Colorado has more than its fair share of tourists and people from out of state planning to move there. You can theorize all you like about why this is. It could be the beautiful mountains, the laid-back attitudes of locals, or even the legalized marijuana.
If you’re planning on visiting or even moving there for whatever reason, you should take time to learn the local lingo. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to Colorado slang words and explain what they mean so you’ll understand what everyone else is saying.
Colorado Slang Words (in Alphabetical Order)
- (Noun): Colorado is well-known for its abundance of mountains. A 14er is a mountain that’s over 14,000 feet in altitude.
- Example: “Joe climbed a 14er last weekend.”
- (Noun): Got a lot of friends from Denver? Then you’ve probably seen this number a lot, since it’s Denver’s area code.
- (Noun): This number spreads far beyond just Colorado, but you’ll hear it a lot there, too. 420 is almost always used in reference to marijuana. Many apartments will be listed as 420-friendly, which means you can smoke it there.
- (Noun): Nickname for the town of Aurora.
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- (Noun): Black ice sounds like it should be the name of a band, but it’s actually quite dangerous. This refers to a thin layer of ice on the road or sidewalk that’s not easily visible.
- Example: “Be careful when you drive home tonight. I’ve heard the road is covered in black ice.”
- (Noun): A giant blue horse statute with ominous red eyes that you can find at the Denver International Airport.
- Example: “Does anyone else get creeped out by Blucifer?”
- (Noun): A nickname for Breckenridge.
- (Noun): Slang term for marijuana. You’ve likely heard this outside of Colorado, as well, as it is a common term.
- Example: “Let’s stop by the dispense to buy some bud later.”
- (Noun): An acronym that stands for Buena Vista, another town in Colorado.
- (Noun): Colorado has a lot of nicknames for specific places. This one refers to a neighborhood in Denver.
- Example: “My girlfriend’s parents live in Cap Hill.”
- (Noun): An insulting term that combines the words “city” and “idiots.” These are dumb people that often come from a big city and are usually tourists.
- Example: “That cidiot doesn’t even know how to light a fire.”
- (Noun): An alcoholic drink that’s similar to a White Russian, but with a bit of a Coca-Cola in it.
- Example: “My favorite drink to get is a Colorado Bulldog.”
Related Article: Slang Words for Beer
- (Noun): A discreet way of saying that someone smells skunky, like they’ve been smoking some bud.
- Example: “He’s got on his Colorado cologne, so I can guess what he’s been doing all day.”
Colorado Kool Aid
- (Noun): Slang term that refers to a specific kind of beer – Coors, to be precise.
- Example: “Nothing beats a cold can of Colorado Kool Aid.”
- (Noun): The clamp that police put on your wheels when you haven’t paid a parking ticket. It’s said that the boot, now used all over the country, came from Denver, hence the name.
- Example: “The police put a Denver boot on his car after he refused to pay his parking tickets.”
- (Noun): A popular omelet made with bell pepper, ham, onion, and cheese.
- Example: “You can get the best Denver omelets at that diner.”
- (Noun): It’s basically a Denver omelet turned into a sandwich. Perfect for breakfast on the go.
- Example: “My grandpa, a trucker, loves eating a Denver sandwich in the morning while he drives.”
- (Noun): An increasingly popular cut of steak made from beef chuck.
- (Noun): Shortened version of the word “dispensary.” This is a regulated establishment you can buy marijuana from.
- Example: “I work part-time at the dispense down the street.”
- (Noun): An acronym that stands for “Denver Tech Center.” It consists of several technology-related businesses in a particular area in Denver.
- Example: “If you need help fixing your computer, check out some of the businesses in the DTC.”
- (Noun): Remember, Colorado is a mountainous state, so describing things in reference to the mountains is surprisingly common. A flatlander is a person who lives at lower elevations, so they have to get used to higher elevations.
- Example: “Go easy on Hank because he’s a flatlander.”
- (Noun): Another place-based nickname. This one refers to Fort Collins.
- (Noun): A famous tourist destination where the borders of four different states meet: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.
- Example: “She took a picture at the four corners so she could say she was in four different states at the same time.”
- (Noun): An inexperienced skier on the slopes.
- Example: “Watch out for the that gaper – they don’t know what they’re doing.”
- (Noun): You’ll probably be able to picture this kind of person once we explain what it means. Granola refers to an outdoor- and nature-loving hippy person who’s also usually vegan.
Hit the Hill
- (Expression): A phrase that means going to ski resorts located in the western part of the state.
- (Noun): Yet another location-oriented slang term. This one refers to a region in downtown Denver.
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- (Noun): Another area in Denver. It’s a particular neighborhood located just north of LoDo.
- (Noun): An uncommon term that refers to an interchange between two specific highways, the I-25 and I-70.
- (Expression): Casual way of saying, “it’s okay.” You can say this to indicate you forgive someone or to excuse them.
- Person 1: “Sorry I accidentally stepped on your toe!”
- Person 2: “No worries. I’m fine.”
- (Noun): It’s almost like we could do a whole list of slang for places in Colorado! This term just means “northern Colorado.”
- (Noun): In some places, you might call weed nugs. In Colorado, however, it has a different meaning: the Denver Nuggets basketball team.
- Example: “Did you catch the Nuggs game last night?”
- (Noun): A person who frequently summits mountains. They usually focus on climbing to the tops of particularly prestigious mountains.
- Example: “Henry is a peak bagger, so unless you like climbing, you probably won’t want to hang out with him too much in your downtime.”
- (Noun): The initials of a famous ex-Broncos player: Peyton f*cking Manning.
- (Noun): This terminology is actually popular in Minnesota slang, too. It’s how you say soda in Colorado.
- Example: “An ice-cold can of pop is so refreshing on a hot day.”
- (Noun): Snow that is light, fluffy, and powdery. Perfect for snowboarding.
- Example: “We got some great pow last night.”
- (Noun): This is another area in Denver. It stands for River North Arts District, and it’s located to the east of the downtown area.
- (Noun): If you think this just means a pile of rocks, you’re wrong. The rockpile is the part of the bleachers located closest to the center field in a baseball game, known for being the cheapest seats.
- Example: “He got us some tickets to the Rockies game next week, but unfortunately we’ll be sitting in the rockpile.”
Rocky Mountain Oysters
- (Noun): Chances are, you’ve heard this term already! Rocky Mountain oysters are a dish made from fried bull testicles.
- Example: “Bri gagged when she found out the food she had just eaten was Rocky Mountain oysters.”
- (Noun): Affectionate nickname for the Colorado Rockies, Colorado’s official baseball team.
- (Noun): Potentially offensive term for people who live around Grand Junction.
Smell of Greeley
- (Noun): A phrase that references the manure smell of the farms in Greeley. If someone says you smell like this, it’s not a compliment.
- Example: “She got a whiff of the smell of Greeley right before the storm hit.”
- (Noun): South Broadway, another area in Denver. It’s well-known for the large number of bars it has.
- Example: “Let’s hit up some bars in SoBro tonight.”
- (Noun): An affectionate nickname for the Subaru, a popular car in Colorado.
- Example: “My girlfriend drives a Subie.”
The Front Range
- (Noun): A group of Colorado cities that are from flatter, non-mountainous parts of the state. Examples include Aurora, Colorado Springs, and Denver.
The People’s Republic
- (Noun): A nickname that describes the city of Boulder due to the hippie type of people that commonly live there.
- (Noun): Nickname for the city of Colorado Springs.
- (Noun): A person not originally from Colorado who moved there.
- Example: “Kayla is a transplant who came here from Texas.”
- (Noun): Combination of the phrases “trust fund” and “Rastafarian.” These are privileged people who tend to take the look and culture of less privileged people. They often adopt a hippie aesthetic with dreads, but their lifestyle is funded entirely by their wealthy upbringing.
- Example: “Henry likes to pretend he’s against commercialism, but he’s honestly just a trustafarian.”
- (Expression): You won’t hear this among younger people in Colorado, but it used to be common slang back in the day. It’s just another way of saying that you’re kidding about something.
- (Noun): Another term for hippie-like people. These are hippies trying to be trendy.
If you, like many others, are thinking about moving to Colorado, it’s important to learn how the locals speak first. Otherwise, you’ll always be known as just another transplant! We hope this guide helped you prepare for your next visit to the mountainous state, whether it’s to move there or just vacation there.
Another popular tourist destination, Hawaii, also has a very unique lexicon. Check out our guide to Hawaii slang and pidgin phrases to learn more.