Scan this QR Code to follow PureWow on Snapchat!

Everyone knows that West Coasters have a distinct lingo, often involving some pretty esoteric acronyms. We’re not talking about the LOLs or the BRBs--we’re talking about the colloquial names of statewide freeways and sammies. Here, we break down 15 acronyms you always see but maybe didn’t know the meaning of. Cue the "Ohhhhs."

Crave Bits

Stands for: Pacific Coast Highway
Anyone living in California knows this one. Out-of-towners might know it as Route 1--or the most gorgeous stretch of coastal road in the country.

Stands for: Gluten Free
Variations include GFF (gluten-free forever), which is also the name of a shockingly trendy magazine.

Stands for: Bring Your Own Baby
An adaptation of the popular “bring your own booze.” Here, it’s something you’ll see exclusively on flyers in stroller-dense Noe Valley.


Stands for: Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato
Everyone knows the BLT, the delicious sandwich that is bacon, lettuce and tomato.But here in California, we have the BLAT--because we don’t make anything here without adding avocado.

Stands for: Genetically Modified Organism
Heck, this one even made an appearance on a California ballot proposition that would have required mandatory labeling of such food products. The measure was shot down but San Franciscans continue the fight anyway.


Stands for: Graphics Interchange Format
Probably invented in Silicon Valley. And apparently pronounced “jiff,” not “giff.”

Stands for: Not In My Back Yard
We hear a lot of this in tony neighborhoods like Pacific Heights and the majority of Marin County, where residents will go to great lengths to keep the riffraff out.


Stands for: Alcohol by Volume and International Bitterness Units, respectively
ABV is the standard measurement for the alcohol content in drinks. (On average, beer rings in at 4.5 percent, wine at 11.6 percent and liquor at 37 percent.) IBU measures the bitterness of beers, which comes from the hops used in brewing. Keep these in your back pocket next time you’re in the company of SF beer snobs--or trying to translate the beer list at Magnolia.


Stands for: Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart
You know, the illegible string of characters and numbers you had to type in to get those Beyoncé tickets for Levi’s Stadium.

SIM Card
Stands for: Subscriber Identification Module
So that’s what that thing in your phone is for. Now, if only we could figure out where those smarty-pants at Apple hid them in the iPhone.

BASE Jumping
Stands for: Building, Antenna, Span or Earth
As in the four types of tall fixtures one could parachute from. If you’ve ever stumbled into Camp 4 in Yosemite Valley, you’ve likely heard daredevils talking up their next stunt.

Fox Searchlight

Stands for: Pacific Crest Trail
Yep, that thing that Reese Witherspoon hiked in her portrayal of Cheryl Strayed in Wild. Seventy miles of it even runs through the aforementioned Yosemite.

CARE Package
Stands for: Cooperative for Assistance and Relief EverywhereThis one goes way back. The first CARE packages were put together in the aftermath of World War II, with the goal of providing food relief to war-torn Europe. But you know the term as it relates to the big boxes of goodies your mom sent while you were in college at UC Berkeley. 

Stands for: Pounds per Square Inch
But let’s just call it hipster cyclist speak.

Stands for: Orange County
As in the original Real Housewives. And the very reason we live in SF.

From Around The Web