Tourist Lingo

Tourist Lingo

Pogge, Drew
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Let's face it: we live in a destination town and tourists are a part of life. Luckily, many of them fly quietly into Belgrade, rent an enormous SUV, and plow screaming into a herd of bighorn sheep before we ever know they’re here. Those who aren’t killed by sheep, survivalist nutjobs, Montana weather, or their own ignorance—“Honey, take a picture of me petting that buffalo!”—can easily be identified by their unique vernacular. Indeed, tourists use a language all their own; learn how to speak it here. 

Cali—If you hear someone refer to the state of California as “Cali,” that person is a tourist. Or a first-year MSU student from the golden state, who thinks Bozeman “rips.”

Mountain Climbing—If you overhear people discussing the best places to go “mountain climbing,” they’re probably from the Midwest. Try to be nice… they can’t help it.

SportsmobileLong the vehicle of choice for unabashed trust-funders and pudgy middle-agers experiencing a midlife crisis, these gratuitously expensive, gas-guzzling, over-accessorized 4x4 conversion vans belong exclusively to tourists. In Bozeman, our outdoor base camp is just called "home." 

Rocky Mountain Oysters—Anyone who orders these at a restaurant (fancy or otherwise) is a tourist, and probably a Montana virgin. Because once is enough when it comes to fried balls.

LBP—If you ever hear Montana called “The Last Best Place,” the speaker is a tourist, and, incidentally, correct.

Deer—If someone sees a herd of elk and calls them deer, they are either tourists or giants. Beware of giants. 

Truck—Anyone who refers to a baby-blue Ford Explorer as a “truck” is a tourist. In Montana, trucks have beds.

Altitude—Anyone who complains about “the altitude” in downtown Bozeman is definitely a tourist. There are higher cities in Nebraska and South Dakota.

Uptown—If someone calls Bozeman’s historic downtown district “uptown,” you know they’re a tourist. Or from Butte. 

Olive Garden—If you overhear someone pining for an Olive Garden, they’ve gotta be a tourist—or a soulless, zombie-bread-muncher.

Souvenir—If you even say “souvenir,” you’re a tourist. Seriously, when have you ever used that word except to describe cheap crap you buy on vacation?

Zipline—The newest, trendiest tourist attraction: ziplining. It’s the fanny pack of outdoor activities.

Pink Straw Cowboy Hats—OK, so it’s not a word, but it is a statement. Pink straw cowboy hats are designed exclusively for tourists. And strippers.

Conrad AnkerIf you hear someone exclaim they ran into "Conrad Anker" climbing in Hyalite, they're a tourist. Locals know there's only one Conrad in Bozeman, and he requires no last name—like Cher, only less terrifying and more talented. 

Bored—Anyone who claims to be bored in Bozeman is either a disinterested, texting-obsessed teenaged tourist or… well, that’s really all.

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