something that is unique to Washington DC, but getting food from a carry-out certainly is. Unlike the type of food spots that you’re probably used to, carry-outs consist of all sorts of options from chicken wings to Chinese dishes. Of course, if you plan on stopping by a carry-out, you better not forget DC’s favorite condiment, Mumbo Sauce.

image via www.complex.com

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Written by Camille Moore

Camille has a master's degree from Saint Joseph University's Writing Studies program. Her writing has been published on several websites, and she enjoys writing articles and short stories in her spare time. You can follow Camille on Twitter @CamealAshley.