40 Must-Know New York Slang Terms!

Want to sound like a true New Yorker? Test your knowledge with our list of popular New York slang words and phrases.

New York City is one of the most well-known metropolitan areas in the world. As the most densely populated city in the United States, it has over 8 million residents living in just over 300 square miles of land. It is also one of the most diverse cities in America, and as a result, New York citizens have developed their own special language. New York slang is influenced by the many different languages spoken throughout the city, as well as the various cultures and countries represented.

New York’s unique lingo is just a part of its special culture, but it’s a big part. We’ve listed 40 popular slang terms below to get you started on your NY language journey!

 

1) Son – a close friend
E.g. “You want to hang out later, son?”

 

2) Na’mean – an abbreviated way to say, “Do you know what I mean?”
E.g. “He’s really trippin’ today, na’mean?”

 

3) Trip/Trippin’ – to act dramatic or exaggerate
E.g. “I know you’re upset, but stop trippin’!”

 

4) I’m good. – to let someone know you’re doing OK
E.g. “You survive last night?” “I’m good.”

 

5) Get outta here! – to express disbelief
E.g. “She’s moving back to the city? Get outta here!”

 

6) Chill out scrap! – to tell a close friend that they need to calm down
E.g. “Chill out scrap, it’s not worth a fight!”

 

7) The ‘hood – can mean neighborhood, usually a low-income area; can also mean that someone is gangsta
E.g. “You wanna come to my ‘hood later?” Or, “Don’t mess with that guy, he’s hood.”

 

8) Kicks – sneakers
E.g. “Check out my new kicks, yo!”

 

9) Yo! – Hello, or to call attention or express affirmation
E.g. “Yo, how you’ve been, my G?”

 

10) Hooptie – a beat up, old car
E.g. “I wouldn’t be caught dead in that hooptie!”

Next: 50 British Slangs You Need to Learn Immediately

 

11) We out! – to indicate that you and your friends are leaving
E.g. “I’ve gotta get home. We out!”

 

12) What it do? – to ask what’s up or what someone’s doing
E.g. “Hey, man, what it do?”

 

13) My G – a close friend; also short for gangster
E.g. “What up, my G?”

 

14) What’s good? – What’s up? Or “What are you doing?”
E.g. “What’s good?” “Not much, just chillin’.”

 

15) Ace – really good
E.g. “That new movie is ace!”

 

16) Basic – someone or something that is boring or unoriginal
E.g. “She’s not really my type. She’s way too basic.”

 

17) Bet – acknowledging someone’s response, similar to OK
E.g. “Everything good with you?” “Bet.”

 

18) Book it – to hurry or run away
E.g. “The city is too hot in the summer. Let’s book it out of here.”

 

19) Bussin’ – extremely awesome or great
E.g. “That diner has bussin’ coffee!”

 

20) Cat – a spiteful person, usually an older lady
E.g. “That mean old cat called the manager on me again!”

 

21) Clipped – over with or done
E.g. “My life is going to be clipped if I miss work tomorrow.”

 

22) Bridge and Tunnel – refers to anyone from outside of New York City, usually New Jersey
E.g. “That guy’s definitely a Bridge and Tunnel.”

 

23) Waiting on line – waiting in line or waiting in a queue
E.g. “I’ve been waiting on line forever for a taxi.”

 

24) Grimey – a descriptive word for a back stabber
E.g. “He’s mad grimey, son. Don’t trust him.”

 

25) You woulda thought – a more interesting way to say no
E.g. “You woulda thought I was going to lend you money!”

Next: 101 Philosophical Questions – The Big Questions

 

26) Facts – something that is absolutely true
E.g. “That’s a fact, yo.”

 

27) Wavy – something that is cool or awesome
E.g. “He looks so wavy in that Mustang Fastback!”

 

28) Flying rats – pigeons
E.g. “These flying rats keep trying to steal my hero!”

 

29) Plain slice – a slice of New York pizza with just cheese
E.g. “A plain slice, please!”

 

30) Straphanger – someone who rides the subway
E.g. “Should we get a taxi?” “Nah, we’re all straphangers.”

 

31) Hero – any sandwich on oblong bread
E.g. “My favorite hero is eggplant parmigiana.”

 

32) Schtick – a person’s gimmick or signature behavior
E.g. “Everyone knows Taylor Swift’s schtick is writing songs about ex-boyfriends.”

 

33) Tea – the truth, in a gossipy format
E.g. “Oh, girl, you need to spill the tea about what’s going on with those two!”

 

34) Homeslice – a friend; a fun way of saying “homie”
E.g. “Hey, homeslice! What it do?”

 

35) Peep this – watch this; check this out
E.g. “Peep this new movie theater in Times Square!”

 

36) Scrap – to fight someone
E.g. “I thought they were about to scrap the other night!”

 

37) Shorty – a loving way of referring to a beautiful woman
E.g. “Did you get that shorty’s number?”

 

38) SoHo – a part of New York City that is south of Houston Street
E.g. “I’m heading to SoHo for lunch tomorrow.”

 

39) Timbs – a specific brand of shoe worn by men (Timberlands)
E.g. “I have to get new Timbs for the winter.”

 

40) What’s the word? – a way to ask someone what’s going on
E.g. “What’s the word?” “Just heading downtown to get a plain slice.”

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