Learn These 8 Fun Charleston Slang Phrases Before You Go

Learn These 8 Fun Charleston Slang Phrases Before You Go

Ready for a shag and a Pain Killer?

By Tamara Palmer

With Southern Charm back in full, scandalous swing, you might be getting a serious hankering to book a trip to visit the majesty that is Charleston, South Carolina. What you might not know is that the city is a fertile ground for more than drama, it's a place that's got its own culture and language. Speaking of the latter, your stay in Charleston will be a lot more fun if you know some key slang before you go:

1. Shag

Charleston has its own dance named after it that you may have heard of, but the shag is actually the official state dance of South Carolina — not a rude proposition to take your clothes off. So don't be scared if you see advertisements for shag festivals and clubs!

2. Pain Killer

Head to the Surf Bar at Folly Beach to get a taste of the Pain Killer, a cocktail originally imported from the Virgin Islands that's made with coconut cream, rum, orange and pineapple juices, and nutmeg.

3. Game Changer

The popularity of the Pain Killer cocktail has led local competitors to put their own twist on it. At Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ, which has several locations in the area, it's known as the Game Changer and is served frozen.

4. Charleston Ice Cream

You'll want to wash all that booze down with something cool, but Charleston ice cream is not the right dish. That's because it's not actually a frozen dessert; it's a rice dish with lots of butter. Leading local chef Sean Brock of Husk has shared an easy recipe so you can try it at home.

5. Gullah/Geechee

You can still occasionally hear people in Charleston speaking Gullah (or Geechee), a Creole language originated on the coast by African slaves who created a verbal code mixing both English and African elements. While you've probably never heard it, you may be familiar with the most enduring word: kumbaya, which has been taken in English to symbolize an innocent optimism.

6. Softie

Soft-shell crabs are currently in season in Charleston, and you won't want to miss out on any opportunities to devour them by not knowing that they're also called "softies."

7. Stems & Skins

Named one of America's best new wine bars by Food & Wine, direct your driver to take you to Stems & Skins for a chic and upscale sipping experience.

8. $1,040

According to RootsRated, you'll be charged $1,040 if you're caught boozing it up on the beach on Sullivans Island; it's like the local equivalent of 420, only more costly.

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