Montana most polite state in the U.S., while Californians could use some lessons in manners

Mind your manners! Different states not only have different accents and lingo, but they vary in politeness, terms of endearment and slang. A lighthearted study performed by WordFinder collected Google Trends search data from each state to pinpoint which parts of America most often search the web using polite words and phrases. They also measured the most-searched compliments and terms of endearment.

The most polite state, based on their Google searches, was Montana. More than 270,000 of their searches per 100,000 residents in the past year included polite terms, especially “please.”


Meanwhile, the study reveals California could improve in the way of manners. The Golden State only made 10 searches including polite terms per 100,000 residents, mostly “thanks so much.” This was also the top phrase searched by its bordering states, Nevada and Utah.

Other states that practice good form include Vermont, Alabama, Minnesota, Delaware and Wyoming. People that seem to forget to say “please” and “thankyou” reside in Kansas, Illinois, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Terms of endearment by state

Overall, “darling” and “beautiful” were the most commonly used terms of endearment in the U.S. Almost the entire West Coast was in agreement: “Darling” dominated these searches in Washington and California, as well as Nevada, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Michigan. Oregon was the only outlier with their top searched pet name as “sweetheart.”

What about the East Coast? Some like it hot! Florida, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania preferred the steamier nickname, “hottie.”

Kansas was more partial to the fairytale version of romance with “princess” used most often in the Sunflower State. Nebraska, Arizona, New Mexico, and Maine all prefer “sweetie” when whispering sweet nothings.

Speaking of sweet, the top flattery in Wyoming, South Dakota, and Iowa is “sugar,” while “dollface” was all the rage in Alabama when expressing affection.

Slang terms by state

Social media creates a rapid breeding ground for modern slang terms, some of which are used as compliment. This study revealed the top slang compliment is “pur,” followed by the positive term, “stoked.”

Also used by our feline friends, pur is usually used when “hyping up” someone else. For example, if your friend got a new haircut and showed you, you could respond saying, “pur.”

Commonly shared among California, Nevada, Utah, and Michigan as the most searched positive slang term was “bussin’.” This means something is “good,” especially in reference to food. For example, “that pizza was bussin’ bussin’.”

You may recognize this term from classic surfer lingo. “Stoked,” meaning enthusiastic or excited, is Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia‘s top search term. Similarly, Kansas and Missouri made the most searches for the word “amped,” which describes feeling fired up and energetic.

Colorado, Virginia, Minnesota, and New York all favored “gucci.” This versatile slang term is based on the luxury fashion brand, which explains why it’s used to describe something fancy or stylish. “Gucci” could also mean something is simply good. If someone asked you how you are doing, you might say “gucci” if you’re doing just fine.

Aptly, Alaska was more likely to search for “chill,” reflecting the typically cool weather conditions of the Last Frontier. “Chill” is used to describe something or someone that is cool, easy going, or to calm down.


For this study, WordFinder collected Google Trends search data from 2022 across the United States.

Follow on Google News

About the Author

Sophia Naughton

Meet StudyFinds’ Associate Editor, Sophia Naughton. Sophia graduated Magna Cum Laude from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication directly focused in journalism and advertising. She is also a freelance writer for Baltimore Magazine. Outside of writing, her best buddy is her spotted Pit Bull, Terrance.

The contents of this website do not constitute advice and are provided for informational purposes only. See our full disclaimer


  1. Problem I have with this is, where I live; Seattle, many are NOT from here. So they not only bring their dogs and tech jobs BUT their provincial attitudes. It’s AKA: Seattle chill. Here they accept tents, RV’s and open spaces chock full of drug fueled addicts. Citizens have become ATM’s. I used to be much nicer. Not any more. Sucks being here.

  2. This study has things BACKWARDS. People searching less already know how to be nice… people searching more don’t know how to be nice. Are we in first grade? What a deceptive study.

    MONTANA IS CALIFORNIA!!! LOL. The first state listed and the last are the same! What a strange situation this study stumbled across …Bozeman, MT is called BozeLAnd now and the MAJORITY of people are from LA. It’s almost as expensive as LA. Even Helena, MT is now known to be a tech haven. As far as the rest of Montana it’s mostly college kids. The reason transplants are SEARCHING for what to say is because they perceive Montana as a hokey cowboy state and since thet act like a**holes in LA they have to look up how to be nice…it’s a huge mythical perception thing and people in LA talk funny (and know it) so they have to look up what to say to cowboys…lol. They’re also techie so it makes sense they would turn to Google more than any other state.

    NORTH DAKOTA IS MISERABLE. People are searching for the correct terms for similar reasons. They don’t know how to be nice so they have to look it up. They have a deep Nordic history as the oil industry there is tied to Norwegian and Scandanavian countries in general. I’ve stayed in 40 states and North Dakota is the meanest this is a Scandinavian thing….look up the Dutch and Swedish and how frank/forward they are. They don’t say thank you. They think it’s weird to have conversations and if they are in the oil industry they’re just plain miserable because it’s so tough. I lived there for a year. ND is all oil just like Scandanavian countries, this is how Sweden for example fuels their fancy looking social institutions btw, by taking oil and investing in tech stocks). God help us I don’t even know where to start about how MEAN North Dakotans actually are. It goes beyond the culture and into the misery of the oil industry. I’ve had more problems and arguments than in any other states. People there just don’t help you and they do mean pushy things.

    Pennsylvania and New Jersey used to have very nice people but post pandemic it’s hard to say. It feels like everyone is pissed and everyone has moved..%80 of my friends who didn’t have families moved far during the pandemic.

    Lastly, I’ve realized over the years that each state has a division. Take PA for example the west side is oil and middle class the east side is tech and fancy shmancy people. This happens in almost every state. There is the hardworking “get your hands dirty” part of the state and there is the high tech, usually city parts of the state. Every state has a contrast like that. So it’s difficult to judge exactly how people will act because of these divisions.

    Horribly backwards study. To me this is evidence of the deep disconnection of our society.

  3. That title had me spitting out my coffee! I live in Montana and we have a local Facebook group called ‘Billings bad drivers’, multiple times a month reports are made to the group to report Big pickup trucks with Montana plates running their rentals (normally from California) off the road.

  4. In other news, citizens of Montana most likely to believe Google is the name of a small person that lives in your computer and comes up with your search results.

    1. This is on So calling BS is redundant.

      But just think about what they are actually measuring and what they are trying to claim their “research” to finding.

      They are measuring how many times people in a state searched for the terms “please” and ‘thank you”.

      Here in my state we already know what those terms mean. We ain’t gotta look ’em up. So, according to their methodology, naturally my state will rank way below CA & NY.

  5. How ridiculous! Maybe the states that don’t have to look up the definitions of some words are actually more polite! Because they already know what the words mean. I have never ever seen such a stupid way to “rank” anything.

    1. I am a native Tennessean. Tennessee used to be the very picture of what was once known as “Southern hospitality” and good manners. Then over the last couple of years we’ve become inundated by typically rude Yankees from Illinois, New York, and California. They’ve brought their borish self-absorbed ways with them making here more like there. We natives wish they would go home and let us again be a place where people are friendly.

  6. What a stupid article. And I’m usually very polite, so much so that I don’t even have to look up how to say it like the fools from Montana must.

  7. While I wouldn’t use search terms to suggest which state is more polite, I CERTAINLY wouldn’t suggest extrapolating the IPPOSITE either. Anyone trying to suggest California is polite because they search the least, or that Montana is stupid for “thinking there’s a person in their computer” (nice casual prejudice you filthy yankie) is equally as flawed as the site claims are.

    Montanners are likely far more polite than most of the country, they are spared much of the bitter angst of the costal cities and have a lot of land to themselves. Given I live in California, how polite people are is a direct relationship to how close to the cities they live. The closer, the worse the people. Gee, I wonder what’s causing that loss of community around the state 😉

Comments are closed.