8 Ways To Sound Like A Kentuckian

by | Last updated Jul 28, 2023

If you are traveling or visiting that great state of Kentucky, then welcome to the Commonwealth. Whether you are here for the Derby, home for the holidays to see family and friends or just traveling and want to explore the state, you need to be able to talk and understand a few of the things we say around here.

Let’s take a look at the ways us Kentuckians talk and how you can sound like a Kentuckian too.

Big Red

No, it’s not the hot cinnamon gum you are used to chewing.

big red, wku mascot, on football field
Photo of Big Red, the mascot of WKU

Big Red is the official mascot of Western Kentucky University located in Bowling Green created in 1979 by student Ralph Carey. He brings joy and excitement to all those around him.


It’s pronounced just like that. It’s not LEW-EE-VILLE or LEWIS-VILLE.

louisville ky skyline and ohio river
Downtown Louisville Skyline with the Ohio River in the foreground.


It’s not a shopping cart you’re pushing around the local IGA, it’s a buggy.

photo of a buggy shopping cart
Photo of a buggy

Kentucky Derby

The 2 minute race you see on TV is the biggest party of the year. The infield is the wildest place to be for the event.

The Kentucky Derby is ran on a 1.5 mile track at Churchill Downs in Louisville. It is longest running sporting event in the US, having started in 1875.


When you tip something over, it’s “tump”.

“Now listen here, don’t tump over your cup of milk”


A very common word used for addressing a group of people. It’s even on the Florence, Kentucky water tower. This is one of the most used words you’ll hear around Kentucky.

yall neon sign
Neon sign that says Ya’ll Come Back


When we address our own state, we typically call it Bluegrass. The grass is really blue in some parts of the state if you look at just right.


We are known for making 95% of the world’s bourbon and we give it a sweet taste.

Bardstown, Kentucky is known as the bourbon capital of the world. It has over 20+ bourbon distilleries making some of the worlds finest bourbons.

bourbon barrels aging bourbon in oak barrels
Bourbon barrels in a warehouse aging bourbon
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Trey Copeland

Trey Copeland

Founder & Editor

Hello folks! I’m Trey Copeland, founder and editor of Stay Bluegrass, along with my wife Kaci. We’ve been fortunate to travel to many countries such as Mexico and Costa Rica, but our true roots remain here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Bluegrass State.

Our goal is to help you live like a local while traveling and exploring the great state of Kentucky. We want to help you find the best places to eat, the must see and do attractions and more.

Hey! I'm Trey

Hey! I'm Trey

I live in Owensboro, Kentucky and have traveled around the Bluegrass state with my wife Kaci.

Read more about us

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