Pogue Life
The Kooks of 'Outer Banks'

Consider This Your Outer Banks Vocabulary Lesson

Don’t be a Kook.

Originally Published: 

If there's one thing you need to know about Outer Banks, it's that Pogue life is the best life. But the Pogues aren't the only ones to pay attention to on the Netflix hit. So, if you've been eyeing Topper, Rafe, and their crew, you're probably curious about what the word "Kook" actually means, and why Outer Banks decided to call them that.

In the first episode of the series, John B. (Chase Stokes) explained the class divide in his coastal town (which is set in the barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina). First, there are the Pogues, the category he and his friends fall into. They reside in the southern side of the island ("The Cut") and are considered the working class. They make their living "busing tables, washing yachts, running charters." The teens who live there don't have much money and are "ignored and neglected," but they basically live a life of freedom in which they can do whatever they want, whenever they want.

But John B.'s hometown isn't homogenous. "It's the kind of place where you have two jobs or two houses. Two tribes, one island," he said on the show. The other side of the island, "Figure Eight" is where the other group, known as "The Kooks," reside.

The Kooks live in an area full of golf courses, ranch homes, and expensive yachts. John B. describes them as "rich trustafarian posers," so naturally, they're the enemy of the Pogues. But how did they get the name "Kook"?

According to GQ, a Kook is "an individual with no understanding of the social and sartorial norms of surfing." In Outer Banks world, that can be taken literally, since surfing is a common pastime among the Pogues, but it can also be seen in a more general way: In the show, the Kooks may have the best boats, boards, and equipment, but the Pogues don't think that means they're better than anyone else. While the class differences might be enough to make the two groups not see eye-to-eye, it's the attitude toward each other that really sparks the feuds.

Though both slang terms can (and are) used derogatorily, they're also points of pride when characters are talking about their own identities. The one thing they have in common? Both the Pogues and the Kooks have major attachments for their town, their friends, and their identities. Oh, and they're also all really, really hot.

Outer Banks is streaming on Netflix.

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