We are not exactly rewriting the English language in Portland, but there certainly are some specific phrases you hear in the City of Roses that are just not as common in other places. These are the top 10 Portland phrases that may make you feel right at home (or possibly cringe) depending on how long you have been in the city.
1. Going to the mountain
Sure, we have mountains all around us, so you would think that "the mountain" could refer to any of them. However, if someone says they are going to "the mountain," you should naturally assume they are headed to Mt. Hood.
2. I Have chickens/ducks/goats/other farm animals too!
Chickens are by far the most common farm animal in the city, but get in a group of Portlanders, and there is a pretty good chance a pair in the group can bond over their shared interest in raising chickens, ducks, goats and more.
3. Throw it in the compost
This one always gets out-of-town guests at my house. We compost table scraps throughout the city as part of our recycling and garbage program, and kitchens are typically equipped with a bucket of some sort to gather all your waste in the kitchen in one smelly place.
4. Want a glass of my Kombucha?
Kombucha is nearly past its peak of coolness in Portland. It is on tap at bars and movie theaters and sold at many convenience stores like soda. However, before its mainstream bid, it was served in the homes of amateur brewers across the city. Trading SCOBYs with neighbors is completely normal, and there's always more of the sweet stuff brewing somewhere.
5. It's pronounced "Cooch," not Couch
It's probably impossible to speculate on how many times this correction is made daily, but this is a classic pronunciation problem for out of towners, and we Portlanders will just keep repeating "cooch" over and over again.
6. I brew my own...
There are so many things to brew and here in Portland, chances are you will run into people who have a medley of fermentation hobbies. Whether you are making beer, wine, the aforementioned Kombucha, or hard cider, you can find like minds in Portland.
7. Bikes suck / cars suck
This one varies depending on your mode of transportation. Whether you drive, bike or ride the train, chances are you have at least a small seething resentment about people who do the opposite.
8. I only eat grass-fed/free range/locally sourced/vegan/organic foods
We are a city of food preferences like no other. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, or somewhere in between, here in Portland you can enjoy locally sourced food of all kinds to suit your exacting needs.
9. I saw the Unipiper this morning on the way to work
Yes, we have a guy that rides a unicycle around playing the bagpipes with a Darth Vadar mask on. It's just another day in Portland.
10. No worries
This overused phrase in Portland can mean anything from "really, it's fine" to "thanks for messing up my day" while being too passive to actually say it. Take your pick. After all, no worries.
What are your favorite things Portlanders say? Let us know in the comments below.