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.

About the Author

Sophia Naughton

Meet StudyFinds’ Associate Editor, Sophia Naughton. Sophia is a recent graduate 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.

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