Sometimes the slabs seems like another planet, maybe because it even has its own language. Here are some terms you only hear there or with dirty kids. That’s a good place to start.

Dirty kids: modern day hobos/nomads, they’re often known for travelling via train hopping.

Babylon/Babylonian: Anyplace other than slab city and any person not a slabber.

Nirp: To find and make useful something abandoned or found in the trash. Can also mean to steal.

Dog out!: The universal slab dog command it’s exactly what it sounds like – get out of whatever you’re getting into, or go away.

Slab dog: These are dogs who aren’t claimed by a specific human. They live free and are cared for by the community until they find someone.

Free slab: This is a slab (used to be a basketball court) where donations are dropped off.

Drop <number>: These are the siphons, like siphon 8 is referred to as drop 8, that keep the canal water moving. They are very very dangerous. You should never swim or enter the water unless there are 2 or more ladders between you and a siphon.

54: Fuck around, find out. (54 said fast sorta sounds like fifo)

Spange: to beg, sounds a little like “spare change”.

Jugging: Spanging for gasoline.

Flying a sign: Spanging by holding a sign.

The season: the part of the year the weather is bearable in Slab City and most activities are scheduled. Roughly October to April. It usually kicks off with the rave and ends with prom.

Brassing: Collecting expended shells on the military bombing range to sell for scrap.

Shit tickets: toilet paper