Welcome to Utah! If you just moved here, or are thinking of moving to the Beehive State, there are a few things you need to know. First, you’re going to need a camera, because just about every corner of this place is jaw-droppingly beautiful. And second, there are a few words that you’ve probably need to add to your vocabulary.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
You can't play the slots in Utah (where gambling is illegal), but you can certainly explore them. Our slot canyons are stunning natural wonders. Just check the forecast before you go - while emptying out your bank account is a danger at the slots in Vegas, flash floods in Utah's slots can be deadly.
If you were a teenager in the 1980s, sluffing got you in trouble with the school cop, your teachers and your parents. It's basically skipping school, Ferris Bueller-style.
3. Holy War
If you know anything about history, you think of the Crusades when you hear the term, "holy war." Utah's holy war does involve religion...and the religion of football. It's the game played by the University of Utah and Brigham Young University (which is a private university owned by the LDS church). Choose your allegiance early, and buy your red or blue shirt, hat, and team gear in advance of the game.
Ah...the blissful solitude of Utah's mountains is unparalleled. But in Utah, "Solitude," also refers to Solitude Mountain Resort. Located in Big Cottonwood Canyon, this beautiful resort offers skiing, snowshoeing, and plenty of scenery.
5. Stake House
There's a steakhouse, and then there's a stake house. In Utah, they're two completely different things, and you'll want to get this one right to avoid major disappointment. While the Beehive State does have plenty of places where you can get a thick, juicy steak, a stake house is a Mormon church where religious meetings are held, and there's not a single steak in sight.
Every golden retriever is familiar with the game of fetch, and he can play it for hours on end. In Utah, you'll hear people say, "Oh, fetch!" in lieu of that other f-word. Some Utahns also use faux swears like "crap," "frick," and "shoot," as if that's somehow different than the real four-letter words.
There's nothing like spending the day at a lagoon, paddling about in the crystal-clear pool under a waterfall. In Utah, Lagoon isn't quite as exotic, but it's twice as fun. Our only amusement park has tons of roller coasters, thrill rides, kiddie rides, and even a waterpark.
Here's another vocabulary word that's related to the LDS church. While you might think that "Elders" refers to the mature members of the church, it's actually the exact opposite. Boys in the Mormon church become elders when they leave on their missions to preach their gospel to others. Far from mature, these 18 or 19-year-old boys are still learning how to do their laundry and feed themselves.
9. Funeral potatoes
You'll find a lot of Beehive State-specific food here, but funeral potatoes seems to be the dish that makes newbies uncomfortable. The casserole's name sounds so grim, doesn't it? While it is indeed served at the reception following a funeral, it's also served at parties and family dinners, and it's actually pretty tasty.
In Utah, the word "Dixie," refers to the southern part of the state. Utah is a long way from the Deep South, but when Mormon pioneers first arrived in St. George, they tried for a brief time to grow and cultivate cotton. That experiment was quickly abandoned, but the name stuck.
You might think that "PG" refers to a movie that's probably suitable for older children and those who don't want to see violence and sex or hear swearing during the film. In Utah, PG is a nickname for the town of Pleasant Grove. Since the town is deep in the heart of Utah County, there might not be much violence, sex, and swearing...so it's probably a pretty apt nickname.
Enjoying jazz usually means listening to Miles Davis or John Coltrane, and the music genre is how our basketball team got its name, because it originated in the jazz city of New Orleans. When the team moved to Utah, it kept the name.
When you hike in the wrong shoes, your arches can cause you pain, but Utah's arches have the exact opposite effect. Gaze upon Delicate Arch, or any of the hundreds of other arches at Arches National Park and throughout Utah, and you'll feel nothing but awe.
If you're from somewhere other than Utah, you probably think of polygamists when you think of the Beehive State. Thanks to shows like Big Love and Sister Wives, tourists often arrive here thinking that they'll see hoards of polygamists everywhere they go. In reality, polygamy has been outlawed in Utah for more than 100 years, but there are a few families here and there. You'll hear them referred to as "polygamists," "poligs," and "pligs."
Utah's slickrock trail is a world-famous mountain bike trail near Moab, and it's actually just the opposite of slick. The sandstone has a sandpaper-like surface that grips your bike tires as you navigate steep, treacherous sections of this 10-mile-long trail that most novices avoid.
16. Bonus Vocabulary Word That You Need To Forget: Mormon
People all over the world know the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by their nickname, "Mormons." However, church officials recently announced that they intend to do away with the nickname, and request that their church be called by its full name. So from now on, Utah has no "Mormons." Instead, around 63 percent of the people living here are, "members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." We'll see if this policy actually sticks - it's both a mouthful, and so firmly entrenched in the Utah lexicon that we can't imagine it going away. Stay tuned for the church to make changes to the name of its world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Native Utahs – what other vocabulary words would you add to this list? Tell our readers in the comments!