14 Popular slang words of New York and their meaning

14 Popular slang words of New York and their meaning

Urban centers are known for their routine and slang words. Every city has some kind of routine. One of the most observed routines in New York is that people tend to eat their breakfast on the go. As far as the people in New York City are concerned, they are performers of these routines. They are called human clocks because they tend to do specific things at a precise time every day. People work like a clock for other people who are following some other clock.

Just like the routine, a city has some special slang words. When you travel or start living in a new city, you need to learn slang words more than anything. Slang is more important because it talks about the pop-culture of that city. Below are some of the points which tell why slang is important:

  • Helps you with greater learning opportunities: You have to immerse yourself completely when learning a new language. Songs, movies, and books will assist you but slang words will take you far. If you understand the slang words then you will learn the language faster. Take, for example, the word “son” – son is a slang used in New York and it means good friend, dude, bro, buddy, etc.
  • Helps you stay current: Whether you are living in the city or scrolling down the twitter, slang is unavoidable. Various studies have shown that more than 60% of students use slang on a daily basis. So, learning slang will help you stay current regarding what is happening around you. This will also teach you the evolution of the language.
  • It can help you avoid a faux pas: Slang can help you avoid an embarrassing act or remark in a social situation. When you know the slang then you can avoid offending a lot of people. Learn the language first and learn slang along with it. Once you have a good understanding of the language, the communication becomes simpler.

It might be difficult at first to understand what the people are speaking in New York. People speak quickly and New Yorkers have developed their own unique slang over the years. Some of the slangs are attributed to the immigrants that settled in New York and others are of the culture of the city. Below are some of the popular slang words, acronyms, and colloquialisms in New York City:

  • Bodega: It means the corner grocery store. The word is Spanish and it means cellar. The word was popularized by the Hispanic community in the 1940s. The stores which have a little bit of everything, including snacks, beverages, and household necessities are Bodega.
  • Stoop: Stoop means the outdoor staircase which leads into the apartment building. The origins of this word come from a Dutch word stoep, it meant sitting bench in front of the house. Stoop is commonplace for hanging out with friends and neighbors in the evening.
  • The City: When New Yorkers say city it means they are referring to Manhattan.
  • A Hero: If you order a sandwich from a corner store or deli, they will ask if you want it like a roll or a hero. A hero is a term for a long sandwich.
  • Beef: If you are having any food-related thought then you are wrong. In New York Beef means to have a grudge or a fight. If someone has a grudge against anyone it will be called Beef.
  • Cop: Cop means to buy. A conversation of a New Yorker might be like this: I am looking to cop this dress or book, what do you think?
  • A bagel with Schmear: Bagels are pretty common in the life of a New Yorker. It is served with a thick layer of cream cheese. If you order bagel “with schmear” you will be served a bagel with a hefty spread of cream cheese. This word has Yiddish origins.
  • B & T: It stands for Bridge and Tunnel. A B & T person travels into the city from outside the main Manhattan area.
  • Tight: Tight is a popular slang word in different cities. In New York, it means to be upset. If someone is upset then the word Tight is used as slang. I was tight that day because of my boss.
  • Wait on line: At first it might sound wrong but this is a slang used in New York for waiting in the line. It can be used like this: Next person on the line, next on line step forward, etc.
  • Thirsty: The slang means to act desperate. It does not mean craving for water or any drink.
  • Dead Ass: This is the most slang used by the New Yorkers. It means someone is serious or acting seriously.
  • Brick: Winters in New York City are very cold and brick means extreme cold. The slang is kind of self-explanatory. If you are cold then you might be like a brick or fixed.

Any city has a language of its own when it comes to communication. People look for the cues and understand the meaning. Slang words are nothing but a portion of the communication of the City. When you are traveling or learning a new language, you have to learn the slang words with it. Slang words help you stay current and help you understand the person better.

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