Frequently Asked Questions

What is CityDictionary.com?

City Dictionary is a reference for local language in the United States. City Dictionary Citizens can create dictionary entries to define local language for their cities. People can also benefit from their fellow Citizens’ work by learning about other cities in the US. This information sharing will promote understanding of—and appreciation for—the many ways that Americans speak.

The Citizen-generated dictionary entries are voted on by other Citizens, which tends to push the best words to the top of each city’s page, as well as push the best definitions to the top of each word page.

Why do I need to register?

When you register we can keep track of the work you've done and reward you with greater autonomy on the site.

How do I earn points?

You earn points on City Dictionary by providing useful information. You earn 1 point for adding a word or photo and 5 points for adding a definition. In addition, you receive 1 point for each positive vote for your definitions and photos.

What if my town isn't listed?

There are a number of small towns that are not currently listed on the site. If you would like to add an entry for a town or city not listed, please just let us know the city, state and the nearest larger city.

Poll
Past Words of the Day
Tyme is money, as the old Tyme slogan went...

1. ATMs in southern Wisconsin used to run under the brand Take Your Money Everywhere or TYME. The iconic machines were known as Tyme Machines instead of ATMs. They were notorious for "closing" with a sliding iron door coming down just when one needed to make a withdrawal. Visitors likely believed the worst of Madison's detractors when locals asked "Is the Tyme machine open?"

2. This is Madison speak for ATM. Many newcomers are puzzled when an old-school Wisconsinite asks them for a "Tyme machine."

3. It wasn't just southern wisconsin, it was most of if not all of the state. Before there were debit cards, there were Tyme cards!

4. The first ATMs were brought to Milwaukee through the M&I Bank. The president of M&I at the time was Dennis Keuster. He had the foresight to see that this would revolutionize banking.

Local jargon for Route 60, a main road connecting Mesa to Phoenix

Coffee laced with chicory. Rumored to have originated in New Orleans during the Civil War, when the city was under a federal blockade and could not import enough coffee, which necessitated blending the coffee with chicory root. Chicory is added to coffee in other parts of the world, including Madras and Belgium. Made famous at Cafe Du Monde on Jackson Square.

In most parts of the world a sieve is a perforated instrument used to strain liquids, but at UW hockey games at the Kohl Center a sieve is the away team's goalie. After every Wisconsin goal the student section engages in a chant that likens the goalie to an instrument that lets things through its grasp.

A nickname for Portland given by none other than George Bush and his staff. Every time he would visit there would be such protests and demonstrations that he did not return to Portland when seeking reelection in 2004; but sent other staff members to gain support.