San Francisco Slang
San Francisco slang is used in regular rotation, and it refers to almost anything…to say “yes”, to describe people, places or situations, for different areas–you name it. The students of TALK San Francisco voted on the slang you’ll most commonly hear, and I added several that, for whatever reason, they omitted. Practice your San Francisco slang and you’ll be “coo” in no time!
TALK Students Voted for the Best of San Francisco Slang
These slang words and expressions are stand-outs for the students at TALK San Francisco!
“Hella” or “hecka” tops the list as the number 1 expression you’ll hear on the daily. “Hella” is essentially a substitute for “really” or “very”—as in, “I’m hella tired!”
“My bad” I include this on the list because the students put it there, but this is an everywhere American slang used by way of apology, and admission of guilt. It’s essentially, “I did it—I’m sorry”.
“No worries” another universal Americanism that means, “it’s not a big deal”, “don’t sweat it.”
“The Muni” The metro rail system in San Francisco.
“The City” Duh, San Francisco, of course, because is there another city?
“Good looks” You had your eyes open and caught it! Good looking out, shortened.
“Coo” Cool–because it sounds so much cooler!
“Yadadamean” is a slurred “you know what I mean”—not heard so much anymore, but in parts of “the city” you’ll still encounter it.
“Jawsin” to lie. “you’re jawsin.”
“Tryna” trying to…it sounds like you’re “hella” puttin’ the effort in when you’re “tryna”.
“Swoop” to pick up, usually in a car as in, “I’ll swoop you.”
“Yee” this means “yes”, and is probably the second most common slang you’ll hear in San Francisco.
“Cutty” I put these 2 words together because they are both used to mean “bad”, “questionable” or in the case of, “cutty”
“Janky” “dangerous”. “he drove me to this cutty club in his completely janky car, worst first date ever!”
“Dank” now, “dank” on the other hand, means super high quality, awesome!
This list could actually get REALLY long if I let it—there’s “hella” slang in San Francisco. The students of TALK San Francisco had some other more general American slang on their list too like, “how’s it going?”, and “hey guys” but these are the type of things you can easily suss out the meaning of using context—“dank” maybe not so muchJ
Get out and explore San Francisco and keep your ears open for the local slang, you’ll be learning an entirely new language in addition to English!