Unwritten rules of Charlotte, NC

Tell us you’re from the Queen City without telling us you’re from the Queen City.

A view of Uptown Charlotte's tall buildings, two apartment complexes, and Bank of America Stadium from a high-rise in South End.

The Charlotte skyline looks good when the sun shines on a cloudless day.

Photo by CLTtoday

Whether you’re a Charlotte native or a newcomer, the Queen City has its own set of rules that locals understand to be second nature. Think: specific city knowledge, trends, and colloquialisms.

If you’re lucky enough to live in the 704, here are a few unwritten rules you may know to be true submitted by readers — and if you’re not from Charlotte, these might be a little difficult to explain.

The unspoken rule everyone knows
“It’s UPTOWN not downtown. When the town was starting Trade and Tryon were actually a relatively high point so people would travel up into town.” — Cynthia C.

“Avoid the crowds. Don’t go to the Dowd YMCA at 5 p.m.” — City Editor Jack

“It’s pronounced Hunters-vul, not Hunters-ville, Churr-vul, not Cherry-ville, Pine-vul, not Pine-ville, and last but not least, Lank-ist-er, not Lan-caster.” — City Editor Maria

“Would you like some tea? = sweet tea” — Sarah D.

We’re kind to our neighbors
“Wave when people walk by when you drive in your neighborhood.” + “If a kid refers to you as ma’am, it’s out of respect, not meaning you’re old.” — Paige S.

We’ve learned a thing or two from commuting
“If you’re traveling down I-77 S, pull into the far left lane when you drive past exits 9 A-C. The spot where exit 9 traffic re-joins I-77 is a mess, and it’s best to stay far out of the way if possible.” — Julia A.

“It’s not required but it is really nice when you wave a polite ‘thank you’ in traffic.” — @shezbot

“When your light turns green, just sit there for 5 seconds. Especially when you get north of Sardis Road North and 74.” — @NHut94

“Beeping your car horn is NOT A THING here.” — @BestCatEva

Sometimes you just have to laugh
“Bless your heart” can be the sweetest thing you ever heard where someone really hates that something happened to you. Or it can be condescending where they feel a bit sorry for you and it is said out of sarcasm. It can be hard to discern.” — Amy S.

“If you get lost, just look for a road with the word Sharon in it and it will eventually lead you to Southpark Mall.” — @james88499r

“Cheerwine is Nectar from the Gods. It is blessed and holy. However it is NOT ‘wine.’” — Amanda L.

We love our food
“Only reason to go to Gastonia is Tony’s Ice Cream” — @wfoushee (Pro tip: order a chicken sandwich and milkshake. But if we’re being honest, everything we ate was delicious.)

“Brooks’ Sandwich House is a must visit in the first 30 days.” — Carol S.

“Don’t say that whatever mayonnaise-like substance you have back home is better than Duke’s.” — @wzl46 (They’re not wrong.)

Have another unwritten rule? Share it with us, and we might share it in the future.

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