A wide range of trips throughout Southcentral Alaska.
Fairbanks: 27°/46°/Partly sunny
ALASKANESE: Drop words like "bush" and "cheechako" into conversation.
If an Alaskan tells you he saw a sourdough go into the Bush right after breakup, you might be a bit confused. That's because we've got our own regional dialect in the Last Frontier. Here are some words and phrases that may help you understand "Alaskan" a bit better:
Alpenglow: When the conditions are right, alpenglow appears when the sun dips below the horizon, resulting in a yellow-and-gold light show on the Chugach Mountains that loom over Anchorage.
Bluebird: You aren't going to find many bluebirds flying around in Alaska, but on a clear, sunny day in Anchorage you'll probably hear locals utter this term to describe the perfect conditions.
Breakup: The shoulder season that marks the end of winter and beginning of spring, and it's usually messy. The basis of the word comes from when melting snow raises the level of ice-covered rivers and streams, causing the ice to break apart and float downstream.
Bunny boots: Not fur-lined footwear, but instead the big, white rubber boots once popularized by members of the armed forces working in cold environments. Many sourdoughs own a pair of these but only wear them on the most frigid days.
Bush: Anywhere in Alaska that's off the road system.
Cheechako: A newcomer, generally someone who hasn't spent a winter in Alaska.
Denali: A local nickname for Mount McKinley. Denali translates as "the high one" or "great one" in an Athabascan language.
Fireweed: The magenta-colored perennial herb that blooms in midsummer. Its blooms gradually turn cottony in autumn, signaling the approach of winter.
Interior: The expansive region in the center of Alaska around Fairbanks.
Outside: Any place other than Alaska, though it's generally used in reference to the Lower 48 -- another way we refer to the contiguous 48 states. You might hear the phrase, "He's from Outside."
PAC: Short for the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Anchorage.
PFD: Short for Permanent Fund dividend, the annual chunk of money that qualifying Alaskans receive from portions of Alaska's oil and gas sales.
Sleeping Lady: The local name for Mount Susitna, visible across Cook Inlet from Anchorage.
Sourdough: Any Alaska or Yukon old-timer.
Southcentral: The area of Alaska between the Gulf of Alaska and the Alaska Range. Included in Southcentral are Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna area, Kodiak, Valdez and the Kenai Peninsula.
Southeast: Also called the Panhandle, stretching from Icy Bay near Yakutat to the U.S.-Canada border. Juneau, Haines, Sitka, Skagway and Ketchikan are in Southeast.
Termination dust: The first light snow on the mountains; it signals that summer is ending.
The Valley: Part of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough north of Anchorage. The region includes Palmer, Wasilla, Big Lake and Willow. Frequently it is called the Mat-Su.