The essential lingo for those new to life in Mile High
DENVER (KDVR) — For those of you who moved to the Denver metro area before or during the pandemic, spotting local language trends may not have been a priority. Nevertheless, the closings have diminished, which means it’s time to start socializing with your colleague from Denver.
Naturally, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to complete the full Denverite Rosetta Stone program, so before you dive into the gorgeously warm months that Colorado will soon be bringing to your plate, check out this list of helpful verbiage that’s sure to make people believe. Seasoned Coloradans you achieved “native” status a long time ago.
Mile High lingo
FIXED: Bikes that zip through the neighborhood, unable to shift gears or easily climb climbs of any kind, and a local favorite that you’ll likely see in use every few blocks.
BLUCIFER: A local statue defending the DIA with a dark history that includes its creator meeting a Frankenstein-like end.
GRANOLA: It can be used to describe a leftist lover of both the outdoors and veganism. This term appears most regularly when Boulder is mentioned in any way.
DONKEYS: A term of endearment in these parts. Refers to local NFL club fanatics.
FLANNEL: A uniform, apparently described in elusive text, as the “must-have upper body garment” for most men living in Colorado. It was considered casual wear in most other states outside of the Great Lakes region.
COLOGNE COLORADO: The distinct, skunkish smell that attendees of Colorado’s immersive marijuana scene give off, in a potent way. Constantly carried by a small sect of those considered “granola”.
WOK: See “Granola”, add dreadlocks and “Colorado Cologne”
War prisoner : Not so much a box to hit in Super Mario Brothers, but more of a reference to a freshly fallen buildup in the high country, primed for a skier’s stomp.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN OYSTERS: You should avoid anyone who offers them to you without detailing exactly what they are. Either way, you should give them a try, because bull testicles are delicious… for what they are.
PEAK BAGGER: A contract killer or a contract killer in a way. Defined by their determination to cross the names of all Colorado 14-year-olds off their to-do list.
SMELL OF GREELEY: FOX31’s Pinpoint Weather team is usually the first human team to prepare the Coloradans for hard-hitting weather, but the first rain forecaster in the metroplex, hands down, has to go to Greeley’s cows, who constantly send their forecasts manure-scented south toward Denver whenever a thunderstorm is on the way.
EXIT ROUTES: Apparently seasoned locals use this term to imply a sense of joking or joking, but reported sightings of this phrase have declined in recent decades.
TEXAS GORE-TEX: The non-delusional denim skier of the high country, often a visitor from the Lone Star State.
SALE OF LAND: The term most often heard from a skier who recently lost their poles and skis in one dodgy maneuver on the slopes. When you witness such an instance, you are encouraged to avoid haggling over alleged “for sale” items and instead offer help or, at the bare minimum, compliment them on their wares.
These are all terms that will allow you to fit comfortably into any Colorado conversation you come across.
It might help, however, to learn some jargon related to the geographic locations you are now next to. Here are some terms you may hear or read locally and may need to memorize.
Useful local language
RiNo: Refers to the River North Art District in North Denver.
CAPE HILL: Capitol Hill neighborhood in downtown Denver.
MOUSE TRAP: The always fun-to-navigate intersection between Interstate 25 and Interstate 70.
THE FAX: At the time of Kinkos, the use of this term was sometimes unnecessary, but following the disappearance of fax machines, this term is useful to designate Colfax Avenue while wanting to save time.
LoDo: Lower City Center
LoHi: Low Highlands
FoCo: Fort Collins
SoBro: South Broadway neighborhood
THE FRONT RANGE: The towns and cities located along the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountain range.
THE TUNNEL: Refers to the gateway to the high country along I-70, officially named the Eisenhower-Johnson Tunnels.
THE RANCH: Highland Ranch.
BRECK: The inventor of this term has broken the name Breckenridge in half, for your convenience.
A TOWN: Refers to the city of Aurora.
SPRINGS: A reference to Colorado Springs, the home of Colorado’s new Whataburger.
VB: The shortest possible way to refer to Buena Vista.
WADS: A slightly annoying nickname for Wadsworth Boulevard.
THE GREEN LINE: A stretch of cannabis dispensaries along SoBro, between Yale Avenue and Louisiana Avenue.
This list may not be the most comprehensive regional linguistics course, but if you keep these in your utility belt of terms, you have already begun your process of assimilation into the Coloradian community that many wish to join.
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