Planning a trip and want to learn some of the best New York slang words for your visit? If so then you’ve come to the right place.
After all, I was born and raised here. Therefore, I have 30+ years of experience using the most popular NYC slang words of them all.
Therefore, I know exactly what you should and should not say if you want to look, act, and speak like a real New Yorker.
So, step away from the overly generic guidebook and find out what real New Yorkers actually say to one another. Because trust me when I tell you, we have some pretty cool New York City slang that you probably won’t encounter in any book, film or TV show that you binge on Netflix.
Whatever you do though, don’t overdo it and start speaking like a mobster from a hit film you just saw. Because a lot of these accents are incredibly overdone and basically a full-on caricature of what real New Yorkers actually sound like.
So, my biggest advice to you when using common New York slang words is that less is more. Do this and people will mistake you for a savvy local in no time.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
Is “Brick” a New York Slang Word?
Honestly, it totally cracks me up that this is actually a common question for anyone looking up New York slang words on Google.
But, to answer one of your most pressing queries about NYC slang, yes, “brick” really and truly is a word used by actual New Yorkers.
So, you’ll probably hear someone use it to emphasize just how insanely cold it is outside. However, it can be used to describe other things too, besides the weather.
In general, though, you’ll probably hear someone exclaim something like, “OMG, the weather is crazy brick right now.”
What is the Slang Name for New York?
Believe it or not, there are a ton of slang names for New York, aka the “Big Apple”. And some of these super snazzy nicknames include:
- The Capital of the World
- The Greatest City on Earth
- The City that Never Sleeps
- The City (see below for more info but this is what you should call NYC)
- The Big Apple
- The Greatest City in the World
- The Center of the Universe (typically used when referring to Times Square)
- The Empire City
- America’s City
- The City So Nice Nice They Named It Twice (aka New York, New York)
- The Five Boroughs (references the fact that NYC is made up of five boroughs that include the Bronx, Staten Island, Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn)
- Fun City
- The Melting Pot (because it’s so culturally diverse)
- New Amsterdam (It’s OG name back in the day when it was a Dutch colony)
- The Modern Gomorrah (an old-school nickname from when there was a ton of organized crime here)
Pro Tip: If you want to sound like a real New Yorker, then just refer to New York City as “The City”. Yeah, that’s basically what everyone here calls it.
What Words do New Yorkers Say Weird?
I’ve lived in the city for 30+ years. And I must admit, we definitely have a unique accent that results in the pronunciation of New York slang words in creative ways.
So, if want to sound like a “real New Yorker” here is a list of common words and how we pronounce them using NYC slang.
However, do be aware of the fact that the New York accent does vary greatly based on where people live within the city itself. So, while this is a rough guide to pronouncing common New York slang words, it is in no way comprehensive and can change from region to region.
- Dog = dawg
- Walk = wah-lk
- Talk = Taw-k
- Call – cah-awl
- Coffee = caw-fee
- Water = wah-ter
- Aleady = ah-ready
- Alright = awl-rite
- Airport = ayuh-paut
- Waiting “on line” = waiting in line
- Bird = ber-d
- Fear = fee-ah
- Huge = yooge
- Bacon Egg and Cheese = baconeggandcheese
- Forget About It = fuhgeddaboutit
- Long Island = Lah-onng Island
- Corner Store = bodega
- New Yorker = New Yawker
- Let me = lemme
- Here = hee-ah
- River = Riv-ah
- Fifty = fiddy
- Regardless = rah-gardless
- On = awn
- Nurse = nuhse
- Out of = outta
- Sure = shore
- Here = hee-ah
- Remove = rah-move
- Park = pak
- Sauna = saw-nah
Pro Tip: Don’t go crazy with the New York slang words. Because while it may be tempting to mimic how characters speak in movies and TV shows, those accents are usually insanely over the top.
As a result, they don’t really reflect how actual New Yorkers speak on a day-to-day basis. So, when using NYC slang, yes is usually more.
100+ New York Slang Words and Common NYC Slang to Use
Alright my New York slang words loving friend, are you ready to swan dive into this mega comprehensive guide to NYC slang?
Umm, heck yeah you are since this is the entire reason why you’re here. And trust me, we’ve got a lot of NYC slang to cover since we New Yorkers are a creative lot with a ton of unique phrases that we use on the reg.
But, if you stick with this guide to the best New York slang words of them all, who knows, you might even be mistaken for a REAL, local New Yorker. I know, totally crazy. But, it could happen.
1. Homeslice (n.) – NYC slang you use to refer to someone as a friend or as a “bro” or “homie”.
Ex: “What’s up homeslice? It’s mad good to run into ya”
2. Grill (v). – A New York slang word for when you stare at someone for a really long way in a disapproving way. Or, when asking someone questions aggressively, like you’re accusing them of something.
Ex: “My girl’s dad would not stop grilling me about where I was gonna take her this evening.”
3. Lit (adj.) – NYC slang that is used to describe something that is awesome or really cool.
Ex: “Yo, that party was mad-lit last night.”
4. Whack (adj.) – One of many New York slang words that are used to describe something that is terrible or really awful.
Ex: I wish I hadn’t gone to that party because it was whack.”
5. Real Talk (common phrase) – Used to emphasize what you’re about to say and to let someone know that it’s serious and that you’re not lying. Also one of those New York slang words lets someone know that what you’re about to say actually did happen.
Ex: “Real Talk? You should not be doing this right now because it’s gonna blow up in your face.”
6. Kid or Son (n.) – Another word for homie or a best friend. Can be used instead of homeslice or something similar.
Ex: “OMG son, what’s happening? I haven’t seen you in forever.”
7. Dub (n.) – Something that you really don’t like or don’t want to do. It can also be used as a verb if you want to reject someone.
Ex: “This party is a total dub. Let’s go and do something else.”
8. Cop (v.) – To purchase, steal, or get something from someone else.
Ex: “I need to cop some chips from the bodega. You need anything?”
9. Beef (n.) – To start a fight with someone or to have a grudge against someone.
Ex: ” Yeah, I have beef with her since she slept with my boyfriend.”
10. Bodega (n.) – A corner store or an independent convenience store (not a chain like 7-11) where you get things like chips, bread, soda, etc.
Ex: “I’m gonna grab some soda from the bodega. You want anything?”
11. Bridge and Tunnel (adj.) – This is one of the many New York slang words on this list that initially had a negative connotation and referred to class differences.
So, it was used to describe a lower-class person who lived outside of NYC and who had to use either a bridge or tunnel to get into Manhattan.
However, as the years have passed, this NYC slang has evolved to refer to someone who is culturally unaware and ignorant. So, maybe someone who was on the show Jersey Shore or who wants to be a reality TV star.
Ex: “She is so Bridge and Tunnel and wants to be just like Paris Hilton.”
12. Boujie (adj.) – Someone who is superficial and really only interested in mainstream things and who would be considered a vapid and shallow, “basic b*tch”.
Ex: “Dude, your girl is so boujie. All she wants to do is watch American Idol and shoot TikTok videos.”
13. Word to My (phrase) – Used to indicate that what you’re about to say is the absolute truth.
Ex: “Word to my mother, I definitely saw him cheating on your ass.”
13. Yooz (n.) – Plural for the word “you” and is often paired with the word “guys”. to create “yooz guys”. You’ll hear these New York slang words a lot in movies about the Italian mafia in New York.
Ex: “Yooz guys doing alright over here?”
14. Bird (n.) – NYC slang for when someone gives you the finger when they’re upset with you.
Ex: “That guy cut me off so I totally flipped him the bird.”
15. Regular Coffee (phrase) – If you order a “regular coffee in New York that means you want a cup of coffee with milk and sugar in it.
Ex: “Can I get a regular coffee and an everything bagel, please?
16. Akh (n.) – This word can be used interchangeably with “bro” and indicates you know someone well.
Ex: “Come on akh, I’ve known you forever and this isn’t cool.”
17, J.A.P. (n.) – NYC slang that is an acronym for “Jewish American Princess”. It’s a negative word that is used to describe someone who is wealthy, arrogant, and entitled. Usually used to describe a woman from wealthy parts of Westchester and Long Island.
Ex: “She’s such a J.A.P. and got really mad when her parents gave her a blue Range Rover instead of a red one.”
18. Your Mom’s Dead Outside (phrase) – New York slag words you use to let someone know that their mom is angry and is waiting to yell at them.
Ex: “Oh man, your mom’s dead outside and is super pissed about you staying out all night last night.”
19. Waiting on line (phrase) – The same as “waiting in line” or when you are queueing up for something.
Ex: “I’ve been waiting on line to get these bagels for over thirty minutes.”
20. Dayroom (n.) – a person you don’t really know all that well and who is more of an acquaintance.
Ex: “To be honest, he’s dayroom. I only know him through mutual friends.”
21. Thirstbucket (adj.) – A person who is extremely desperate. And this is one of those New York slang words that usually refers to live.
Ex: “You’ll never go on a date if you keep acting like a total thirstbucket.”
22. Mad (adj.) – Used to emphasize something and is interchangeable with the word “very”. Kind of like “hella” in California and “wicked” in Boston.
Ex: “This coffee is mad good bro. You want some?”
23. Thirsty (adj.) – Describing someone who is horny or someone who is desperate when it comes to dating.
Ex: “Chill bro. Stop texting her non-stop because you’re starting to look mad thirsty.”
24. Guap/Cheese/Cake (n.) – NYC slang for money.
Ex: “Dude, bring some guap since they don’t take cards.”
25. Frontin’ (v.) – Someone who tries to come across as better off than they actually are. Usually used when trying to shock or impress someone.
Ex: “Yo, stop frontin’ bro! Everyone knows you got that Coach wallet on Canal Street and that it’s totally fake.”
26. Crib (n.) – Someone’s apartment or where they live.
Ex: “Let’s go back to your crib since it’s a lot closer.”
27. Dead-ass (adj.) – When you’re being really serious about something and can be used instead of “I swear to God”.
Ex: “Deadass son, I think I just won the lottery.”
28. Tight (adj.) – When you’re describing something that’s really cool or that is well put together. It can be also used to indicate that you’re upset about something.
Ex: “Man, that movie was mad tight.” or “Yeah, he’s still tight because I slept
29. Gully (adj.) – Someone from a really rough area. Alternatively this could be NYC slang for something that is raw/real.
Ex: “Yeah she’s super gully since she’s from the projects.”
30. Whip (n.) – A luxurious car that is really high-end.
Ex: “Man, I hope to have enough money one day to get a whip like that.”
31. Ratchet (adj.) – Word used to describe a promiscuous woman. More specifically, someone who looks kind of dirty and like they don’t take care of themselves. It also comes from the word “wretched”.
Ex: “That girl is ratchet that it looks like her hair is about to fall out.”
32. Aggy (adj.) – An abbreviation of “aggravated” that is used to describe a really annoying person.
Ex: “She’s so aggy and only talks about how much money she has and all the people she knows.”
33. Brick (adj.) – One of the many New York slang words used to indicate really cold weather.
Ex: “It’s so brick outside that you really won’t be able to walk very far without a jacket.”
34. The City (n.) – Used to refer to New York City or Manhattan specifically since that’s where everyone goes when they visit NYC.
Ex: “Let’s bar hop in the city tonight. “
35. Eats (n.) – One of many New York slang words that are used instead of “food”.
Ex: “Come on, let’s get some eats from that new pizza place just down the road.”
36. Schmear (n.) – Used to mean a small amount of cream cheese or any other condiment. Can also refer to a medical test for a woman.
Ex: “Can I get a schmear of mustard on my hotdog? Just not too much.”
37. Shorty (n.) – NYC slang for an attractive woman who is short in stature. Although, some women find it offensive.
Ex: “Did you see that shorty walk by? Damn, she is fine.”
38. Pie (n.) – While it can be used to refer to a dessert, a lot of times a pie in NYC is an entire pizza pie. So, it’s short for “pizza pie”.
Ex: “I’m so hungry that I could eat the entire pie by myself.”
39. Hero (n.) – A deli sandwich on a long, 6 or 12-inch roll that is made with either cold ot warm fillings. It’s basically just another word for a “sub”, “grinder” or” hoagie” in other parts of the country.
Ex: “You wanna bite of my hero? It’s mad good. “
40. Slice (n.) – Short for a slice of cheese pizza. You can also get lots of dollar slices all around the city.
Ex: “I’m so hungry I’m about to inhale this slice.”
41. Dun (n.) – Another one of the many New York slang words used when referring to a good friend.
Ex: “You dun, what’s good?”
42. Schvitz (n./v.) – A Yiddish word that is used to refer to someone who is sweating a lot. You could also use it as a noun to refer to a steam room, sauna, or any other place that will make you sweat.
Ex: “This subway car is so hot that it has me schvitzing up a storm.”
43. Chief (v.) – NYC slang for smoking marijuana.
Ex: “This stuff is mad good. Wanna try some and chief with me?”
44. Stoop (n.) – The steps and landing that lead to the entrance of an apartment building.
Ex: “Let’s all hang out on the stoop since it’s so nice out.”
45. Dumb (adj.) – One of many New York slang words that are used in place of “very”, “mad”, or “extremely”. So, perfect NYC slang when you want to emphasize something.
Ex: “This pizza is dumb tasty bro.”
46. Schtup (v.) – A Yiddish that refers to having sex. It’s also used to indicate two people having sex and not when one person is having sex with another.
Ex: “When will they quit schtupping? I’m trying to watch my show!”
47. Grit (n.) – A person with a lot of character.
Ex: “The way she spoke up about that shows she has a lot of grit.”
48. Gotham (n.) – A nickname for NYC that originated in the Batman comics and was adopted because this used to be a really corrupt place.
Ex: “Watch out for pickpockets since they are all over the place in Gotham.”
49. Facts (n.) – Used to indicate you’re a truthful person or that you agree.
Ex: “That’s facts right here.” Or, “The facts are she cheated on you.”
50. Spaz (v./n.) – A really hyperactive person. You can also say that you’re “spazzing out” when you’re getting really angry with someone.
Ex: “He is such a spaz and can never sit still for more than five minutes.” or “Stop spazzing out at me! It was an honest mistake!”
51. Buck Fifty (n.) – A really bad cut from the mouth to ear that needs 150 stitches.
Ex: “If he doesn’t watch his mouth he’s gonna get a buck fifty.”
50. Take it There (phrase/n.) – A game where you come up with funny, mildly offensive one-liners. Or, it could mean a physical altercation.
Ex: “If she doesn’t stop talking smack, they’re gonna take it there mad quick.”
51. Buggin (v.) – Going crazy, flipping out, or just causing a lot of problems.
Ex: “Quit buggin. Walking ten blocks isn’t that big a deal.”
52. Fire (adj.) – NYC slang for something that is really pretty or nice to look at.
Ex: “Yo, that sunset was pure fire today.”
53. Ice (n./v.) – A noun to refer to expensive jewelry made with diamonds. It could also be a verb that means to murder someone.
Ex: “Dang, she’s got mad ice.” Or, “They’re gonna ice him is he doesn’t stop actin’ a fool.”
54. Moving Funny (v.) – A person who is moving around in a suspicious way.
Ex: “Stop moving funny! It’s freaking me out.”
55. Wylin Out’/Wildin’ (v.) – To overreact to something in a crazy way without regard to the aftermath.
Ex: “She was wylin out last night when she saw her boyfriend texting another girl.”
56. Crusty (adj.) – A person or a place that is nasty, not clean, or super ugly. NYC slang that is used to talk about a dirty person.
Ex: “Ugh, I hope that crusty guy over there doesn’t try to hit on me.”
57. Catch these hands (v.) – When someone is gonna start a fight.
Ex: “Stop harassing me or you’ll catch these hands.”
58. Snuff (v.) -To murder someone or punch them in the face.
Ex: “If he don’t watch out that gang is gonna snuff him.”
59. B (n.) – Used to refer to a good friend or someone you really love.
Ex: “Aww, B! Thanks for giving this to me. That’s so nice.”
60. Bussin (adj.) – To describe something you really like or that is very good.
Ex: “Man, that cake was bussin. I could have eaten the entire thing.”
61. Schelp (v.) – This comes from a Yiddish word that means a long and exhaustive journey from one place to another. People usually use this NYC slang when they are annoyed.
Ex: “Ugh, I don’t want to schlep all the way to Staten Island today.
Ex: “Ugh, I have to schlep all the way from Manhattan to Coney Island.”
62. My Fault (v.) – To apologize for something.
Ex: “My fault! I didn’t see you waving at me.”
63. Sus (adj.) – Abbreviation for someone who looks suspicious.
Ex: “Keep your eyes out for that guy. He is mad sus.”
64. Na’mean (phrase) – Short for the phrase, “You know what I mean?”
Ex: “That girl is actin’ mad shady. Na’ mean?
65. Boss/Sis (n.) – General term for a woman (sis) or a man (boss).
Ex: “Come on sis, hurry up!” or “What’s up boss?”
66. We out (v.) – Used when you’re letting people know you’re leaving.
Ex: “This party is whack, We out.”
67. Ace (adj.) – A person or thing that is very cool.
Ex: “Bro, that party was ace. I had such a good time.”
68. Cat (n.) – A rude or horrible woman.
Ex: “Geez, she’s such a cat. There was no need to scream at my kids like that.”
69. Brolic (adj.) – Used to talk about something muscular.
Ex: “Man, he goes to the gym all the time and is super brolic.”
70. Bacon Egg and Cheese (n.) – A breakfast sandwich on a roll that is made with bacon, egg, and cheese. People usually say it quickly and as one word. It can also be shortened to “BEC”.
Ex: “You can’t visit New York without getting a bacon-egg-and-cheese.”
71. Dime Piece (adj.) – One of many New York slang words to describe a gorgeous woman.
Ex: “Wow, that girl is a complete dime piece.”
Ex: “She’s a total dime piece.”
71. Forget About it (phrase) – Said quickly as one word (for-ged-a-bout-it) and used to show that you don’t have to worry about something. Can also mean that you are shocked something is so good or that you agree.
Ex: “it’s just a small scratch on my car. Forget-about-it.”
72. What it do? (phrase) – Phrase you use when you want to ask someone what they’re doing.
Ex: “Yeah, I’m about to head to the party. How about you? What it do?”
73. Good Looks (phrase) – Used to thank someone for doing you a favor.
Ex: “Good looks. I appreciate you holding the door for me.”
74. Flying rats (n.) – New York slang words used to refer to pigeons.
Ex: “Be on the lookout for flying rats. They poop on everything.”
75. Grimey (adj.) – Used to describe a shady person that you can’t trust.
Ex: “She is mad grimey and definitely tried to steal my phone.”
76. Bev (n.) – Short for beverage and means a drink of some kind.
Ex: “While you’re out can you get me a bev?”
77. Gucci (adj.) – Used to indicate that you’re doing extremely well.
Ex: “Yeah, my job is going really well. I’m Gucci.”
78. Yerr/Yurr (n.) – NYC slang for “hello”.
Ex: “Yurr! So happy to see you again!”
79. Holla (v.) – To chat with someone
Ex: “Be sure to holla at me after your meeting.
80. Hooptie (n.) – A very old and not nice car.
Ex: “Ugh, I need a new car. The mirror on my hooptie is almost falling off.”
81. OD (v.) – An abbreviation of overdose – usually refers to drugs.
Ex: “Yeah, she ODed on pills last night.” or “She’s gonna OD if she keeps going to the gym all the time.”
82. Hollywood (adj.) – Someone who thinks they’re too good to hang out with you. Someone who is acting superior to the people they grew up with.
Ex: “Ever since she went to college she’s been acting all Hollywood and not coming around.”
83. Jacking (v.) – Used when someone pretends something is true but it isn’t. Other meanings include stealing something orinjuring someone in a fight.
Ex: “That guy is strong and really jacked me up during that bar fight.” Or, “Quite jacking. You know that isn’t true.”
84. You Good? (v.) – A way to ask someone how everything is going or to denote that a conversation is over.
Ex: “I can’t believe she said that to you. You good?” Or, “Alright, I gotta go. You good.”
85. Jones (v.) – When you want to say that you have a really intense craving for something.
Ex: “Man, I’m am jonesing for a piece of pizza real bad.”
86. SoHo (n.) – Short for south of Houston Street, this is a fun neighborhood in NYC.
Ex: “Let’s hit up Soho tonight, I heard there’s a great new restaurant there. “
87. Bop (n.) – a great song that you want to listen to.
Ex: “Oh man, this album is lit, Every song is an epic bop.”
88. Kicks (n.) – One of the many New York slang words for shoes.
Ex: “So, what do you think of my brand new kicks?”
89. Straphangers (n.) – Anyone who uses the subway. It’s an old NYC slang word that was used long before the subway as we know it was a thing.
Ex: “I hate the subway. It’s always packed with straphangers.”
90. Timbs (n.) – An abbreviation of Timberland which is a brand of work boots that basically every New Yorker owns.
Ex: “What do you think of my new Timbs? Pretty epic right?”
91. 730 (adj.) – Used to mean that someone is crazy. It’s also one of the many New York slang words here that is derived from the police code for an “unstable person”.
Ex: “Yo, she’s freaking out and all 730 up in here.”
92. Book it (v.) – To run really quickly or get away really fast.
Ex: “Come on, we’re running late. Let’s book it.”
93. What’s Good? (phrase) – NYC slang for “what’s going on?” or “what’s up?”
Ex: “Yo, what’s good?”
94. Cut up (v.) – To goof off or act like a clown.
Ex: “Stop cutting up! You look like a fool.”
95. The ‘hood (n.) – Short for the neighborhood. “The hood ” typically refers to low-income areas (aka the ghetto). It can also be used to refer to someone who is unrefined and acts like they’re from a lower-class area.
Ex: “I don’t want to drive all the way to your hood. You come up here.” Or, “She was acting hood and stuffed all the dinner rolls in her bag before we left.”
96. Baba (n.) – a woman who gets around sexually.
Ex: “Bro, you don’t want to get with her. She a baba.”
97. A Hunnit (adj.) – Being real and genuine with someone.
Ex: “Shge put all her cards out on the table and was being a hunnit with him.”
98. Chill out scrap (v.) – Trying to ask someone to relax or chill out and not overreact.
Ex: “Chill our scrap. So you got a bad grade. It’s just one test.”
99. A minute (phrase) – Means it’ll take me a while to get there.
Ex: “Yo, my train is delayed so it’ll probably take me a minute to get there.”
100. Heard (n.) – Short for I heard and you mean that you understand what they said.
Ex: “Can you take out the trash?” “Heard.”
101. Ock (n.) – Person behind the counter at a deli or bodega. Typically used by younger generations and popularized by TikTok.
Ex: “Yo ock, can I get a bacon-egg-and-cheese on a roll to go?”
New York Slang Words FAQ
Is New York Accent A Thing?
Oh yes! The New York accent is really a thing. You will notice it the moment you step into the city. If you’ve gone through the New York slang words above, you can see that the way people talk is also pretty different.
Don’t however try to mimic the New York accents that you see on the TV. New Yorkers will pick you out as a tourist immediately. This is because the accents used for the serials and movies are pretty overstated.
Do New Yorkers Talk Fast?
No. Ironically despite the fast pace of the city, New Yorkers aren’t really fast speakers. They do try to be succinct. If you do get into a business conversation with them, you will notice that they like to talk and are usually very descriptive.
Who Came Up With The Name Gotham For New York City?
Many people believe that Gotham was a name that New York city got from Batman. This is not true.
Washington Irving, the legendary author of Sleepy Hollow, wrote an essay on the city and nicknamed it Gotham after a place in England. The nickname stuck and is now over 200 years old!
How Did New York Get Its Nickname The Big Apple?
Way back in the 1920s, many racing courses in New York offered big apples as rewards. Interestingly enough, this reward became quite a part of the city’s image and New York got the name ‘Big Apple’.
Today the term ‘big apple’ refers to the biggest and best which definitely describes NYC to the T. Honestly, it does not matter if you are from India or South Africa or Greece. Everyone has heard about New York.
Every years, millions of people head here to indulge in its big city vibe. NYC is definitely a dream.