Virginia Beach Slang

by Nancy E. Sheppard, an AOL Travel ContributorPosted Sep 22nd 2010 07:51 PM


Virginia Beach Slang

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So, you're walking down Atlantic Avenue and run into a bunch of Virginia Beach locals... how do you fit in? How do you understand what they're saying? From a native, here's a little guide to translate the lingo. Before you know it, you'll be using Virginia Beach slang just like one of us!


This may sound alarming when you first hear it. But, really, this isn't what it sounds like. This local language phrase stands for one of the few pieces of local kitsch left in Virginia Beach, a great restaurant called The Jewish Mother. This local "dive" serves up awesome sandwiches and great desserts, not to mention that it's a nice venue to listen to local and independent singers, bands and other artists. Next time you're on Pacific Avenue, check it out. I highly recommend "Pita the Great."

Jewish Mother, 3108 Pacific Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451; 757-422-5430; Open weekdays 11AM-11PM, weekends 8AM-11PM

"The Boulevard"
How obscure is this? I mean, how many boulevards are there in this huge city? Well, this is a simple translation. Whenever someone refers to "the boulevard," they're actually referring to Virginia Beach Boulevard, which runs from Norfolk all the way to Hilltop (we'll get to this one in a moment). By going this way, you can get to almost anywhere in Virginia Beach.

In the local lingo of Virginia Beach, this refers to a corner of the city just beyond the oceanfront tourist district. This "upscale" area is where you'll find boutique shopping nestled next to a Kmart. Charming, I know. Hilltop is so named because it is the location of the highest natural point in the below sea level city. If you're paying really close attention and are used to flat lands, you might notice it. But watch out! It's easy to drive right over.

Of all the Virginia Beach slang terms, this one sounds the most bizarre, especially when referred to by its proper name of "Mount Trashmore." Aside from the military and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, this is our city's claim to fame. And it is exactly how it sounds – a mountain of trash. The City of Virginia Beach thought it would be a genius idea to turn an overfilled landfill right in the heart of the city into a vibrant recreational park. Who knew that the city government would actually be right? You can't miss Mount Trashmore when cruising along I-264. Look for a giant grassy hill with a huge City of Virginia Beach seal on it.

Mount Trashmore Park, 310 Edwin Dr, Virginia Beach, VA 23462; 757-473-5237; Open daily 7:30AM to close

In Virginia Beach slang, this is a nickname for the City of Portsmouth. No offense to any P-Towners out there, but while Portsmouth has a very lovely historic district (that encompasses about two or three streets), it is not the safest area in the world to be. Make sure you don't get lost here!


This acronym represents the bane of every Hampton Roads commuter's existence. It stands for the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel that connects the "southside" (Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake) to "the peninsula" (Hampton, Newport News). While the tunnel is an asset to the area, it is also an example of poor traffic pattern planning by the Virginia Department of Transportation. You will inevitably find yourself in a traffic jam, sometimes for hours, as six lanes on either side of the highway merge into two and vehicles slowly squeeze through the tunnel. When you hear this piece of Virginia Beach local lingo used, it probably won't be affectionately.

No, this isn't referring to a local seafood dive. This is a universal nickname for junior enlisted sailors. Our area is crawling with military, especially Navy. These are the guys that we local girls try to avoid, but often end up marrying!

While not extraordinarily impressive, this local language term refers to the Pembroke area of Virginia Beach, better known today as "Downtown" or "Town Center." This is a newly developed commercial district of restaurants, upscale shopping, hotels and overpriced condos in a small, four-block area.

So, now you know a few phrases that will set you apart from the other tourists. Best of luck to you in this tourist jungle better known as my hometown of Virginia (or "VA," pronounced by us as "VAH") Beach!
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Things sure have changed since I lived there. I even go back regularly and still hear people refer to it as simply VB. Never heard someone say VA Beach. P-Town is new also. Squids is far older than she is, I am sure. The Pemboke stuff happened after I left and I know they want it to be called the "downtown" though I hear more references to Town Center. HRBT is another new one. It was either the bridge or bay bridge. Easier to say than HRBT. Definitely go to the Jewish Mother....oops, Jew-Mo. Doesn't look like much, but a great little place.

April 17 2011 at 9:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bill Lathan

What about "navphib"... The Navy Amphibious Warfare School and Base. Interestingly, I was stationed there for almost a year and was neither in the Navy or anything Amphibious... The joint services military school of music is also on the base and I was a military musician.

October 08 2010 at 9:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bill Lathan's comment

(from the author)
Yep, that definitely is one! However, NAB isn't called that anymore... it's called Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Ft. Story and nicknamed JEB in the community. But you can definitely tell us locals because we still refer to NS Norfolk as N.O.B. ;-)

November 24 2010 at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply