From Snoopy to Shark Bait: The Top Slang Word in Each State

iStock
iStock

There’s a minute, and then there’s a hot minute. Defined as “a longish amount of time,” this unit of time is familiar to Alabamians but may stir up confusion beyond the state’s borders.

It’s Louisianans, though, who feel the “most misunderstood,” according to the results of a survey regarding regional slang by PlayNJ. Of the Louisiana residents surveyed, 72 percent said their fellow Americans from other states—even neighboring ones—have a hard time grasping their lingo. Some learned the hard way that ordering a burger “dressed” (with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayo) isn’t universally understood, nor is the phrase “to pass a good time” (instead of “to have” a good time).

After surveying 2000 people (with proportional numbers from each state), PlayNJ created a map showing the top slang word in each state. Many are words that are unlikely to be understood beyond state lines, but others—like California’s bomb (something you really like) and New York’s deadass (to be completely serious)—have spread well beyond their respective borders thanks to memes and internet culture.

Hawaiians are also known for their distinctive slang words, with 71 percent reporting that words like shaka (hello) and poho (waste of time) are frequently misunderstood. Shark bait, one of the state’s more colorful terms, refers to tourists who are so pale that they attract sharks.

Check out the full list below and test your knowledge of regional slang words with PlayNJ’s online quiz.

A chart showing the top slang words in each state
PlayNJ

The '90s PBS Shows We're Still Talking About Online, Mapped

Were you a Barney kid or an Arthur kid? Or maybe you were obsessed with the Teletubbies instead? Or maybe you're still that kid inside, off making PBS memes as an adult. You're never too old to appreciate public television's kids programming, if the recent box office success of the Mister Rogers documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor? is any indication.

Knowing that today's adults still have a soft spot in their hearts for the PBS shows of their childhoods, the telecom sales agent CenturyLinkQuote.com used Google Trends to figure out what kind of impact different kids' series had on each state. They created the map above, showing the most talked-about PBS Kids show in every state over the last 14 years.

According to this data, the Midwest is all about Reading Rainbow, Sesame Street is big in New Jersey and Delaware, and Wishbone reigns in the Southwest. Mister Rogers, despite his status as a TV icon, only dominates in Pennsylvania. The short-lived Canadian-American show Zoboomafoo makes a surprisingly strong showing, coming in as the favorite in four different states despite only having two seasons.

Did your favorite make the list?

How Much Money You Need to Earn in Each State to Rent a House, Mapped

iStock
iStock

In many places across the U.S., the rent is simply too damn high. Average housing prices are rising twice as fast as wages are, and as a result, more and more people are renting. And that's not cheap either—as of 2015, 38 percent of American households were "rent-burdened," meaning spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing.

What does this mean for you? This map from the cost information site How Much, spotted by Thrillist, can tell you. It details what kind of monthly income you need to make in order to rent the average home in each state without spending more than 30 percent of your salary.

The map may confirm what you already suspected: Places like California, New York, Massachusetts, D.C., and Hawaii are very expensive to live in. You might be surprised to learn just how expensive, though. While a renter in Iowa only needs to earn $3500 or so a month to comfortably pay for housing, someone living in Washington, D.C. needs to make almost $8500 a month, or almost $102,000 a year.

A pink and red map of monthly wages needed to afford housing in each state
How Much

Here's what you need to make each month to live in the top 10 most expensive states in the U.S.:

1. Washington D.C.: $8487
2. California: $8313
3. Hawaii: $7806
4. New York: $7223
5. Massachusetts: $7193
6. New Jersey: $6717
7. Colorado: $6197
8. Washington: $5993
9. Maryland: $5863
10. Connecticut: $5590

And here are the 10 cheapest:

1. West Virginia: $2960
2. Oklahoma: $3117
3. Arkansas: $3157
4. Alabama: $3313
5. Missouri: $3367
6 Kansas: $3437
7. Iowa: $3473
8. Mississippi: $3493
9. Kentucky: $3570
10. Ohio: $3613

But before you pack up and move to West Virginia or Mississippi, be aware that those states also have some of the lowest median wages in the U.S., meaning that in reality, housing isn't all that affordable there, either.

There are, to be sure, some weaknesses with this particular data. The map doesn't take into account what kind of home you'd be renting—it just looks at the median price for a rental in each state—nor does it distinguish between locations within states. (The rent in Syracuse, New York is a lot different than the rent in Manhattan, just like the rent in San Francisco is a lot different than the rent in Fresno, California.) But it's still a useful snapshot of our current housing situation.

Take a look at the rest of the data over on HowMuch.net.

[h/t Thrillist]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER