How to Speak Like a Denver Native

Denver natives are kind of crafty…they know an outsider when they see one on occasion but they can always tell an out of towner by their inability to speak like a Denver native. We take pride in our secret code to weed out the outsiders LOL.

In all seriousness…it is not as unfriendly as it sounds but we rarely remember how easy it is to talk in a language that outsiders don’t understand…

So here is a little guide to help you get up to speed...

T-REX stands for Transportation Expansion Project, and is the acronym coined for the massive freeway construction that took place in Denver from 2001 - 2006.

Wash Park is a nickname for Washington Park in Denver a little south of Alameda Avenue on Downing…one of the most popular parks in Denver.

King Soopers is a popular supermarket chain in Denver with a stronghold in some of Denver’s most popular neighborhoods.

Queen Soopers is the name given to the King Soopers at 9th Avenue and Downing Street.

LoDo is short for Lower Downtown, the 20 blocks downtown that made up the original city of Denver. Popular destination for nightclubs and Coors Field is nearby.

Speaking like a Denver native is not limited to the metropolitan area…natives are expected to know a little about the names for places and things around the state.

A-Basin is the nickname for ski resort Arapahoe Basin near Denver.
The mousetrap is the intersection of I-25 and I-70, which seems to trap cars in heavy traffic.

Rocky Mountain Oysters are deep-fried bull testicles.

The Dumb Friends League is the name for the local animal shelter. Dumb refers to the fact that the animals cannot speak.

Orange Crush is the name of the Denver Broncos defense form the late 1970’s.

Blake Street Bombers is the nickname of the Colorado Rockies homerun hitters in their early days.

Skiing terminology:

Granola - Being especially 'all natural'. Example: "I can't go skiing with you because the ski lift uses precious resources." "Dude, quit being so granola."

Pow Pow- Powder (as in our typical Colorado snow. The light, fluffy, 'makes you want to just roll around in it all day' kinda snow). Example: "I can't believe I missed the pow this week."

Endo - To go end over end (as in a spectacular crash). Example: My skiing. Or Snowboarding. Occasionally, my hiking, mountain biking and walking down the street.

Burl, burly - Rough, tough, impressive. Example: "That fall where I endoed twelve times was especially burly."

Gaper - Gaping Tourist. (as in driving down main street at 2mph while gaping at SNOW!!) Example: This town has too many gapers this time of year.

Flatlander - Me and You and most of the rest of the country.

And last but not least is the dreaded Denver Boot..

That is a device that is put on the wheel of your car when you get too many tickets. It is a giant clamp that disables your car and those that try to drive without removing it are in for a surprise…and expensive auto body repairs. Speaking like a Denver native is just one of the many ways you can start feeling more comfortable during conversations with Denver folks. We want to welcome you but learning our language is one way for us to accept you.

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