When the phone companies first unveiled area codes in the 1940s, they probably never anticipated those randomly-selected numbers would end up tattooed on people's arms, or shouted out in celebration after somebody shotguns a beer.
But somewhere along the way, the three digits that help folks from other towns get a hold of you on the phone (novel concept, right?) have become a HUGE source of pride, and as much a part of our identities as our choice of beer or Starbucks order. And since that great urban philosopher Christopher Bridges (a.k.a the 404's greatest rapper, Ludacris) sent shout-outs to all of America's best prefixes in his classic song “Area Codes,” we thought it'd be fun to explain exactly what those three numbers say about you.
You own a Chipper Jones jersey T, but haven’t been to a game since 2012. Doesn't matter though, these three numbers give you the most street cred in all of the ATL. 678? Hahaha, no thanks.
You spend more time on I-285 than you do with your family. Or, you just never bother going into Atlanta and can't wait until the Braves move to Cobb County.
New York City, NY
You actually DID live in Brooklyn before it was cool.
You’re giving the number to whatever government office you work in, because nobody lives in DC long enough to actually have a 202 number.
You saw Hustle & Flow and immediately thought having this area code gave you street cred.
You are involved in some kind of shady business that you can’t really explain, but it probably involves automatic weapons and/or illegally imported parrots.
You work in finance, live in River North, and go to places like Rockit because you wanna hook up with women who're into Patrick Kane, and that's where they hang out hoping he’ll show up.
At some point, you’ve burnt something down. Or at least watched something burn down -- as entertainment.
You’ve been in a physical altercation at a sporting event, and are impressed by the friendly people and clean streets of New York.
You definitely know at least four dudes on active NFL rosters. And if you don’t, you lie and say you do.
Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads, VA
You’re either an OCD professional buzzkill or an out-of-control head case. Both are because your parents were in the military.
You will answer the phone with an accent that nobody outside the Mid-Atlantic region can accurately place. And you talk incessantly about how they shot The Wire right down the street from your apartment.
New Orleans, LA
You talk with a really cool accent and enjoy a glass of bourbon with breakfast.
Your leased Lexus and 4000sqft McMansion are the only joys in your life, as your “big night out” usually involves taking your eight kids to Chili’s.
You consider boots formal attire. And are possibly a billionaire.
St. Louis, MO
You are overly friendly. Until someone brings up the Cubs/suggests you drink Miller Lite.
You actually don’t fake tan, own an IROC, or use excessive amounts of hair gel. That’s why you tell people you’re from Philly.
New York, NY
You mistakenly think people are impressed by your area code. Or even know what it is.
Downtown Los Angeles, CA
You perpetually justify where you live in terms of its proximity to other stuff. “No, seriously, it’s only an hour and a half from San Fran AND Tahoe!”
San Francisco, CA
This number actually goes to a tablet, MacBook, or Google voice account.
When the fast pace of big city life got to be too much, you got hitched and settled down in a place whose greatest claims to fame are Ric Flair and NASCAR. Then you found out it actually IS a big city, and not Atlanta Lite like everybody promised.
You’re one of the few people who can say they’re from Seattle and don’t actually mean Federal Way or Kirkland. And your house is worth three times more than it would be six miles away.
You’ve chosen to live on an island six hours from everything for a reason. Which means you’re at least a little bit insane and will end every sentence with an uncomfortably intense “brah.”
You’re glad you got out of Cleveland.
Las Vegas, NV
You’re either a stripper or a professional gambler. Either way, not somebody to be trusted with any kind of financial information.
There’s a decent chance your cholesterol is higher than your area code.
You have Tom Petty/John Mellencamp lyrics written somewhere on your social media pages, and you not-so-secretly root for the Broncos.
You probably think you’re old money but somehow still live at a 1:1 debt-to-income ratio, no doubt because you grossly overpaid for an 1,800sqft house built in 1962.
You get personally offended when people talk about cities with the worst traffic and Houston isn’t immediately mentioned.
You have openly sobbed after a college football game. Like sad piccolo girl kinda crying.
You are far more genteel and refined than those backwoods hilljacks in 256, 334, and 251, mostly because you’re from Birmingham. Or, you know, like two counties away from Birmingham.
Baton Rouge, LA
You find bib overalls to be the most versatile clothing item on the planet; perfect for weddings, LSU football games, and chasing tornadoes.
You own something with “the Flag” on it. Possibly an entire wardrobe.
You either walk around with a sweater tied around your neck, or have made multiple appearances on The Maury Show.
You drink more PBR than a guy in skinny jeans on a fixed gear bike, on his way to band practice in the 'burg.
You smell like cow manure. Unless you’re Warren Buffet, because then everything you do smells like roses.
Maryland - DC Suburbs
Enjoy your Red Line ride home to Silver Spring. Your parents will be waiting up for you.
You really resent that you have to share a state with Miami, and like to remind people that Florida was part of the confederacy. But your city really doesn’t suck as much as people think.
You’ve eaten at every single chain restaurant in existence and spent your formative years at Mall at Millenia. You've been to Disney once.
You’re either an extremely hot coed at FSU, or you play a banjo in the swamp between shifts at Piggly Wiggly.
You live waaaaaaay too far out in the ‘burbs to be taken seriously by anyone with a 312 number. Even if you are from Oak Park.
You think the rest of Kentucky is pretty much a bunch of hicks who talk funny. Which is, more or less, what people think of you when you say the name of your city.