I got off the 101


Senior Member

- Yeah, but I can't not be accessible on the internet and also up here with no cell phone reception for an entire weekend.
-Who cares? It's the weekend.
-When I got off the 101, I called Shauna (his wife). And I was like, okay, I'm going where there's no reception.

(from the movie: Joshy)
(Josh along with his friends Ari, Adam and Eric decide to spend the weekend, that was supposed to Josh's bachelor party, at a ranch)

What does is mean exactly: got off the 101?

Thanks in advance.
  • SwissPete

    Senior Member
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    It's a constant battle between southern California and northern California.

    It may be because southern California for a long time had freeways named after cities (presumably the cities they were going to or coming from): The San Diego Freeway, the Pomona freeway.
    People would say: "I take the San Diego freeway", but it soon got shortened to "I take the San Diego". Southern Californians never got out of the habit.
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    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I thought it was a bus too at first! And in the UK, motorways standardly take on the definite article ('drive up the M6'). (We use the article too in Singapore: 'drive up the ECP'.)


    Senior Member
    American English
    It is a (southern Californian's) description of getting off the highway known as U.S. Route 101 - Wikipedia onto local streets.
    (In northern California we would say "When I got off 101...")
    To add to that from the Wikipedia article on State highways in California:

    Nomenclature in California English
    One cultural difference between Northern and Southern Californians is that the latter tend to put "the" before highway numbers (e.g. "taking the 5 to L.A."), while the former use the number alone (e.g. "taking 80 to San Francisco") or less frequently, with "I-" in the case of interstate freeways. When the Southern California freeway system was built in the 1940s and early 1950s, local common usage was primarily the freeway name preceded by the definite article, such as "the Hollywood Freeway". It took several decades for Southern California locals to start to commonly refer to the freeways with the numerical designations, but usage of the definite article persisted. [cut] This did not occur in Northern California, where usage of the route numbers was more common.


    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Thanks - I sort of suspected that. In the Bay Area there is a freeway known as "The Nimitz" (I-880) and sometimes ""The Bayshore" (never quite sure what that is, the bay is lined by free/highways) but there aren't many (still) referred to by name.
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