Outside (Alaska)

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In the U.S. state of Alaska, Outside refers to any non-Alaska location,[1] most often referring to other U.S. states.[2][3] The term has been in use since at least the beginning of the 20th century and is believed to be an adaptation of a similar Canadian term used in the northern portion of that country and referring to southern Canada.[4] The expression is typically used in an adverbial phrase following some form of the word "go", but it is also used as a simple noun.[4] Examples would include,

  • "Bob and Francis took their children on vacation Outside last year; they visited relatives in the Midwest and the Deep South."
  • "When I met Ronald, he was the first white person I'd met who was fluent in Yupik, so it came as a big surprise to learn that he was actually born Outside."

An early usage of the term is in Through the Yukon Gold Diggings, by Josiah Spurr, published in Boston in 1900.[5] Usage continues today, particularly in publications away from Southcentral Alaska and Anchorage.[6][7] The inverse of the term ("Inside") is infrequently used.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Princess Tours. "Learn to 'speak Alaskan'", Princesslodges.com. Accessed Oct. 4, 2009.
  2. ^ Richardson, Jeff (February 13, 2014). "Former Alaska territorial Gov. Stepovich badly injured in fall". Fairbanks, AK: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Retrieved 2014-02-14. Although Mike Stepovich and his wife, Matilda, moved Outside about 30 years ago, the former governor maintained close ties to the Interior. The Stepovich children were all born in Fairbanks, with the exception of Nick, who was born in Juneau while his father served as governor.
  3. ^ Leibovich, Mark. "Sarah Palin is Vocal and Ready ... but for What?", The New York Times. Feb. 5, 2010. Accessed Feb. 5, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Tabbert, Russell (1991). Dictionary of Alaskan English. Denali Press. p. 30. ISBN 0938737236.
  5. ^ Spurr, Josiah Edward (1900). Through the Yukon Gold Diggings: A Narrative of Personal Travel. Eastern Publishing. p. 156. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 'When did you leave the Outside?' asked a blue-eyed, blond, shaggy man. (The Outside means anywhere but Alaska—a man who has been long in the country falls into the idea of considering himself in a kind of a prison, and refers to the rest of the world as lying beyond the door of this.)
  6. ^ Dillon, R.A. "Outside money pouring into Alaska elections"[permanent dead link], Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. August 16, 2008. Accessed Oct. 4, 2009.
  7. ^ Wener, Bob. "Do-gooders" Archived 2009-03-30 at the Wayback Machine, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. March 26, 2009. Accessed October 4, 2009.
  8. ^ Tabbert, Russell (1991). Dictionary of Alaskan English. Denali Press. p. 46. ISBN 0938737236.