New York Slang II

According to the Urban Dictionary, SLANG (noun) is "a type of language that consists of words and phrases that are regarded as very informal, are more common in speech than writing, and are typically restricted to a particular context or group of people."

So what are the more common informal words and phrases spoken by New Yorkers. Like every other large cultural center, New York City has slang words, jargon, and abbreviations that are unique to the Big Apple. Learning the meaning of those words and phrases will be helpful if you are planning on visiting the city for any length of time. Also, some of them are just for fun. So take a look at our growing list of New York City slang, jargon, and abbreviations, and learn how to talk like a New Yorker.


In New York, pie means just one thing: pizza


Schlep, oy, schvitz, etc. – If it’s Yiddish, we say it. Your religion, ethnicity or state of origin doesn’t matter—all New Yorkers are a little bit Jewish. Similarly: agita, mozzarella, prosciutto, etc., because all New Yorkers are also a little bit Italian.

Yooz – A plural form of you. Sometimes takes the form: “yooz guys.”

Schmear – A lot of cream cheese. As in, “Can I getta a bagel with schmear?”

Northwest corner, southeast corner, etc. – Manhattan’s nearly perfect grid system means that, when meeting friends, we get very specific. There’s no “I’ll come get you on the corner of 14th and Broadway,” because guess what? There are four corners there. 


"Meet you on 59th and 5th"


Triborough Bridge, Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, etc. – Proud New Yorkers refuse to refer to renamed landmarks by their new names. The Triborough will never be the RKF (no disrespect, Bobby). The Hugh L. Carey Tunnel? We say nay. The Ed Koch Bridge? We’ve already got two choices—the 59th Street and the Queensboro Bridge—and we like them just fine, thanks. Extra points if you still call the FDR the “East River Drive” and Kennedy Airport “Idlewild.” You, my friend, are a retro rock star.

The city – Manhattan. For example, you go into the “the city” on the weekend to pick up towel rods from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

On line – in line. As in, “I waited on line for seven hours to get Shakespeare in the Park tickets. It was totally worth it.”

Fuhgedaboudit – A speed-up pronunciation of “Forget about it.” Meant to mean “No way!” or “Definitely!”


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