Crispy, crunchy sauerkraut balls

Akron Glossary

What the hell is a devil strip?

by Andrew Leask

Are you a Northeast Ohio newbie? A lifelong local? Whether you’re a tried and true townie, or simply a passer-on-through, you may have noticed certain terms particular to the Akron argot.

Akronite | ‘A-krə-nīt | noun

One of the approximately 200,000 residents of Akron, Ohio.  

Yolanda is a born and bred Akronite; she attended Saint V and gets her burgers at Swenson’s.

Cuyahoga Falls | U.S. kī-yŭ-‘hō-gə fälz, AKR. ‘kô-gə fälz | noun

Akron’s neighbor to the north, and the second largest city in Summit County. Notable, among other things, for being home to the Blossom Music Center. Perplexingly to outsiders, local pronunciation of “Cuyahoga” can fall anywhere along a spectrum between “KOG-ah” to KAI-yah-hoe-gah.”

Terry is from Cuyahoga Falls, so it’s almost like he’s from Akron… Almost.

Devil Strip | ‘dĕ-vəl strĭp | noun

  1. The patch of dirt or grass separating the street from the sidewalk.

Terry, keep your lousy dog off my devil strip!

  1. Akron’s premier arts and culture publication.

The Devil Strip is not above petty self-flattery.

Jojo | ‘jō-jō | noun

A potato wedge, but come on, how boring is that? Potato wedge? You might as well call hot dogs “meat tubes,” or pizzas “cheesy bread circles.” Forget that.

Keep your stodgy potato wedges, rest of the country; the people of Akron will forever eat their fried chicken with a side of jojos.

King James | king jāmz | noun

The first citizen of Akron: the immaculate, the inimitable, the untouchable LeBron James.

That imbecile Terry said he thought King James was from Cleveland, so I threw my jojos at him.

Lock | läk | noun

A section of canal where the water level can be raised or lowered in order to move ships to or from different elevations. Several locks of the former Ohio and Erie Canal are within Akron city limits.

Lock 3 Park in downtown Akron has popular events throughout the year, including summer concerts and a winter ice skating rink.


angry olivesOlive Jar | ‘äl-iv jär | noun

An essential, albeit pricey, element of home decoration.

Things are tight this month, and I may have to lay off some of my staff, but Scott tells me my Fairlawn mansion’s décor is simply not complete without this $600 olive jar.


Sauerkraut Ball | sou-ər-krout bôl | noun

A golden, deep-fried nugget of German heritage heaven. It boasts all the deliciousness of sauerkraut without the inconvenience or disappointingly low calorie count.

Tired of getting his hands wet every time he tried to eat his sauerkraut without a fork, Hans decided to bread it and deep fry it, because America. Thus was the sauerkraut ball born.


Square | thə skwĕr | noun

  1. (As in: The Square) The Highland Square neighborhood of Akron.

Terry’s dog is loose in the Square again.

  1. a popular LGBT-friendly bar in Highland Square.

Yolanda is cutting loose in Square again.


Towpath | ‘tō-păth | noun

A popular multipurpose walking, hiking, and biking trail that stretches 41 miles through Summit County, including downtown Akron.

The Towpath Trail runs along what used to be the Ohio and Erie Canal.

//BIO: Andrew Leask will spend the winter hibernating under a big, warm blanket.