17 DMV Slang Terms You Need to Know

Words | © Jeanne Menjoulet/Flickr

Words | © Jeanne Menjoulet/Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/jmenj/34810181814/in/photolist-V34hhw-qWgTTP-BN8uD-6rDocS-8GTrE4-bzzPff-4GAx9g-4jN175-kHtba-o1SQsA-nm7Rv-YN6BpD-haKbvM-oinua2-7Xj4k4-2gdV98-c4UNGL-758yc8-dGhhee-63DyMM-4fmpHM-r3GViw-cp5R2u-6SFu92-69gBVc-69kPVY-8zDAe2-69kMMy-dMaHuE-8Kbp8V-5dtczh-hJA5EQ-938rQK-oibvbS-ointZc-3qKgts-9jPCqA-o1U4MX-beCWYD-vLrym-8UPwXP-DSdyFv-tUzR-o1T3am-kae1E-3QnnW-d4efaG-8zgEHS-9Sr4i3-57Ypy6
Photo of Nicole Hampton
8 November 2017

Whether you are visiting or just moved to the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) area, you are bound to hear certain unusual jargon that’s unique to the area. Some you can use context clues to figure out, others you’ll be scratching your head and showing your true tourist colors. Avoid any form of “You must not be from around here’’ by getting to know the lingo of the DMV community.


If someone is calling you this, you’ve done something that doesn’t fit in with popular opinion or you’ve done something rather unacceptable. Although it is derived from the state “Alabama,” it is often used to describe someone from Baltimore, probably due to their geographical closeness to the DMV area and their stark difference in style of dress and speech. Apparently, the insult was needed back in the day when the street-savvy District locals encountered a person who looked to be from the country, like most of Alabama. “Look at that bamma with his khakis on.”


Okay, this is a stretch as far as slang goes, but it’s something that, when spoken, you might take as an onomatopoeia when it’s actually a word, sort of. It might only be found in Wiktionary or Urban Dictionary, but it is used as more than an expressive sigh. It sounds like something you breathe out unconsciously when you’re frustrated, and that’s exactly what it means. An example: “When I saw the crappy gift he got me for Christmas, I was guh.”

Overwhelmed | © Pixabay


Most likely extracted from the word excited, it means just that. It can also be used if someone is instigating something, making something bigger than it actually is. Example: “I fought him because he had siced the situation.”


No, it doesn’t have anything to do with baking bread. It refers to someone who is fooling around and not paying attention. It also has the connotation that that person is taking their sweet time at the expense of others. Be on time so you don’t give a local reason to call you a loafer. Example: “I almost missed my train because I was loafin!” or, “He was supposed to take me to eat at six, but he loafed.”


The word has become more obscene than what you put your morning coffee in. Mug is short for motherf**ker, to put it simply. Example: “It’s hot as a mug out here.”

MA mug is not what you might think in the D.M.V.


When you hear someone drop “ji” seemingly at random in the middle of a sentence, know that they most likely aren’t talking about places in China or the gender-neutral honorific in Indian dialects. Instead, it’s probably the filler word which means something along the lines of “really” and “very.” Example: “I’m ji tired,” and “I don’t usually like cookies, but Oreos are ji delicious.”

Smoking terms

Whether you’re going to your newly local gas station to purchase some tobacco product or you’re outside the bar in the smoker’s section, these three smoking terms will help you keep up with the conversation. “Chiefin” is when you are in the act of smoking anything. Another word you might use here is “blazing.” As for the tobacco products themselves, “jacks” are cigarettes, “cigarillos” are cigars, and “blacks” are black and mild cigars.

Maybe leave the bong collection at home | ©

Book someone

This is a phrase that is derivative of adding numbers to a phone book, particularly if that person is cute and you want to see them again. Example: “He’s cute, I’m gonna go book him.”


What “joint” is to New Yorkers, and “jawn” is to Phillies, “jont” is to Washingtonians. It means anything you want it to and can substitute any inanimate object. It sort of combines the two previous words, and the plural form spelled out is “jonx.” This word is probably one on the list that you should hear before you use, because it doesn’t sound the way it’s spelled and you might be labeled a “bamma” if you try and fail. Example: “Pass me that jont.”

High saditty

“Saditty” itself means self-righteous, prideful, conceited. Adding “high” to it, similar to what high brings before the word society, means acting like you are better than and are of a socioeconomic class than those around you. Example: “After he got into private school, he became high saditty.”


This has two meanings. The most commonly used one is to get really hyped up or playing an instrument very well, similar to “rocking out.” Another definition is sexual intercourse. So if someone asks you if you want to crank out, make sure you know which they want to do with you. Example: “Me and my friends crank out in my garage.”

Guitar CC0 Pixabay

Bum joint

You might want to update your wardrobe if you here this slang towards you. It has been derived from the lyrics in a song and means unattractive, especially if it’s concerning being unkempt or not well dressed. Example: “You see the stains on his shirt? That dude is a bum joint.”


This District-originating word is a noun of a person that is… to put it lightly and without using profanity… a terrible, terrible person. A TOB is self-obsessed, super aggressive, obscene, and arrogant. You never want to use or give a person a reason to use the word. Example: “That person just cut me off and gave me the finger! What a T.O.B.”

Main man 100 grand

This nickname for your best bud came from the film The Best Man that came out in 1999. The noun phrase refers to a very good friend, your best friend, and is pretty catchy. Example: “He’s been my friend since we were in diapers. He’s my main man 100 grand.”


Derived from the flexibility of a gooseneck, it means to look at someone closely, especially if you find them attractive. Example: “You goosin that girl, dude?”

Goose | public domain pictures

Chop and chop shop

Chop is a type of dance to gogo music, usually seen at gospel gogos. A chop shop is when a large group of people start said chopping while taking over the dance floor. Example: “We can’t get on the dance floor cuz there’s a chop shop going on.”


In most places, this is a specific term for the most amazing man you will ever meet, who knows how to pleasure and treat the lucky woman who is with him. Although the origins aren’t known, the character, Jim Kirk, from the Star Trek franchise would surely be flattered. However, in the case of the D.M.V. this word means something entirely different. It’s a verb that means to lose control and get angry. Example: “My mom kirked when she found my pack of jacks.”

© pdpics/ pdpics

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