Local Lingo

Posted: Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Bridge: "The Bridge" is the one downtown that crosses the Gastineau Channel to Douglas. Technically, it's called the Juneau-Douglas Bridge.

The Channel: Gastineau Channel, that body of water between Juneau and Douglas.

The Road: There are lots of roads, but The Road is the long one that runs north and south. Called Egan Drive between downtown and the Mendenhall Valley; north of there it's called either the Veterans Memorial Highway or Glacier Highway. Past Auke Bay, people call it Out The Road. It ends 40 miles north of downtown.

Down South: Where Alaskans go when they get tired of the weather. It's also known as the Lower 48 - anywhere in the contiguous United States.

Southeast: This is a direction, but here it means Southeast Alaska, the panhandle region between Ketchikan and the north end of Glacier Bay or Skagway.

The Harbor: There are six boat harbors, but generally this refers to the two downtown, Harris or Aurora, just north of the bridge.

Alaskan: Simultaneously a person, place and thing, depending on the context. This is a bar and hotel in downtown Juneau, a malt beverage brewed by the Alaskan brewery here, and a state resident. You could have an Alaskan with an Alaskan at the Alaskan.

Amber: A type of Alaskan, an ale.

The Shrine: The Shrine of St. Therese. A quaint stone Catholic church next to a hot fishing spot Out The Road at 28 mile.

Douglas: A place, not a person. Refers to both the town and the island across the channel from downtown. When people say North Douglas, they mean west Douglas, where the North Douglas Highway goes.

The S.O.B: Where many Juneau residents work, it's the state office building that's sandwiched between Willoughby Avenue and Calhoun Street.

Lemon Creek: The big valley between downtown and the airport. Also refers to a local glacier and stream.

Chums: Dog salmon, as in "the chums are running."

DIPAC (pronounced die-pack): Which stands for Douglas Island Pink and Chum. The fish hatchery now renamed the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery, where you can see chums, kings, coho and sockeye.

Dollies: Dolly Varden trout.

ExtraTufs: Knee-high slip-on rubber boots. XtraTufs is a brand name, but this is a generic term for all Juneau Sneakers. They go with everything.

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