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What Alaskans Mean When They Say They're 'Going Outside'

Michele Debczak
brytta/iStock via Getty Images
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Words and phrases can have different meanings depending on where you use them. In Philadelphia, salty is just as likely to describe a person's attitude as it is a dish, and the word jewels can refer to a Chicago-area grocery chain instead of gemstones. Going outside is another piece of slang that's easy to misconstrue. In Alaska, the colloquialism applies to journeys that are more involved than stepping through your front door.

According to Stacker, announcing you're going outside in the northernmost region of the U.S. means you're leaving the state. By this logic, the Last Frontier is the inside and the world beyond—including the other 49 states—is the outside.

It's not surprising that Alaskans have a special phrase for traveling out-of-state. Because their home is so expansive and isolated from the rest of the country, residents don't cross state borders as often as a person would in a place like Delaware. When Alaskans do venture outside, the trip is a big event that warrants its own term.

Alaska isn't the only state with local lingo that's indecipherable to outsiders. In Hawaii, visitors may hear terms like shaka ("hello"), shark bait ("pale tourists"), and other expressions that are missing from travel brochures. Here are more popular pieces of slang from each state.

[h/t Stacker]

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