Norcal Rage is what Southern Californians are subjected to for visiting, going to school in, or otherwise living in Northern California. One instance of Norcal Rage the mean-spirited, feverishly-pitched sermons against the practice of using the article "the" in conjunction with freeway names.

Behavior explanation

The explanations for such behavior vary, but one common observation among those who have studied the phenonemon is that Northern Californians believe that Southern Californians are going somehow to pollute, divert, steal or subvert their precious Norcal resources. The one resource that Southern California actually wants from Northern California is water. But some Northern Californians mistakenly believe that their "way of life," "culturedness," and "excellent weather" are sought after.

LA Case Study

This is not, of course, the case. LA residents are born, live, and die without Northern California's existence ever crossing their minds. If asked about the "rivalry," their normal reaction is confusion. Northern Californians visiting LA are usually treated with polite bemusement, as emissaries from a distant land that many believed mythical.

NoCal / SoCal

Noted (non-Californian) author William Gibson proposed the terms "NoCal" and "SoCal," but the former has obstinately refused to catch on.

See for reference: Two States.

A Different Look


A Discussion

  • I would say SoCal people have an equal distaste for Northern Californians. Look at their contempt for the world hella as well as their pride in being a larger metro. -JamesDawe
  • I don't think they have contempt for hella. I think they're just confused by it. It really is a strange word that creeps into just about every grammatical position. And I don't think SoCal is a metro area, and it's not like any superiority comes from that. I'll tell you what Southern Californians have pride in: they have great ethnic food and there's a lot of 24-hour restaurants. Invariably they really think San Francisco is cool. In short, I don't think there's any anti NorCal sentiment whatsoever. -JaimeRaba
  • The easiest way to find out is to ask one. - =P
  • I actually have seen a few of my SoCal friends using hella, now. At first, I was a little sad because I could see they were using something that was kind of strange to my ears, at the time. But, then, it started to grow on me. It still feels a little weird, so I don't actually use it, but I don't hate the word "hella" either. I think it's part of what cool and exciting about coming up north. - =)
  • When I first came up to Davis from San Diego, it was all Bay Area and central valley kids with more 'hellas' than you could shake a stick at. It didn't really bother me, I just thought of it as kind of strange and most definitely overused. That's probably the only objectionable thing about it - it's the most heard word in the local vocabulary. Then they started in with their 'heckas' and it went downhill from there. They asked me what I said instead, and I replied we didn't usually say anything there at all, lest it be 'fuckin' or 'super' or 'totally radical tubularly awesome dude'. I definitely think NorCal has a big chip on its shoulder about Southern California. Where does NorCal appropriate a lot of its California style from? It's definitely more preppy and more ghetto up here (more polarity - less blending), but I recognize NorCal is just as much California as Southern California. There's a big movement to get Southern California lifestyle (surf/skate/etc.)in NorCal, but the reverse is not true. A lot less layered shirts and Abercrombie on guys in San Diego.

Jaime hit it right on the mark when he said Southern California kids invariably think San Francisco is cool. As San Diego is not a very urban place, seeing and being able to hang out somewhere like The City (sometimes at appreciably small doses) is a very cool thing indeed. I would be hard pressed to say which place I like better between San Diego and San Francisco. The NorCal rage definitely caught me by surprise, and I can't say I wasn't a little pressed to assert my Southern California-ness. The whole feud is almost entirely unknown in San Diego, I think it's completely manufactured by the NorCal squads. Not to say there aren't some righteous people up here, but there's always the ones who have to give you the sour experience. I have a theory that it's all based on the weather. Not that seasons aren't nice, but being rained out and cloudy and twenty degrees colder than your brethren (b/c that's what they are) five hundred miles to the south who get all the recognition of being 'Californian' must sting or something. Never crossed my mind before I came up here. Whatever, I dig the locale, it's a nice change of pace. You need to broaden your experiences. Ya owe it to yaself.DanielMedinaCleghorn