Beaufort, SC

Beaufort Slang: How to talk like a local

Explore Beaufort SC
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New to the Beaufort area? Just visiting? Did you ever hear someone mention pluff mud and wonder what that is? Did you land at Frogmore International Airport? How about seeing Frogmore stew on a local menu and wondering if there are frogs in it?

Beaufort has a language of its own and here’s some Beaufort slang you may encounter on your adventures…you may need to learn it. After all, nobody wants to sound like an outsider.

Pluff mud: When the tide goes out of the marsh, pluff mud is exposed…and some folks say it stinks…and some say it smells like home. Just don’t step in it.

The Port: The port of Port Royal. The building and area next to the tower at the boardwalk near the Sands is referred to as the old port.

Frogmore Stew: Frogmore Stew is a local favorite consisting of shrimp, sausage, potatoes, and corn all cooked in the same pot. It’s a staple here in the Lowcountry and was named on St. Helena Island a few decades ago. No, there are no frogs in it.

The beach: When someone says they’re going to ‘the beach’ they usually mean Hunting Island Beach. It’s special.

Queen of the Sea Islands: Another name for Beaufort, South Carolina

Sweet tea: Just as you read it. “Sweet tea”. It’s iced tea, and it’s sweet. It’s what we drink here.

No see-ums: Sand gnats, or fleas. Bugs that you feel biting you while you’re enjoying the outdoors…but you just can’t see them. No see-ums.

Gullah: Gullah is a language spoken by the Gullah people; African-Americans living on the Sea Islands and coastal regions of the Lowcountry.

The Old bridge: The ‘old bridge’ is what locals say when they’re talking about the Woods Memorial Bridge in downtown Beaufort. It was built in 1959.

Parris Island Bridge: There is no Parris Island Bridge. It used to be called the Battery Creek Bridge and was named the Russell Bell Bridge in 1993, in honor of a local deputy sheriff who was killed in the line of duty. Folks must just call it the Parris Island Bridge because it’s easier.

The Point: A beautiful and historic part of downtown Beaufort. Just go to the end of Bay Street in downtown and cross straight through the light with the bridge on your right side. You are now in The Point neighborhood.

The New bridge: The ‘new bridge’ is what the locals say when they’re talking about the McTeer Bridge, which connects Lady’s Island and Port Royal. It was built in the early 1980s.

Geechie: See Gullah.

Frogmore International Airport: Frogmore International just does not exist. Don’t ask. It’s the Beaufort County Airport on Lady’s Island.

Island Time: What locals and visitors live on from May through September.

Frogmore: Steeped in local history and once the center of an island, Frogmore is a small village at the intersection of Sea Island Parkway and Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd on St. Helena Island.

Day trippers: Visitors who come to town for the day.

The Sands: A short stretch of beach in Port Royal that’s popular with locals and getting more and more attention to folks exploring the area. It’s a great spot to search for sharks teeth too.

The Island: When someone says ‘the Island’, they’re referring to St. Helena Island, the largest of our local sea islands and a spot steeped in history.

Beaufort Crud: The flu is referred to locally as The Beaufort Crud.

The Waterfront: The waterfront is another term for Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in downtown Beaufort situated right along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.

Tabby: Tabby is a concrete made from lime, sand and oyster shells.

Fripper: Someone who lives on Fripp Island.

The Sandbar: A favorite spot in the Beaufort River when the tide is low. Boaters converge and enjoy ‘the Beaufort sandbar’.

Muck: See pluff mud.


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