Posts Tagged ‘vocabulary’

San Francisco terminology defined

March 25th, 2011

Whether you read one of San Francisco’s terrible newspapers or our “witty” blogs, you’ll run into terminology that might be a bit baffling to the layperson. Here, I’ve defined a number of commonly-used terms to assist newbies in their understanding of the lingo often used by San Franciscans.

What they say: Dive bar
What they really mean: Normal bar, but the bathrooms haven’t been cleaned since the Carter administration

What they say: Transit-oriented
What they really mean: Not enough parking

What they say: Hipster
What they really mean: White person

What they say: TIC
What they really mean: The realtor wants you to close your eyes and imagine that you’re in a real condo, not a converted apartment that has legal and financial issues

What they say: Shared housing
What they really mean: Shared flat or house where everybody gets pissed at everybody else regarding their cleaning habits

What they say: Street art
What they really mean: Pretentious graffiti

What they say: Historic building
What they really mean: The water leaking through the roof is the only thing preventing this pile of kindling from catching fire

What they say: Vintage
What they really mean: A crackhead found this in the garbage and sold it to us for a fraction of what you’re about to pay

What they say: Organic, artisan, farm-to-table dining
What they really mean: Food that doesn’t look the slightest bit appetizing

What they say: Parklet permit
What they really mean: Method of ousting the worst NIMBYs

What they say: Parade
What they really mean: Adults getting naked and hammered on the street before 5pm, for a change of pace

What they say: San Francisco State University
What they really mean: Daly City State College

What they say: Luxury condo
What they really mean: Regular condo, but in a very undesirable location

What they say: Live/work loft
What they really mean: Housing for artists, and by “artist” we mean someone who works in Sunnyvale programming Javascript for a living

What they say: Oakland
What they really mean: Uncharted territory that somehow is just minutes away from San Francisco

What they say: Muni
What they really mean: The bizarre result of combining socialism with pure anarchy