West Virginia Slaw Line

I have finally nailed down the precise point of where I79 crosses the slaw line. Before I divulge the location, let’s review for the sake of newcomers:

The majority hot dog culture in West Virginia dictates that “everything” on a hot dog includes mustard, onions, chili AND coleslaw (some individual hot dog joints include ketchup but they are mostly misguided souls that just don’t know any better). This culture exists virtually everywhere throughout the southern two-thirds of the state except for Huntington (which seems to think that slaw is optional) and is completely perverted in the Northern Panhandle where slaw can’t be found in any hot dog joint known to us. It has been postulated that there must be a point along Interstate 79, the main artery for north-south traffic through the state, where the slaw culture is lost into the unfortunate void of a no-slaw zone. After a great deal of research, this point has been found.

At the risk of over-simplification and dishonoring the work that had been done to begin to narrow down the slaw line crossing, the big break came when I visited Ritzy Lunch and found out that Clarksburg is in the fringe area, where slaw can be obtained without restaurant staff giving you the strange look that they do in Fairmont. So my search moved to the south of Clarksburg. The Nutter Fort Dairy Queen has chili and onions standard, but that is to be expected since Nutter Fort is esentially Clarksburg even though it lies a few miles to the south.

Since there are no Dairy Queens between the no slaw Nutter Fort location and the yes slaw Flatwoods store, I have to rely on locally owned hot dog joints. T&L Hot Dogs is a fly in the ointment since it is a regional chain based in Clarksburg but are spread throughout the slaw line border zone. I realized this might bend the slaw line artificially south if there are no local joints to offset its influence, so I set off on a research path that sought out locally owned restaurants that served hot dogs. This was harder than it sounds since this area is some of the most sparsely populated territory in the state and restaurants are few and far betweeen.

Heading north from Flatwoods, I found no hot dog joints in Burnsville, but Glenville is just a few miles away and I know of at least one HDJ there that has slaw on a standard everything dog, so we’ll put Gilmer County in the slaw column.

Jane Lew, even though it’s a few miles south of Clarksburg and in a different county (Lewis) I nevertheless have always felt that people there identify with Clarksburg. So I was quite surprised to find that The Jane Lew Restaurant, which sits right off of exit 105, has slaw on its everything dog. So Lewis County lies south of the slaw line.

This leaves us with Lost Creek, which has no restaurants that I could find. The closest is at West Milford. There, the Dairy King Restaurant does not include slaw on their dogs except by special request. Presuming the slaw line lies between West Milford and Jane Lew, I put a pin in the map near the southern border of Watters Smith Memorial Park which is exactly half way between the two.

Now I needed a reference point to the east. Phillipi lies due east of Lost Creek, but it’s in a completely different county. Barbour County, it seems to me, has its own identity which could be a plus or a minus when it comes to the task at hand. I checked with City Restaurant in Phillipi and they said they do include slaw on their “everything” dogs. Now I needed one more point from which I could triangulate and located the precise I79 crossing of the slaw line. Grafton, I know from previous experience, is a slaw optional city and since it sits 13 miles due north of Phillipi that would put the eastern reference point near Clemtown. Drawing a straight line from my two reference points I find that the line crosses Interstate 79 at mile marker 111.

So I stopped at milepost 111…

West Virginia Slaw Line

West Virginia Slaw Line


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Finding Spiders At Night With A Flashlight


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25 Words That Are Interpreted Differently In West Virginia

1. Ma’am/Sir

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Source: wifflegif.com

What it means everywhere else: What you call customers when you’re working in the service industry and they are clearly your elders.
What it means in West Virginia: What you call literally anyone you don’t know extremely well out of respect. It essentially functions like the formal usted in Spanish.

2. Poke

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Source: WordPress user landonhowell

What it means everywhere else: To jab someone with a finger, or to do the most annoying thing you can possibly do on Facebook (including all of those Farmville invites).
What it means in West Virginia: Just another way of saying grocery bag.

3. Peck

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Source: pandawhale.com

What it means everywhere else: A brief and often platonic kiss.
What it means in West Virginia: A considerable amount. You really don’t want to hear that you’re in “a peck of trouble,” because that means you’re definitely in some serious trouble.

4. Molasses

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Source: Tumblr user imperialbedrooms

What it means everywhere else: A syrupy by-product of turning sugarcane into sugar.
What it means in West Virginia: Something that’s moving way too slowly.

5. Pepperoni Rolls

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Source: Flickr user notbrucelee

What it means everywhere else: What, you mean like those pizza roll things?
What it means in West Virginia: The most delicious food in the entire world, and literally what you would eat every day for the rest of your life if you could.

6. Coleslaw

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Source: Flickr user stuart_spivack

What it means everywhere else: A cabbage-based side dish.
What it means in West Virginia: A condiment that you’ll put on just about anything, but especially hot dogs.

7. Redneck

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Source; Flickr user Nottsexminer

What it means everywhere else: A derogatory term for uneducated or working class southerners.
What it means in West Virginia: A term that was literally appropriated by the United Mine Workers union when they tied red bandanas around their necks to fight for safer working conditions for not just West Virginian coal miners, but miners everywhere.

8. Buggy

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Source: wifflegif.com

What it means everywhere else: Something a horse pulls around and people sit in.
What it means in West Virginia: What you put your groceries in and push around in the store.

9. Hunting

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Source: Flickr user diamondbackcovers

What it means everywhere else: A hobby that involves shooting game for sport or for food.
What it means in West Virginia: Something your parents have pulled you out of school for at least once as a kid.

10. Blinked

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Source: Flickr user calliope

What it means everywhere else: When someone closed and opened their eyes.
What it means in West Virginia: What you call milk when it’s gone sour.

11. Herd

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Source: Marshall University Athletics Facebook

What it means everywhere else: A large group of animals.
What it means in West Virginia: The best college football team ever.

12. Holler

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Source: Flickr user dougtone

What it means everywhere else: To shout or cry out.
What it means in West Virginia: A unit of measurement when talking about distance. For example, “It’s a hoot and a holler away.”

13. Spell

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Source: Flickr user dionhinchcliffe

What it means everywhere else: A magical incantation or ritual that makes something fantastical happen.
What it means in West Virginia: An undetermined amount of time. (When a West Virginian grandmother asks you to sit for “a spell” and talk, it can be determined that it’s going to be awhile.)

14. Scolding

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Source: Flickr user littlesister

What it means everywhere else: What your parents do when you misbehave as a child.
What it means in West Virginia: When your parents threaten you with a switchin’ or a trip to Pruntytown or another correctional facility when you misbehave as a child.

15. Crick

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Source: Flickr user PBoGS

What it means everywhere else: A painful thing you get in your neck if you sleep on it wrong.
What it means in West Virginia: The proper way to say “creek.” Also, a common landmark when giving directions.

16. Red

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Source: Flickr user garlandcannon

What it means everywhere else: One of the three primary colors.
What it means in West Virginia: When followed by “up” it’s the equivalent of clean. For example, to “red up” your room means tidy up your room.

17. Mess

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Source: Flickr user rpavich

What it means everywhere else: Something that’s dirty or chaotic.
What it means in West Virginia: A unit of measurement, meaning a whole lot of something. For example, a lot of chicken wings would be a “whole mess of chicken wings.”

18. Fixing

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Source: quickmeme.com

What it means everywhere else: To repair something that’s broken.
What it means in West Virginia: The G is usually dropped, but it means “about to.” If you’re fixin’ to make dinner, you’re not actually making it yet—you’re just going to make dinner in the near future.

19. Ramps

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Source: Flickr user hpdpro

What it means everywhere else: Slopes that join different levels, and a more accessible alternative to stairs.
What it means in West Virginia: What you call every kind of onion.

20. ‘Mater

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Source: Flickr user Digital Sextant

What it means everywhere else: A character in the Pixar movie Cars.
What it means in West Virginia: A tomato, or, in the correct West Virginian pronunciation, tomater.

21. Coal

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Source: Flickr user americaspower

What it means everywhere else: A source of energy, and something that’s always paired with the buzzword “clean.”
What it means in West Virginia: What at least one person you know (if not many more) makes their living mining.

22. Tudors

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Source: Tudor’s Biscuit World via Facebook

What it means everywhere else: A royal house, an architectural style, and a steamy Showtime series.
What it means in West Virginia: Tudor’s Biscuit World AKA the best breakfast food ever.

23. Cornbread

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Source: Flickr user jeffreyww

What it means everywhere else: A delicious southern bread and standby comfort food.
What it means in West Virginia: What you use to sop up your pinto beans.

24. Organ

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Source: Organ Cave Tours Facebook

What it means everywhere else: A part of your body that serves a specific function, like the heart or lungs.
What it means in West Virginia: Literally the coolest cave you’ve ever seen.

25. Y’all

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Source: WordPress user walktorio2016

What it means everywhere else: A southern expression that’s the equivalent of “you all” or “you guys.”
What it means in West Virginia: The most used word in your entire vocabulary.


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