City Life

12 Things You’ll Only Understand if You Grew Up in Louisville, KY

Did you grow up in Louisville, KY? If you did, you probably don’t pronounce it “Louisville,” but that’s ok. You’ll definitely understand these 12 things though, and no one else will.


You didn’t realize how weirdly you pronounce it until someone from another state made fun of you for the first time. Now, you vigorously defend the smashing of three syllables down into one, single syllable. But sometimes, it’s just easier to suck it up and pronounce it “Loo-ee-ville” when meeting someone from out of town, no matter how unnatural it feels. Come on guys, you don’t always have to be grammatically correct, so what if it’s Louisville, KY.

If you went downtown and didn’t accidentally drive to Indiana, did you even go downtown?

This was especially true right after they finished constructing the new Spaghetti Junction and Google Maps still hadn’t updated. One minute you’re doing fine; the next you’re going over a bridge. (And now with the new toll bridge, you get to *literally* pay for your mistakes! $8 per accidental trip to the Hoosier State.) Thanks Louisville, KY.

Not actually knowing if you’re Southern or not.

You get super defensive if anyone tries to call you Southern, but you secretly love it. After all, we wouldn’t have sweet tea if we weren’t Southern. (But, like, Louisville, KY is very Midwestern. Just saying.)

“Cards or Cats?”

Unless you were homeschooled, you almost definitely went through a phase where all the other first graders would walk around asking everyone, “Cards or Cats?” twenty times a day. This was the first test of your allegiance to whichever team your family had conditioned you to honor since birth. Depending on your answer, friendships were either forged or broken.

Derby Weekend is honestly better than Christmas.

Getting off school for The Oaks on Friday was better than any national holiday. You probably rode the TARC down to the track and spent the day drunk and dressed in pastel. The rest of the weekend was spent betting against your parents at Derby parties and eating Derby Pie.

Somehow, everyone knows everyone.

This is especially true for you if your parents grew up here, too. In a metro area with over one million people, it manages to hold true that any given person knows your aunt or your high school principal or Jennifer Lawrence.

Screaming/crying while driving on Bardstown or Shelbyville Rds. at rush hour.

The traffic literally doesn’t move. It can take an hour to drive a mile. Plan accordingly.

Forecastle and Waterfront Wednesdays are some of the best music scenes in existence.

These events also happen to be the highlights of summer. What’s better than sitting on a blanket by the river, chilling with friends and listening to live music (for free, in the case of Waterfront Wednesdays)?

See Also

The weather is unpredictable.

If you grew up in Louisville, you’ve definitely experienced a 30-degree difference in temperature over the span of just two days. Also, the school system never figured out how to properly react to the weather. School could literally get cancelled for a half-inch of snow, or a few ice cubes in the road.

Thinking you’re super alternative after spending a day on Bardstown Road.

If you’re into the indie scene, you know Bardstown Road is the place to go. Unfortunately, there were always those kids who would stop in at a couple record stores and independent coffee shops and suddenly think they were Lana Del Rey. (We’ve all been there. It’s okay.)

Loving the tap water.

Louisville, KY is consistently ranked as having some of the best drinking water in the nation. You never realize how good it is until you go on vacation and suddenly find yourself missing your kitchen sink.

The crazy high school culture.

In Louisville, if someone asks you where you went to school, they don’t mean college—they mean high school. Most people are very proud of their alma mater, and the school rivalries are huge. The annual St. X-Trinity football game is the most-attended high school football game in the nation, as well as one of the best social events of the year.

Let us know what you think of these memories of growing up in Louisville, KY in the comments below!
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