Midwestern Slang

by Jackie Robles | June 17, 2019
Family Friendly Entertainment

Living “Midwest Nice” is a culture the City of Spearfish knows too well. You can bet that you will receive a welcoming smile and a hospitable “Hello” from someone walking down the sidewalk. As a visitor, trying to navigate your way through the city can be a challenge on its own, let alone understand the personalized lingo that carries throughout the Black Hills. This type of lingo is known as “Midwestern Slang”. Along with this Midwestern Slang, there are some places around Spearfish that are abbreviated, and locals will use daily. Continue reading and don’t miss out on what the locals are talking about!


The term “Guads” is short for the infamous Mexican Restaurant and Bar, Guadalajara’s. This family friendly place to eat is family owned and operated and take great pride in the one-on-one service they provide customers. In addition to their authentic food, their margaritas are known as the best in the Black Hills, they have a full bar and happy hour specials.


Barbs is another place for delicious Mexican Cuisine short for Barbacoa’s. Barbacoa’s Burritos and Wraps has local ingredients topped with Mexican American-Thai fusion inspired flavors. It is located within walking distance of the historic downtown Spearfish and minutes from Black Hills State University.


Rapid is a close neighbor to Spearfish and if you didn’t guess already, Rapid is short for Rapid City. When going to visit Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse or Bear Country, locals will refer to going to Rapid for all the fun tourist-y things. It is not fully understood why the city itself is given a nickname, but it sure rolls off the tongue nicely while having a quick conversation.


This place isn’t so much about the abbreviation but, about the pronunciation. When someone pronounces this city’s name like \led\ we know that they might not be from around here. Around the Black Hills, this city is pronounced \leed\. The City of Lead is the home of the great Homestake Mining Company. The Homestake Mine has now been shut down but the Sanford Underground Laboratory at Homestake is in full development and promises a lively future for the community.


Belle Fourche is often referred to as just simply Belle by surrounding areas. But the full pronunciation of this city is tricky when looking at the name for the first time. Belle is pronounced just as it is spelled \bel\ and Fourche is pronounced \foosh\. The city is the site of the geographic center of the fifty states. Belle Fourche (French for “beautiful fork”) is the center of the nation because admission of Alaska and Hawaii to the United States moved the location of the official center of the nation.


The word “Spearfish” seems to have too many syllables when referring to it in a sentence, therefore every local here calls it good ol’ Spear. The City of Spear is located in the northern Black Hills and is a year-round playground for outdoor adventure. It is the place to call home during your Black Hills Vacation. If lighter adventure is something more appealing, a drive through the Spearfish Canyon is a relaxing way to recharge. Continue exploring our website, there is an adventure specific to everyone here in Spearfish.


What do you call the carbonated flavored liquid that usually comes in an aluminum can? Well here, when someone says, “pop” they mean they want just that--a sugar, sodium, calorie filled beverage. The soft drink of choice here in South Dakota happens to be Coca-Cola. Make sure you stop by some local restaurants to get your fix!


Instead of saying the whole sentence “did you eat”, Midwesterners mash it all together into one word, “Jeet?” This is a more efficient way to figure out if you and your friend are going to grab lunch together or if you’re left to starve for the afternoon. If you do go out to eat, check out the places to eat page on our website for a large variety of places.


This is more of a sound effect to express a sensory overload. However, this spelling does originate from the Norwegian Midwestern USA culture which translates into “I am overwhelmed.” It then became adopted by Scandinavian-Americans to use, along with sensory overload, as an overload on emotions like surprise, exhaustion, relief, and almost anything else you can think of.


The most well-known word to determine if someone is from the Midwest. That “should’ve had a V8” moment is usually accompanied by an “ope.” Somewhere between “oops” and “uh-oh,” this phrase is used to show recognition of a mistake or minor accident, often as a lighthearted apology, and a sure sign someone grew up in the Midwest.

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