ST. LOUIS – Several areas throughout the world have their fair share of local speech, and St. Louis is infamous for its citywide colloquialisms.

Here is a list of five must-know slang terms from the Gateway to the West.


Baseball fans in St. Louis have firmly stood on a shortened nickname given to the second-winningest franchise in Major League Baseball. Simply dubbed the “Cards,” outsiders could easily mistake the ball club for an actual card game.

Going to the Boat

In 1992, riverboat casinos were officially approved by Missouri voters. As a result of the approval, daily riverboat cruises along the Mississippi River have been offered ever since. When a St. Louisan says they’re “going to the boat,” it most likely means they’re going gambling.


The pronunciation of the state among locals has been a never-ending debate. In the city of St. Louis, locals manly sound out the state with a similar sound to the word ‘misery.’ Missourians in rural areas have largely pronounced the word ending with an “uh” sound.

St. Louis Bread Co.

Rebranded and nationally recognized as Panera Bread, the original 1987 St. Louis bakery has since turned into a café with exactly 2,176 locations throughout the United States.


Popularized and created at the Charlie Gitto’s and Mama Campisis’s restaurants, the idea of breading and deep-frying ravioli while dipping enjoying it with a side of marinara sauce began in The Hill neighborhood. T-ravs is a shortened slang term for the appetizing dish.

What high school did you go to?

While this isn’t an abbreviated word or original name of a nationwide business, this is a question that is commonly asked by locals when meeting new people. Some view this as an honest question, but in 2016, the Missouri History Museum created an exhibit about the ice-breaking inquiry. The exhibit shares that this question could secretly be a way to determine one’s class, intelligence, political party, or religion.

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