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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody. Welcome back to Weekly Words. My name is Alisha, and this week we're going to talk about California English. Yeah! I'm excited because I was born in California, my parents are both from California, I grew up speaking Central California English, I should point out. It's a manner of speaking that is close to my heart. Let's get started. I'm excited.
‘Bail’ is a great word. There's a lot of California English words come from surf culture.‘Bail’ means leave. To leave some place. It's used in surf. Time to get off the surf board, you just jump off. We say that's ‘to bail’. A party is really not very good, you say to your friend, “Let's bail. This is not very fun.”It means “let's go, let's leave this place”.
The next word is ‘bum’.
To ‘bum’ something, as a verb, means to borrow something from somebody else. So instead of saying, “Hey, can I borrow your pen for a second?”They might say, “Hey, can I bum a pen off of you?”We have a slightly different way of asking to borrow something. “Can I bum something off of you?”
Next is to ‘rock’.
Okay, this one, maybe, is a little bit more modern, I guess. To ‘rock’ something, as a verb, not the motion of to ‘rock’, like you might rock a baby, but to ‘rock’ something means to be fashionable. Like to pick a necklace, or a pair of sunglasses, or shoes, or something that's kind of stylish. So it's kind of fashionable and cool. Maybe you buy a new pair of sunglasses and you're like, “Yeah, I'm going to rock my sunglasses at the beach tomorrow.” It's kind of a confident phrase that means you're excited about whatever it is you're going to present to people.
This is a North California word. I do not say ‘hella’. ‘Hella’ is a word that just kind of means ‘very’. You can use it in the same that you would use ‘very’, or ‘super’, or ‘a lot’ of something. For example, I think I used this recently to myself at work, I was correcting some paperwork or something like that, and I said, “This has hella mistakes in it.” Very casually like that, I mean, this has a lot of mistakes. ‘Hella’. It's more used among young people, not a whole lot of, at least in my mind anyway, older people would use this word, but you can try it out. Okay.
Oh, ‘sketchy’!
This is one of my favorite words. I use this all the time. ‘Sketchy’ is something that's a little bit suspicious. Could be used to describe a person, a location, a food. Anything that looks a little bit not quite right is ‘sketchy’. Maybe there's a person who's kind of standing at a party that's just looking at everybody but not talking to everybody. You might say, “Ooh, that guy or that girl is really sketchy, I wonder what she's doing here.” You can use it for a place, if you enter a bar and it's really, really dimly lit and it looks like it might be a little dirty, and the bartender is a little bit like grizzled, you might say, “Ooh, this place is sketchy, let's go somewhere else.” It's a great word to know. I love using the word ‘sketchy’. You might say ‘hella sketch’. I think I'd just say ‘sketchy’.
And that's the end. So those are some words that come from California English. There are a whole lot of really fun, great surfer— words that come from surfer culture, and I really recommend that. I love that kind of English. But give a few of these a try. I hope that you don't encounter too many gnarly or sketchy people in your life. Anyway, those were some California English words, so give them a try if you want to sound a little bit laid back, and relaxed, and easy going. Thanks very much for joining us this week and we'll see you again next time. Bye.


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Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Which word do you like the most?

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 05:23 PM
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Hi D.A.,

Yes, you can say "bail me out of my job." Good sentence!


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Saturday at 06:16 PM
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How about "bail me out my job"? ?