New York Slang

David Jyrsby

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new york slang

Hey there, language aficionados! Ready to take a delightful dive into the witty world of New York slang? Brace yourselves, because we’re about to unravel the mystery behind iconic phrases like “fuhgeddaboudit” and “deadass.” The multicultural metropolis of the Big Apple is not only known for its towering skyscrapers and yellow cabs but also for its unique language – a vibrant mix of playful and infectious slang that adds an extra dash of charm to the city’s eclectic vibes. So, let’s gear up to decode the humorous and quirky slang of NYC!

“Fuhgeddaboudit”: A Classic Catchphrase!


First up, let’s delve into the depths of the beloved catchphrase “fuhgeddaboudit.” At first glance, it might seem like a nonsensical combination of letters, but fear not, my friends – there’s a method to the madness!

Originating from Italian-American communities in New York, this phrase, loosely translated as “forget about it,” carries a versatile range of meanings depending on the context. Picture this: you’re in awe of a breathtaking view of the city skyline, and a friend asks if they should take a picture. Your response? “Fuhgeddaboudit!” In this case, it means “Don’t bother – it’s beyond words.”

But wait, there’s more! This phrase can also be used to dismiss something or as a playful form of saying “no.” For example, if someone suggests going on a diet and you’re not feeling it, you might exclaim, “Fuhgeddaboudit! Life’s too short for salads!” And just like that, you’ve mastered the art of using “fuhgeddaboudit” in its various forms.

Also read: Australian slang

“Deadass”: A Word with Incredible Versatility!


Now, let’s shine the spotlight on a word that’s taken the streets of NYC by storm – “deadass.” This little gem has made its way into the linguistic hearts of New Yorkers everywhere, and it’s no wonder why!

The beauty lies in the versatility of “deadass.” Originating from African-American Vernacular English, it has become an everyday staple in the New York vernacular. Whether you’re expressing disbelief, sincerity, or pure seriousness, “deadass” is there for you at every turn.

Imagine you’re recounting an unbelievable story about a celebrity encounter. To emphasize the authenticity, you may conclude with a resolute “And I’m deadass serious!” This mighty word lends credence to your tale, sealing the deal with an air of truth.

Moreover, “deadass” serves as an intensifier, adding flavor and emphasis to your statements. Feeling truly exasperated after waiting an hour for a bus that never showed up? A solid “I’ve been waiting here for an hour, deadass!” conveys your frustration perfectly.

This versatile term effortlessly blends into various social situations, both online and offline. Want to confirm plans with a friend? Text them, “We still on for brunch, deadass?” Rest assured, this multi-purpose word will make you feel like a true New Yorker in no time!

Say What? Let’s Dive into the Diverse Slang Pool of NYC!

New York slang extends far beyond a couple of catchy phrases. It’s a whole language in itself, with different words and expressions popping up in unique contexts. So, let’s take a moment to explore some of the most delightful slang this city has to offer!

Fashion Mecca Vocabulary: Embrace the “Drip”!

Picture yourself walking down the streets of NYC, decked out in an incredible outfit, and someone compliments your impeccable style. In response, you say, “Thanks! I’m serving some serious drip today!”

Here’s the deal – in the realm of fashion, “drip” refers to a person’s impeccable and stylish clothing. It portrays a high level of confidence and swag, indicating that your fashion choices are on point and deserve serious recognition.

Another gem within New York slang is “spicy.” If someone tells you that your outfit is spicy, it means you’re taking risks and making a bold statement with your style. So, spice it up and embrace the fashion-forward language of the Big Apple!

Also read: Irish slang

Bon Appétit: Decoding Foodie Slang

When it comes to the food scene, New Yorkers have perfected the art of slang. Want to grab a hot dog from a street vendor? You’ll be asking for a delicious “sabrett.” Need a slice of pizza for quick nourishment? Just walk into any pizzeria and request that heavenly triangle of cheesy goodness.


But hold up, there’s more deliciousness in store! If you ever come across a cart selling “dirty water dogs,” don’t worry – it’s not as questionable as it sounds! “Dirty water dogs” are simply the affectionate term used for the famous New York hot dogs that are boiled in water and served with an array of mouthwatering toppings. They’re a must-try for anyone exploring the city’s culinary delights!

Transportation Tales: Navigating the Concrete Jungle

Now that you’re fueled up with fabulous fashion and tasty treats, let’s shift gears and talk about transportation. New York City has an extensive subway system, and part of mastering the local slang involves understanding the everyday terms used to navigate this concrete jungle.

When someone says they’re taking the “train” or the “subway,” they’re referring to the same thing – the underground metro system. However, the subway is intertwined with various lines labeled with numbers or letters, and locals might casually throw out phrases like “I’m taking the 6 train uptown” or “Meet me at the A train station.” So, remember to brush up on those subway lines before embarking on your New York adventure!

Learn from the OGs: Famous New York Movie Quotes!

As if the city’s slang weren’t already iconic enough, New York has also left an indelible mark on the silver screen. Some of the most memorable movie quotes originated right here in the Big Apple!

Who can forget Dustin Hoffman’s iconic line from “Midnight Cowboy” when he walks across a New York street and a taxi almost hits him? “Hey, I’m walkin’ here!” he exclaims, asserting his position as a true New Yorker – a moment forever etched in cinematic history.

And of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s powerful line from “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” – “I’ll be back” – has become part of our cultural lexicon, thanks to the enduring popularity of action-packed films set in the streets of New York.

These quotes, steeped in New York’s linguistic history, provide us with a rich tapestry of slang to draw from. Incorporating them into your conversations adds a touch of movie magic to your everyday life!

Swag-Infused Language: Embrace the New York Swagger!

When it comes to using New York slang, it’s essential to strike a balance between adopting the lingo and being authentic. Confidence is key – embrace the city’s swagger and sprinkle some slang into your speech. But remember, don’t be a “try-hard.” Let it flow naturally, and soon enough, you’ll be slinging phrases like a New York native!

Also read: British slang

Embrace the Culture: Understand the History

Language is deeply tied to culture, and New York slang is no exception. To truly master the nuances of the city’s slang, take a moment to understand its history and its diverse communities. Explore the stories and experiences that birthed this unique linguistic tapestry. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural fabric, and the language will come alive in surprising ways.

Conclusion: Speak Like a True New Yorker!

And there you have it, my word-wielding comrades – a crash course in deciphering the vibrant tapestry of New York slang! Armed with the secret meanings of phrases like “fuhgeddaboudit” and “deadass,” you’re ready to roam the streets of the Big Apple with confidence. Embrace the fashion, relish the mouthwatering delicacies, and navigate the city’s transportation system like a seasoned pro. Incorporate legendary movie quotes into your conversations and let your language take on a New York swagger. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to sprinkle some slang into your daily lexicon – your fellow New Yorkers will salute your linguistic prowess! Stay lit and keep spreading those infectious New York vibes, folks!

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