Talking Like a True Gaucho

by Bella Taylor January 30, 2024 3 min read

Do you have those friends who you just share a million inside jokes with? Maybe make up your own secret language or code words for your crushes? Going to school at UCSB comes with its very own lingo and this blog is meant to help you get in on all the “jokes” and “code words” we’ve got floating around Isla Vista.

 

To start, let’s make our lives a bit easier by referring to Isla Vista (the “s” is silent) as “IV” instead. IV is a suburb in Goleta, occupied by mainly Santa Barbara college students, where you either have lived, are living now or could be living in the near future. Therefore, this shortcut is a great place to start. 

Speaking of IV, let’s get into some common spots in town and their nicknames. 

First up, we’ve got our beloved  Del Playa. Del Playa Drive is the infamous street where many UCSB students reside. Del Playa is more often than not referred to as “DP” and takes up about a mile-long stretch in IV, running all the way through 65 to 68 block. DP is known for its nights filled with eager party-goers and lengthy oceanside beach shacks. 

“Oceanside” and “mountainside” are two other commonly used terms. Living on the central coast, we have the luxury of being lodged between the beautiful Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez mountains, so it makes perfect sense that we’d find a way to fit our scenic nature into our everyday speech! Houses on DP are labeled as either “oceanside” or “mountainside” depending on which side of the street they lie on. 

These same words are used by students to describe both sides of the library, too. Davidson Library is what we callthe lib. The lib is where we tend to both socialize on the 4th floor and cram for finals during Dead Week (aka the week before final exams) on the 8th. 

Sea Lookout Park is a small park nearing the start of 68 block on DP. Games of spike ball and beach volleyball are played as people make their way to the bluffs for sunset. This park is usually referred to as “Dogshit Park,” or “DS Park” for short. IVO’s bucket list includes taking a dog for a walk here at Dogshit Park and I couldn’t imagine a better way to commemorate this well-loved spot here in IV.

Jumping all the way to far mountainside of 68 block on El Colegio Road lies Santa Catalina Hall. San Cat is a freshman dorm building that has gone through a few name changes over the years. San Cat was formerly known as the Francisco Torres towers and is easily referenced to as the Freshman Towers, or better yet, “FT.” 

In honor of UCSB’s popular party scene, there are a few words here and there that deserve some recognition as well. 

“WOMP” stands for “Word Of Mouth Party” and is used to describe parties on the down low. “Late Night” typically falls on Thursdays starting promptly at 10 p.m. and is the term that fraternities use for their week-night parties. “DT” is short for “downtown” and is typically visited by Santa Barbara students on “college night” Thursdays at the bars. 

To note, a few bonus words to pick up on may be “stoked,” “shred,” and “grom” so we can get you spitting like a Santa Barbara surfer ASAP. 

Though it is a town, Isla Vista is also a language we get to speak every day that we are here. Our lingo is heard and understood by the ones who came before us and the ones who will come after, for as long as we shall pass it on.

Bella Taylor
Bella Taylor

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