Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bradley U chapter.

I am from the west side of Chicago, which means I live in the city. I never knew Chicago had its own dictionary of words until I came to school here in Peoria. The terms I have heard from different people in different towns are hilarious. 

I will never forget when one of my friends said “oh they got it wet in here,” and I was like what does that even mean? She told me it means a lot of people at one time that gets something trending or seems fun. LOL, she’s from Springfield.

So, then I thought about a few Chicago terms that are used often, so when visitors come, you would know what they mean. 


Now the term “merch” does not mean merchandise or anything like that. When someone tells you something hard to believe you say “merch?” That means if you merch it, then you tell the truth about it. 


The term “bussin” basically means something that’s going better than usual or there’s a lot of people in one space. If something is better than usual an example would be “Man, this ice cream bussin.” Or if there are a lot of people in one spot, you’ll say “This party bussin.” 

Goofy or clown

These two terms do not have a good connotation behind them. It usually refers to someone doing something stupid. An example would be “Yea, you’re a goofy.” 


Now this term can go one of two ways. It’s either you’re being for real or someone is telling a lie. If you are telling the truth you say “I just bought a car, no cap.” And if someone lies about something like “I just got paid $1,000 for one week,” and then someone will say “cap.”

Sneaky link 

If anyone ever refers to you as a sneaky link, it’s not always a good thing. This word means two people who mess with each other on the low and no one else knows. However, y’all only meet up in private places.


This term means you want to meet up or hang out with a person. 

WTW (What’s the word?)

This means, what is the other person about to get up to do. Are they about to go outside, go to work or somewhere else? 

These are just a few of the city terms you might need to know if you are hearing them. Chicago is so big that almost every neighborhood has a different set of words.

Kianna Goss

Bradley U '22

Hi my name is Kianna, I am a journalism major with a double minor in sociology and advertising with public relations. I enjoy creative writing, traveling, and trying out new recipes.