The S.L.U.T.: Not as naughty as it sounds

This post is part of a new series we’re calling Seattleisms, a handy glossary of words and phrases unique to our city that’ll help you #livelikeyoulivehere. 


thuh-sluht, noun

WHAT IS IT? A streetcar that takes riders from South Lake Union to downtown Seattle

ABOUT THAT ACRONYM… At first, the streetcar was called a “Trolley.” When city leaders realized what the acronym on their new project spelled — South Lake Union Trolley — they shifted gears. But the damage was already done.

Before the South Lake Union Streetcar (now its official name) took its first trip in December 2007, Seattleites Jerry Johnson and Don Clifton created t-shirts reading “Ride the S.L.U.T. — the South Lake Union Trolley,” which were sold at the now defunct Kapow! coffeeshop. The shirts were a lighthearted protest “designed in fun and also to remind people that their neighborhood’s historic name, Cascade, was rapidly being eclipsed by the broader [re-]branding of the entire South Lake Union/Cascade area,” HistoryLink reports.

STREETCAR FACT: Seattle’s first streetcar, which was pulled by horses, opened for service in 1884. Seattle’s first electric trolleys opened in 1889 and by the early 1900s, Seattle was home to nearly 50 miles of electric streetcar tracks.

USAGE: “Your cousin is coming to check out Seattle colleges? Make sure he gets to ride the S.L.U.T. to downtown, LOL.”

“Dude, no.”


Know of a Seattleism that we should include in our new glossary? Hit reply or email us at [email protected]. We’ll be sharing out the Seattleiest terms we can find over the next several months.