California English Slang San Francisco The Bay Area

English Instagram Vocabulary + the 5 Most Instagrammed Places in SF

March 10, 2017
English Instagram Vocabulary

Do you post photos to Instagram? If so, are you familiar with English Instagram vocabulary?

Social media is an important way for us to connect and share our thoughts and experiences. It also contributes to many new words: as more and more technology is invented, English expands! One of the most popular social media sites, Instagram, is famous for sharing photos. Are you on Instagram? As an IEC@DVC student, have you visited the 5 most Instagrammed places in San Francisco? Check them out (in photos, and in person)! 

The five most Instagrammed places in San Francisco

1. The Golden Gate Bridge

This well-known piece of architecture has become the symbol of the City by the Bay: it is not a surprise that this structure is the #1 most photographed place in San Francisco!

Have you crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and explored what’s on the other side? Charming Sausalito is definitely worth a day trip! Before making this trip across the bridge, be sure to read our post on phrasal verbs with “cross.”

2. AT&T Park

The home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team is also the second most Instagrammed place in SF. Perhaps it’s all of those World Series wins? The Giants have won an impressive amount of World Series titles in the last few years: they won in 2010, 2012, and 2016!

3. Union Square

Union Square is the center of activity for downtown San Francisco: the plaza is surrounded by department stores, boutiques, gift shops, art galleries, beautiful hotels, and theaters! Check out our guide to shopping in SF for some more information about this unique and cosmopolitan place. If you’re an IEC@DVC student during the holidays, be sure to also go ice skating here!

4. Ocean Beach

Surfers know that Ocean Beach is the perfect spot to catch some waves*, but San Franciscans who prefer to stay dry also love Ocean Beach: it’s where many people go to have beach bonfires** throughout the year!

* catch some waves = an expression that means “go surfing”
** bonfires = large fires, usually on the beach. Friends socialize around the fire late at night. 

5. Dolores Park

A post shared by Tae hyun🙉 (@xoqhddl) on

Where do San Franciscans go on a sunny day? Mission Dolores Park! The park is a beautiful location for a picnic. Its tennis courts, basketball courts, and soccer fields also make it a wonderful place for sports. Throughout the year, the park hosts many events and festivals.

English Instagram Vocabulary

Do you know the words on this English Instagram vocabulary list? Try to use this vocab as you post your photos on your account.


Definition: “pic” is short for the word “picture”

Example: Nice pic! Is this from the Mission District?


Definition 1: the words written below a photo

Example: I don’t know what caption to put on this photo.

Definition 2: a verb meaning “to add a caption to a photo”

Example: How should I caption this pic?


Definition: slang for “picture”

Example: Look at this shot I took of the sunset!


Definition: slang for “to take” a photo

Example: I snapped a few pictures yesterday when I was at the Embarcadero. Want to see them?

Instagram (as a verb)

Definition: to post a photo on Instagram

Example: Did you Instagram the photo from last night?


Definition: the collection of images on a person’s account

Example: I love your gallery. The images are all so beautiful.


Definition: the choices for altering an image’s colors, tones, etc.

Example: Which filter should I use: Amaro or Valencia?

To apply (a filter)

Definition: the verb used for filters is “apply” (or “use”)

Example: This is amazing. Did you apply a filter or is this without any filter?


Definition: slang for “self portrait”

Example: I never, ever take selfies! OK . . . sometimes I do.


Definition 1: a popular app that allows someone to alter their face so that they look different: thinner, with more perfect skin, etc.

Example: I think he uses Facetune on his selfies. His skin looks so perfect.

Definition 2: the verb meaning “to apply Facetune to photos”

Example: Did you Facetune this photo?


Definition: a software used to alter images; now, this is a common term used when someone alters a photo

Example: These days, companies are using Photoshop less and less. (noun)

Example: You can see that he photoshopped that pic. (verb)


Keep learning: use the post in the classroom!


Do you have an Instagram account? Why or why not?

How much time do you think you spend on social media each day? Do you consider this to be a lot?

What are some of the most interesting Instagram accounts that you follow? What is so interesting about this account or person?

Do you consider yourself to be a good photographer? Why or why not?

Do you consider yourself to be photogenic? Why or why not?

*photogenic = you look good in photos


“Instagram” is the name of a company, but the word is also a verb. What other verbs do we have from technology?


What other words do you know in English that are actually words of brands, but are now also the commonly used name for the product? (Here are some hints: Qtips, Kleenex, and Band-aid are three common ones!)


People argue that social media is a waste of time because we present a specific version of ourselves, an “online us,” that is not authentic. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons to support your opinion.


Information about the 5 most Instagrammed places in SF comes from Thrillist. Cover photo is from Pixabay. All other photos are from Instagram.



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