Talk Like an Emerald Coast Local

Apr 9, 2022 | News

Learn the local Emerald Coast jargon so you'll fit right in!

If you spend more than a day or so in the area, you’ll need to know some terms that locals toss about. We know it’s no fun to not speak the language, so here’s a quick primer.

Rips

No, we’re not talking about the abs of some of our most beautiful beachgoers. Rips is actually beach speak for rip currents, which are common along local beaches and can prove deadly if you don’t know how to deal with them. Rip currents are plumes of water starting near the shoreline and rushing out to deeper water.

Lifeguards and some locals can recognize them and warn you to another spot on the beach. Check out the signs around the beach to learn what to do if you get caught in one.

The Pass

The pass is that narrow stretch of water between Destin’s west shore and Okaloosa Island’s east shore. Every morning, you’ll see charter boats and other fishing vessels chugging out of the Destin Harbor through the pass into the Gulf of Mexico.

The pass is also where a tremendous volume of water flows in and out of as the tides shift from high to low and back again.

Rock jetties line the outer edges of the pass.

Mullet

This refers to either a distinctive haircut rarely seen in these parts anymore or a vegetarian fish that flings itself up in the air before crashing back down in the water. Because the mullet doesn’t take bait, it’s commonly caught in nets and is more likely to be found in brackish water. If you’re not familiar with that term, think about water that is salty and fresh in varying degrees.