Thursday, August 07, 2008

Speak Like a Native

It helps when in Seattle to know the local vernacular to get what you want and where you want to go. Those who have read some of the earlier blog postings might regard this partly as a refresher course, but there are some additions not included in other entries. Master these terms, don your polar fleece and Birkenstocks, grab a double tall macchiato, and Seattleites might assume you are a local.
Local TermStandard American translation
Ya Sure, Ya Betcha Okay; derived from the local speak in Ballard, Seattle’s Scandanavian enclave. Also the name of a Red Hook IPA also known as Ballard Bitter
Bumbershoot Umbrella (also the name of a behemoth Seattle arts and musical festival of the same name)
The Mountains Are Outindication of a clear day when you can see the Cascades, Olympics, and most importantly Mt. Rainier
The Mountain Mt. Rainier, the uber mountain in the Cascade Range
The Freeway they are freeways out here, not highways
Sunshine Slowdown back up of traffic on the freeway (typically I-5) when the sun comes out
Sunbreak the hiatus during our mercurial weather days when the clouds break and that unfamiliar orange phenomenon appears in the sky
Drizzle rain
Mist rain
Black Ice thin treacherous coating of invisible ice coating the roads on the infrequent occasions the temperature falls below freezing
The Peninsula the appendage of land across Puget Sound separating the West Sound region from the Pacific Ocean, and the location of the Olympic Mountains
“The Eastside” the east side of Lake Washington, most immediately meaning Bellevue, Kirkland, Mercer Island and (based upon your perspective) perhaps Renton.
Orange County The Eastside, a lament.
The Rock Mercer Island
The “North Shore” the suburbs to the North and east of Seattle. Includes Kenmore, Juanita, Bothell, Woodinville, and Redmond
The Locks Hiram M. Crittenden Locks; a complex of locks that sit in the middle of Salmon Bay, part of Seattle's Lake Washington Ship Canal. They are known locally as the Ballard Locks after the neighborhood to their north. (Magnolia lies to the south.)
The BluffMagnolia Bluff. Most easily accessible through Discovery Park (the old Fort Lawton). Spectacular view of Puget Sound. Don't forget your binoculars. Also home to some of Seattle's worst mudslides.
Alki Can refer to either Alki Point, where the first Seattle settlers first landed and settled, or to Alki Beach. Alki Beach is the most popular summer hang-out and sunbathing spot.
Belltown between Downtown proper and Denny Street. Belltown is home to many small music clubs, art bars, and other hip places. Recently, Belltown was named as the seventh "coolest" place in the U.S.
The Artists' Republic of Fremont Fremont, a place apart.
The Hill Capitol Hill (topic alone for an earlier blog)
Pill HillFirst Hill, where many of Seattle's hospitals are located, not to be confused with Second Hill, which has only one hospital on it.
Broadmoor The first walled and gated community for the exclusive in the country. Keeps the philistines from the hedgerows.
The Ave University Way, so go figure. A hip, gritty/grungy commercial strip adjacent to UW, destination for teenagers attempting to be cool.
The Corridor The I-5 Corridor, running from Bellingham in the north to Vancouver (WA) in the south, although some would extend it even further south, all the way to Eugene.
The Market the Pike Place Market
Jazz AlleyDimitriou's Jazz Alley, long-time jazz club, downtown in the Belltown/Regrade area. The entrance to the club is actually in the alley.
The Viaduct The Alaska Way Viaduct, an ugly two-level concrete eyesore built on fill and likely to collapse in an earthquake, but the only way to quickly by-pass Downtown if the Freeway is clogged up, which it is most of the time.
The Burke-Gilman The Burke-Gilman Trail, a rail line that has been converted into a trail for walkers, joggers, bikers, and so on.
The I.D. the International District, formerly known as Chinatown
EMP The Experience Music Project, Paul Allen's music museum dedicated to the history of rock-n-roll (and specifically the rock of the '60s). Site for the NACAC conference social.
Sea-Tac Refers to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, located roughly half-way between Seattle and Tacoma, thus the name.
SODO South of Downtown (Seattle…need you ask?)
SODO MOJO South of Downtown Magic, often heard at Safeco and Qwest Fields
East of the Mountains the side of Washington east of the Cascades (also a book by author, and Seattle native, David Guterson)
The Basin Refers to the Central Washington farming region, located east of the Columbia River, that was brought to life, so to speak, by irrigation provided from the Grand Coulee dam.
The Inland Empire the region surrounding Spokane
The Banana Belt area around Sequim (pronounced as "squim") which is in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, resulting in a paucity of rainfall (less than 10 inches a year)
UDub University of Washington
Wazzu Washington State University (some at WSU consider this pejorative but a large constituency considers it endearing).
The Dawgs University of Washington Huskies as in “go Dawgs!”
The Zags Gonzaga University athletic teams (officially they are the “Bulldogs”, but that original mascot is overshadowed by the “alpha dog” in Seattle)
Central, Eastern, WesternCentral Washington, Eastern Washington, and Western Washington Universities
UPS University of Puget Sound (not the United Parcel Service)
PLU Pacific Lutheran University
SPU Seattle Pacific University
Seattle U Seattle University (no one says SU)
The Goeducks the Evergreen State College mascot, pronounced the Gooeyducks, after the less than attractive Pacific Northwest mollusk, a large saltwater clam
WASL - Washington Assessment of Student Learning (there is impetus from the WA State Legislature for colleges and universities to factor the WASL in admissions decisions)
HEC Board Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board
WCHSCRWashington Council for High School College Relations
PNACAC Pacific Northwest Association for College Admission Counseling
Pho Vietnamese rice noodle soup, pronounced “pha”
Potstickers Chinese appetizer known in the eastern U.S. as a dumpling
Dungies Dungeness Crabs
Salmon wonderful, wild, fish best prepared simply. While food like, farmed Atlantic Salmon is an ersatz variety, and also an environmental nightmare
Chinook King Salmon
Coho silver salmon
Sockeye red salmon
Humpback pink salmon ( “humpies”)
Chum - also known as dog salmon (lighest in color and fat content)
Copper River Supposed to be the best of the best, a coho caught as part of the Copper River run.
Americano Also known as a Caffe Americano. An espresso diluted with hot water, ideal for the lactose-intolerant.
Barista Espresso bartender.
Breve Short for Espresso Breve. Espresso with half-n-half or semi-skimmed milk.
Caffè Latte Also known simply as a Latte. An espresso made with steamed milk, topped by foamed milk. The most popular espresso drink. Also the default espresso: if you ask for a "double tall," for instance, you'll get a double tall latte.
Caffè Macchiato An espresso marked (or "stained") with a dollop (a teaspoon or two) of foamed milk. In Italian, "macchiato" can be translated as "marked," "stained," or "spotted". Starbucks defines a macchiato as "one shot of espresso in a demitasse topped with a small dollop of foamed milk."
Caffè Medici A doppio poured over chocolate syrup and orange (and sometimes lemon) peel, usually topped with whipped cream. Formerly, the Last Exit, now gone, was one of the few places in town where you could get one of these, although I've heard recently that you can get a Caffe Medici at the Pearl, a coffee house also located on the Ave (where else?) which has been described to me as having "the spirit of the Last Exit more than the Last Exit in its final years."
Caffè Mocha Also known simply as a Mocha. A latte with chocolate. Methods of preparation can vary, some using steamed chocolate milk, others adding chocolate to a latte. One variation tops it with whipped cream, with cocoa powder as a garnish.
Cappuccino A shot of straight espresso with foamed milk ladled on top.
Doppio the hip way to request a double.
Double An espresso made from a double shot, approximately 1 1/2 - 2 ounces.
Double Cup An espresso served in two cups, just in case one cup might be too hot to handle.
Double Double Double cream, double sugar.
Drip A regular coffee.
Espresso Approximately a one-ounce shot of espresso made from Arabica beans, as opposed to Robusta beans, which are used in making regular coffee. Arabica beans, by the way, have about half the caffeine of Robusta beans. The word comes from the brewing method -- hot water is pressed by means of a piston or pump through finely ground, firmly packed coffee.
Frappuccino A concoction developed by Starbucks, basically an iced or chilled cappuccino. Various recipes for this are floating around the Web (the actual recipe is a secret). Starbucks has also come out with a bottled version. From what I've been able to gather, it is coffee beverage made out of either espresso or regular coffee, milk, sugar, ice, and other miscellaneous optional ingredients. The bottled version may be served chilled (no ice). Also called a Frap (or Frappe).
Grande 16-ounce cup.
Short 8-ounce cup.
Shot in the Dark A regular coffee with a shot of espresso in it. Also called a Speed Ball.
Skinny If you want a latte made with nonfat or skim milk, just say you want it "skinny."
Soy Latte A latte made with soy milk, instead of milk. I've been told this is also sometimes referred to as a Vegan Latte.
Tall 12-ounce cup.
Triple Three shots, for those for whom a double just doesn't offer enough of a jolt.
Venti A 20 oz. cup at Starbucks, apparently (taller than a tall, I guess).
With Room With space left at top of cup for either adding cream or preventing spills (while driving 70 mph down the freeway with a latte between one's legs!).

Michael K. McKeon
Dean of Admissions
Seattle University