Clarksville's Changing Slang & Text
Updated: Apr 15
The Clarksville MSA, has seen tremendous growth over the past two decades. The historical changes were primarily driven by military personnel moving in/out of Fort Campbell bringing with them hometown cultures introduced to the city. Due to that unique aspect, Clarksville does not necessarily follow the same norms as other southern cities. For example, these days you’re more likely to find more residents with ties to other regions than Clarksville. Whether its military, APSU or the booming business sector, we're consistently experiencing changes that accompany growth.
Take a southern minute to read this fun Clarksville slanguage list and tag your friends. With one of the country's best locations for millennials, and several tags tied to "best of" labels, there’s bound to be tech related abbreviations and slang terms longtime Clarksvillians may miss. What would you add to the list? #ClarksvilleTN
101st: There are two references.
- Military Unit: The 101st is a description of the famous Fort Campbell based unit
- Location: The 101st Airborne Parkway which connects the north and south sides of the city.
116: Downtown Montgomery County Jail’s address -> 116 Commerce Street
86'd: When Fort Campbell leadership declares a local bar or nightclub off limits for activity duty personnel. The precursor to a permenant "CLOSED" sign.
AC: The nearby town of Ashland City
AP: Austin Peay State Univeristy
Ashland City Road: This road connects Riverside Drive and MLK. It does not lead to the town of Ashland City.
BG: Bowling Green KY
Big Burger: People in their 20s-30s or those attending APSU games will use this to describe Johnny’s Big Burger located on College Street. Those people in their late 40s+ will prefer to use “big burger” as a shortened name for Kelly’s Big Burger on Riverside Drive.
BNA: Berry National Airport / Nashville International Airport
Boot Hill: The hillside that changes from North 2nd Street to New Providence Boulevard
Brats: The child of a parent or parents serving full-time in the United States Armed Forces, whether current or former.
Central: This term is anything but “central” to the city. This slang will refer to Montgomery Central High School area located on Highway 48.
Civvies: Casual civilian clothing or non-military personnel.
Chop Chop: Slang for going to a Vietnamese restaurant
Clarksvegas: Created by 101st Airborne soldiers as early as the 1960s. Soldiers used the Las Vegas lights as a reference to the light show the 101st Airborne would take on the road when deployed to different combat zones.
Coke: Any carbonated soft drink. Heard primarily in South Clarksville and the counties outside the city.
Cruisin’: Only known to those persons 40+. "Cruisin'" describes an area around Riverside Drive local teenagers would drive in the 80s and 90s from Kraft Street stretching to Ashland City Road.
Customs House: The Clarksville city museum
Cuts in the Hill: Old Ashland City Road
Dinner: A more formal meal for a holiday or celebration
Dog Hill: A historical neighborhood adjacent to the south end of downtown
Dover Point: The split in New Providence where New Providence Blvd turns into Dover Road
or Fort Campbell Blvd
E-vil: Evansville IN
Gate 4: Fort Campbell's main gate where visitor passes are distributed to non military personnel visiting the base.
GCA: The Greater Clarksville Area consisting of Clarksville, Fort Campbell, Oak Grove, Hopkinsville, Cunningham and Steward County.
WRB: Wilma Rudolph Boulevard or Highway 79
FCB: Fort Campbell Boulevard
Five Points: The Greenwood Neighborhood
Fixin’ to: Preparing or getting ready to do something
Fly: A reference to former APSU great James “Fly” Williams. Fly is still considered by many as the greatest NYC playground basketball player in the history of the city.
Franklin Street: 99% of the time this references the downtown block of restaurants and/or businesses.
Going to Nashville: Describing a trip to a sporting event or a visit to downtown and West End
Govs: Nothing political with this reference. The Govs is a commonly used nickname for the APSU Governors.
GSD: Governor’s Square District; The retail & restaurant heavy area located on WRB at Exit 4.
Hold Your Horses: Telling someone to slow down and not be in a hurry.
Hoptown: Neighboring community of Hopkinsville
Hush: Be quiet
Jazz on the Lawn or "Jazz": A summer series of live music hosted at the Beachaven Winery
Johnny's: Johnny's Big Burger on College Street
Let’s Go Peay: It’s phonetic, get it? This APSU basketball chant is known nationwide and talked about by everyone from Dick Vitale to Bobby Knight.
Madison: When someone just says "Madison" when giving directions it implies Madison Street. Sop and ask for a specific address or location. Madison is one of the longest streets in the city and locals reference it like a city block.
Metropolis: Someone is going to the casino in Metropolis IL (West Paducah KY)
MLK: Martin Luther King Boulevard / Highway 76
MP: Military Police
Northside: The northwest side of town primarily tied to FCB
NPB: New Providence Boulevard
OTB: Off Track Betting that takes place at Oak Grove Casino, Track and Hotel
Outlaw: Clarksville’s growing regional airport
Peay: Austin Peay
Pops or Soda: Carbonated soft drinks. If heard in the city, there’s a good chance its said on the northside due to the heavy transplant influence of Fort Campbell.
Reckon: An agreement has been reached
Ringgold Bridge: A local fishing spot under a bridge on FCB
Riverside: Not just any of the riversides around town. This is specifically Riverside Drive.
Saint B: St. Bethlehem neighborhoods
South Clarksville: Area ranging from Memorial Drive to the Sango area
Supper: The day’s main meal with family or friends
Take your sweet time: A polite way of asking someone to hurry up
Tee Tee or TT: Tiny Town Road businesses intersecting at Trenton Road
The Base: Fort Campbell Army Base
The Bricks: Lincoln Holmes neighborhood between the APSU campus and Kraft Street.
The Pub: One of the oldest microbreweries in Tennessee, The Franklin Street Pub / Blackhorse Brewery.
The Fairgrounds: Liberty Park along the Cumberland River
The Greenway: Although the Clarksville Greenway is fairly expansive this reference is a general term to the entry at Pollard Road or Kenwood Elementary School.
The Last Train to Clarksville: The Monkees big hit is asked about regularly. Altho the song's writers referenced a town in Arizona (I believe). Singer Mickey Dolenz has always associated Clarksville TN and Fort Campbell with the song's anti-war theme.
The Marina: Liberty Park or the original fairgrounds
The Queen City: A nod to Nashville being the “King” city of Middle Tennessee
The Speedway: Clarksvillle Speedway & Fairgrounds (no one refers to it as the “fairgrounds”)
The Storm: The 1999 tornado that destroyed downtown Clarksville
The (old) Triangle: The businesses at the point where FCB splits into a 2nd direction - Sinclair Drive
Two Rivers: The Two Rivers Shopping Center formally the city’s only shopping enclosed shopping mall.
Visit the Amish: Taking a trip to very well known Amish bakery located on Guthrie Road just over the KY state line (Schlabach’s founded in 1970).