Glossary of Northeastern terms not widely used elsewhere

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 This article is a part of Altverse.

This is a list of Northeastern words and phrases not widely used in the rest of Anglo-America, in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Oranje, New Zealand, and/or India. Such terms are known as Northeasternisms. Some Northeastern terms listed are used commonly however, in select countries.

  • Asterisks (*) denote words and meanings having appreciable (that is, not occasional) currency in select varieties of English, but nonetheless distinctive of Northeastern English for their relatively greater frequency in Northeastern speech and writing.
  • Northeastern spelling is consistently used throughout this article, except when explicitly referencing terms in other forms of English.

0-9[edit]

5-0
(pronounced "five oh") (slang) a police officer
7-30 
(pronounced "seven thirty") a person who is crazy (e.g. "Don't listen to him, he's 7:30.")
911 
(pronounced "nine one one") the Northeastern emergency telephone number

A[edit]

aggy
(colloquial) shorthand for aggravating
andosh
(informal) indication of the need to go (e.g. "Andy, andosh! We have to get to class!)
ankle biter
the newest child of a family; a young child
apiece
an undetermined distance (e.g. "He lives down the road apiece.")
asigita
acidity and heartburn, generally any inner feelings of burning
av
(informal) shorthand for avenue
aunda
(colloquial) where
ayuh
(regional) a form of yes, derived from the nautical aye

B[edit]

backassward
(informal) jumbled; not in the right order; messed up
bacouz
(informal) private restroom or bathroom
bad dose
an illness or sickness
bags
a mess
bananas*
something unbelievable (e.g. "That's bananas!")
banching
recreational off-road driving
(to) bang
to make a quick move
(to) bang out
to call in sick for work
banjaxed
(colloquial) broken; destroyed
bankin
(1) a hillside (2) a river bank
barn
a garage
Barney
(informal) nickname for Harvard students
barrel
(colloquial) a trash can
bazo
a drunk person
(to) beast
to overreact
(to be) beat
to be ugly (e.g. "That girl over there is beat!")
beater
a beaten-up vehicle with such a diminished value, that there is no concern for it being damaged in an accident (e.g. "Don't worry about the scratch, this car's a beater.")
biangolin
bleach
bisgott
(informal) a cookie, specifically one made without molasses
(to) blind
to swear or curse
blinker
the automotive turn signal
blix
boredom
blixy
boring
boarded
to be on board (e.g. "I'm boarded, let's go to the packie!")
bodega
(informal) a grocery store, term is Puerto Rican in origin
bomar
(colloquial) a very intelligent person
(to) book out*
to leave quickly; to depart quickly
boom
expression used to direct someone to listen ("Alright, boom, I'll start telling ya!")
(to) boot
to throw up
boss
(informal) a quantity of two-liters
boxugett
the trunk of a car
boyo
(slang) young thug
(to) boze
to smoke marijuana or jimsonweed
braggiol
(1) a street brawl (2) an arm-wrestling contest
breakdown lane
a shoulder lane
brewskie
(slang) beer, specifically a good lager
brick
(colloquial) very cold; freezing (e.g. "It's brick tonight. Goddamn Nor'easters!")
brolic
muscular: buff; manly
brownie
a traffic officer, named for their brown uniforms
brutal
awful; dreadful
bubbler
a drinking fountain
bucka
someone who doesn't see the truth (e.g. "Ignore Patrick, he's a bucka, he voted for the Libtarians!")
(to) bucket down
for the rain to be pouring
bug
(regional) a crustacean
(to) bug
to blow things out of proportion (e.g. "Stop bugging, this isn't that bad.")
bulkhead
cellar or basement hatchway
bullshit
(vulgar) to be very upset (e.g. "I'm bullshit over Kate leaving me.")
bundle
a grocery bag
(to) bunk off
(colloquial) to skip school or work
bureau
a dresser; a chest of drawers
buttan
(vulgar) derogatory term towards lower-class women

C[edit]

cabbage night
the night before Halloween
cabinet
(regional) a coffee-flavored milkshake, typical of Rhode Island
calabres
(1) someone close-minded and ignorant (2)(informal) someone who doesn't consume drugs
camp
summer vacation house or cabin, usually by a lake or on the coast
(the) Cape
(informal) Cape Cod
capiche
(colloquial) said when trying to make sure someone understands you (e.g. "You're in big trouble, capiche?")
capidan
(informal) a police captain or seargant.
carriage
a shopping cart
cellar*
the basement level of a house
cendann'
a traditional expression used when toasting (similar to cheers or bottoms up). Italian in origin.
chancer
someone who takes risks regularly
chief*
(slang) someone you don't know and are cautious of (e.g. "Hey chief, that's my seat you're sitting in!")
chips
(slang) money
chooch
(informal) a bully
chowd
(derogatory) people from New England
chowderhead
(affectionate) term for someone who knew better than to do a foolish thing but still did it anyway
chunka
(colloquial) being injured (e.g. "Get an ambulance, Giuliano's been chunka!")
Chupta?
contraction of "What are you up to?"
chutzpah
extreme confidence or audacity bordering on arrogance and recklessness
ciotog
(pronounced kitog) a left-handed person, derives from Irish
cleanser
a laundry business
clicker
a television remote
(to) cod
to pull someone's leg
coffee milk
a drink made with milk, coffee syrup and sugar, similar to chocolate milk
coney
a hot dog with a bratwurst, a regional dish from the western Northeast Union
Contra!
(colloquial) expression of frustration, especially common among Hispanic comunnites
cool kid
someone very annoying and obnoxious (e.g. "Who invited Jerry? He's a cool kid, for Pete's sake!")
(to) cop
to buy
corner
(regional) the area surrounding an intersection of rural roads
cornerstore
(formal) a convienience store
cornut
a cuckold
cracking
a loud and heated argument
(to) crack on
to continue on your way; to get going
(the) craic
(1) fun (2) gossip
creemee
soft-serve ice cream
cruller
a stick-like donut
cuban
(informal) cigar, regardless of country of origin
culch
(informal) trash; rubbish
culchie
(derogatory) a person from a rural area, typically from the western part of the NU
cunning
cute (e.g. "She's a cunning one!")
cute hoor
a manipulator, someone who quietly manipulates the situation for his own benefit
cutter
(regional) an active child or teenager; a regionalism of coastal New England

D[edit]

D-tech
undercover police car
D-we
(slang) term for D.U.I
dead-ass
(vulgar) being completely serious
deadly
brilliant; fantastic; great
decked
being well-dressed
deep
(colloquial) far away
deli
shorthand for delicatessen, a type of small corner store that also serves food
diesel
(1) someone who works hard (2) (slang) heroin
digger
a fall (e.g. "He slipped and took a digger.")
dink
(derogatory) a bothersome person
dinner pail
a lunch box
(to) dip
to insert something
disgraziat
someone who has just been fired
dish-to-pass
a potluck
dite
a little; a bit (e.g. "He's a dite tense today, isn't he?"
divan
a couch
dja
contraction of "did you"
Djeet?
contraction of "Did you eat?"
docksiders
brown boat shoes
donkey's years
a very long amount of time (e.g. "They've been living in that house donkey's years.")
door yard
a driveway; a front lawn;
dosser
(derogatory) someone in a gang; someone who is street-wise
dressing
(colloquial) the application of manure to a garden
dry-ki
a type of driftwood found in lakes
dungaree, dungie
denim pants
duyavatched
(colloquial) two-faced (e.g. "Watch out! Anthony may seem nice, but in reality, he's duyavatched.")

E[edit]

(to) earwig
to listen into a conversation you are not engaged in
eejit
(informal) someone addicted to very hard drugs that are illegal
elastic
(1) a hair tie (2) a rubber band

F[edit]

fakakta
tedious; overbearing
fall-out laughter
(informal) laughter so hard, a consumed liquid would fall out of someone's nose
fangul
(informal) a person with a very large ego
farklempt
unable to speak due to emotion (e.g. "Dennis is very farklempt around large crowds.")
fart*
an inflexibly meticulous individual
FBI
acronym for foreign-born Irish; term for a recent Irish immigrants.
fire barn
fire department building
fish fry
breaded and fried hammock served with fries, similar to fish and chips
Flatlander
(colloquial) a person from Massachussetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Netherlands.
flee
good-looking item; cool item
floozie
(derogatory) a woman from the elite
fluthered
being black-out drunk
frappe
(pronounced as "frap") a milkshake
fridad
a type of fried egg dish, typical of Italian cuisine
fried
something bizarre and out of the ordinary
(to) front
to pretend
fugazi
false; counterfeit; deceptive
(to) futz
to waste time

G[edit]

gabaghoul
(colloquial) (1) capocollo (2) a person who smokes a lot of marijuana and jimsonweed
gabaruss
(colloquial) a redhead
gaff
(slang) home
gagger
(slang) a large line of cocaine
gaguzz
(colloquial) (1) muscles (2) a bodybuilder
gambanell
a doorbell
gammy
crooked; odd-looking
gander*
a quick look or glance
garbage*
used specifically to refer to 'wet' garbage such as coffee grounds and food rests
gavone
a gluttonous eater
gawkerblocker
traffic tie-up due to people looking at an accident
gawmy
clumsy; awkward as a human trait
gettuzang
(colloquial) (1) a very hard worker, someone who dedicates his life to work (2) a workaholic
ghiaccheron
a blabbermouth
ghouls
the base in tag
gibude
(regional) term for onion especially prevalent in Connecticut and New Netherlands
goopalin
a snow cap of any type
(to) grill
to stare at someone aggressively
grinder
(regional) a term for submarine sandwhich found in New England
guacarunno
(informal) someone not worth anything to you, a nobody
gully
street-smart
gump
nitwit; dunce; jeb
guppin
(colloquially) a wooden ladle
gypsy cab
(1) an unlicenced taxi; (2) a suspicious business

H[edit]

hamburg
(informal) ground beef
hamper
a clothes basket
hardo
someone who tries too hard to appear cool
haymes
(colloquial) total chaos
heater hunter
a hunter who hunts from the warmth of his car
heddycallit
term used when one cannot remember a word; a replacement for words forgotten mid-sentence
herb
(derogative) a wallflower; an unpopular person
hermit cookie
a cookie made with molasses
holy Joe
a self-righteous person
holy show
a distasteful or disgraceful scene
honking
exceptionally large or big (e.g. "This bug is honkin' big!")
hoodsie
(1) ice cream in a cup; (2) (informal) a cute or attractive girl/woman
(to) hook
to turn; to change the direction of a car
(to) hosie
to have a claim to something (e.g. "I have hosie on this seat!")
hot box
a stolen car
hot top
the asphalt pavement of a road
hot wiener
(regional) New English term for "hot dog"
human billboard
(derogative) a supporter of a political candidate carrying signs

I[edit]

ice box
refrigerator
igit
(slang) shorthand for idiot
ill
extremely good; awesome; cool
inbound
direction towards something (e.g. "You have to take the T inbound to get to the State House.")
irregardless
regardless
Italian
(regional) name for a submarine sandwhich in the northern states of the Northeast Union

J[edit]

jack
(colloquial) cellphone; device
(to be) jacked
(slang) (1) to be robbed (e.g. "This guy just got jacked!") (2) to lose a fight (e.g. "This guy got jacked up.")
Jackeen
a Bostonian, due to the large Irish population of Boston
jimmies
(1) sprinkles; (2) (slang) a condom
jimmy pump
(informal) a fire hydrant
jimson
shorthand for jimsonweed
johnny
a hospital gown
jonnycake
a type of cornmeal bread and a staple of New England cuisine

K[edit]

kegger
a party involving a keg of beer
kid
(informal) a dude; a friend
(to) kife
to steal (specifically small objects of small value)
killer
something very funny and outrageous (e.g. "That joke was killer, Derek!")
kip
(1) a quick nap (2) a shady or bad place
Kout!
a contraction of "Look out!"
kvetch
a person who likes to complain

L[edit]

lace-curtain
(informal) pretentious; posh
langers
drunk
lash
(1) an attempt to do something (2) a night out at a pub
leaf peeper
(derogatory) a tourist who comes to the Northeast Union specifically to see the vibrant fall foliage; a driver who drives slow during fall to admire the foliage
logan
a shallow and swampy pond or lake
(to) loosie
to ask for a cigarette
luft
(colloquial) a fireman

M[edit]

mad*
a lot of something; a large amount of something (e.g. "He won the lottery and now has mad money!")
maliocch
(colloquial) term used to describe someone who has had a string of unfortunate events
mamaluke
(informal) someone who has failed in their task
mambi-pambi
a whiny person; a weakling
manky
dirty or filthy
Masshole
(derogatory) (1) a term for arrogant highly-educated people from Massachusetts; (2) a term for under-educated people from Massachusetts
mensch
a role model
mezzamort
(slang) term used for heroin
milkshake
used in the Northeast Union to refer to a mix of milk and syrup
mopeen
a napkin,tissue
motorman
a train operator
moxie*
vigor; stamina; courage
mreet
someone who is high on legal or illegal drugs
(to) muckle
to grab onto; to hold-fast; to tear into
mudanz
(colloquial) pajamas
murder*
(informal) very difficult
(to) murder
(informal) to really want something
(to) mush
to not pay someone back after getting money from them

N[edit]

necessary
originally referring to outhouse, now also refers to restrooms
nip
a very small bottle of alcohol bought at a store selling alcohol
nippy*
weather cold enough to stiffen your nipples
nixer
an informal job paid in cash, to avoid taxes
nizza
something very expensive
nonna
grandmother
nonno
grandfather
(a) Nor'easter 
a large winter storm travelling down the Northeastern coast.
Nosuh!
(1) rhetorical exclamation of happiness (e.g. "You're having a baby? Nosuh! I'm so happy for ya!") (2) exclamation of disbelief
notional
stubborn
numb
dumb; stupid (e.g. "Numb kid ya got.")

O[edit]

odee
excessive; overly strict
old lady
(affectionate) endearment term for a wife, regardless of age (e.g. "My old lady made me an apple pie today.")
onna-conna
on account of
outbound
direction out of a city (e.g. "To get to Portsmouth you gotta take the T outbound.")
open-air
a drive-in movie theatre
oven kitten
(colloquial) term for Northeasterners born to foreign parents, based on the saying "Just because a cat has her kittens in the oven doesn't make them biscuits."

P[edit]

P-Town
(1) nickname for Providence; (2) (regional) nickname for Provincetown, Massachussetts
packie
(colloquial) short-hand term for packing store; liquor store
parkie
originally city-employed organizer of games for local children over the summer, now refers to all college-aged part-time workers
parlour
a fancy living room; a reception
pekid
feeling unwell (e.g. "I'm really pekid today.")
penuche
term for shady fudge
pharmacy*
a drug store
piazza
a front porch
picture*
movie; film
pie
(regional) term for pizza in New Netherlands
pizza strip
strips of Italian tomato pie made without cheese served cold
pockabook
(informal) hand bag; purse
pot
(regional) a lobster or crab trap
prozhut
(colloquial) originally shorthand for prosciutto, now refers to any type of ham
puff
(derogatory) a prostitute
puke
(derogatory) a tourist
puss
(colloquial) a sulky face (e.g. "What's with the puss?")
putz
(vulgar) a vain and arrogant person

Q[edit]

quahog
a thick-headed and stubborn person, derived from the Mainer term for hard-shell clams
quare
(informal) edgy, depressed, emo
quischa
(slang) girlfriend

R[edit]

racker
a rocking chair
radio car
(colloquial) a marked police car
rat
(affectionate) a young child
rawrout
cold and windy weather
regular
(informal) a coffee with cream and two cubes of sugar
ripper
a party characterized by the usage of marijuana or jimsonweed
rotary
traffic circle; roundabout
rubbish*
used to refer to 'dry' trash

S[edit]

sangwich
corruption of sandwich, now official
saunter*
a brisk walk
schif
(informal) disgusting
schifozz
(informal) very unappealing food or very disgusting-looking object
schlemiel
unlucky
(to) schlep
to carry many things
schlimazel
bad luck
schmear
cream cheese
schmuck
(vulgar) a vain person
(to) schtupp
(vulgar) to have sexual intercourse
(to) schvitz
(colloquial) to sweat
(to) scobend
to sweep the floor with a broom
scooch
(informal) a pest
scrid
a little bit of something; a tiny amount of something (e.g. "I need a scrid of sugar.")
scrod
(informal) fish of the day at a fish market
scully
a snap-back hat
shiesty
(slang) a person who is greedy or inconsiderate
shpiel
a long-winded explanation or story
(to) skeeve
to gross out
skeevy
gross
skeezer
(slang) drug addict
skell
(slang) a homeless person; low-life
skid
(slang) lowlife; loser
(to) slag
(informal) to make a joke at someone's expense
sliding pond
a playground, a holdover from Dutch
smog
(informal) cigarette
sneakers*
athletic shoes
son*
(informal) a term for an acquaintance or stranger, when they do something weird or unacceptable
soap
(derogative) a hippie, as they need lots of soap for their unwashed long hair
southie
originally meant Irish Northeasterner from the South Side of Boston, now inclues all Irish Northeasterners
spa 
a convenience store that sells sandwiches and has soda on the tap
(to) spaz out
to get violent or agressive
spleeny
overly sensitive (e.g. "Stop being a spleeny crybaby!")
spustad
(informal) (1) to be spaced-out (2) to be extremely high
Squeet!
contraction of "let's go eat"
stag party
a bachelor party
standout
a campaign rally
steamed ham
(regional) Hudson Valley term for hamburger
stendinz
contraction of intestines
(to) storrow
to ram a truck into a car-only tunnel or garage entrance
stove in
(regional) nautical term for being bashed in
stoop
small outdoor staircase leading to the front door of the house
straphanger
(derogatory) person from the coastal cities, due to the big train network on the coast
stylene
(derogatory) a lower-class single mother
sub
(regional) contraction of submarine sandwhich typically found in former New York State
supper*
dinner
sus
a shady back alley

T[edit]

'taint
(informal) contraction of "it ain't"
'tis*
contraction of "it is"
(the) T
nickname for the Boston Metro
tag sale
a backyard sale (UC yard sale; KS garage sale)
thirstbucket
(colloquial) a very desperate person
(to be) thirsty
(colloquial) to look desperate
tight
being annoyed
time
a party or social gathering
tomato gravy
(colloquial) tomato sauce
tonguebath
an attractive older woman
tonic 
a sweet, carbonated soft drink (UC pop; KS soda)
tractor trailer
a semi-trailer truck
triple decker 
light-framed three-story apartment buildings common in the Northeast Union built as an alternative to row houses.

U[edit]

uey
(affectionate) a u-turn

V[edit]

verkakte
something very unfortunate

W[edit]

wack*
something undesireable or uncool
(to) wail on
to hit something repeatedly
walkup
an apartment building without an elevator
washed
(colloquial) something no longer relevant (e.g. "Pop-punk's been washed for ages!")
waterbug
an American roach
whip
(slang) a very expensive car
whoremonger
(vulgar) someone who cuts off someone in traffic
wicked
(colloquial) an intensifier that originates from the Salem Witch Trials; very; super
(to) WiFi
(colloquial) to steal someone's ideas
Woodchuck
(affectionate) nickname for Vermonters
woof
(slang) cocaine
Word!
exclamation used when agreeing with someone
wrecker
towing truck

X[edit]

Y[edit]

yerr
term used to announce someone's arrival or presence
Yessuh!
exclamation when celebrating good news (e.g. "Yessuh! I got a raise!")
yooz
(colloquial) plural form you
Yuh-huh!
used to insist something is correct (e.g. "Nosuh this is the real deal!" "Yuh-huh it is!")

Z[edit]

zapp
a gardening hoe
zooed
to be in deep trouble (e.g. "My mom saw me smoking, I'm so zooed!")

Colloquial phrases[edit]

all set*
"I am good" or "I don't need this" in a restaurant (e.g. "Anything else? No thanks, I'm all set.")
Calm your liver!
telling someone to calm down
delira and excira
phrase used to express excitement over something (e.g. "I'm so delira and excira over the Thunderbird concert, I cannot wait!")
Fair play!
phrase used when congratulating someone on their success
hang a Ralph, bang a Louie
"turn left, then turn right" when giving directions, and can be reversed (e.g. "Just bang a Louie, then hang a Ralph.")
I'm weak
phrase said to indicate that they found something amusing
in a couple
in about (e.g. "Come back in a couple three months, then he'll be back from deployment.")
lemme get
phrase used when one wants to order something at a deli or bodega
Light dawns on Marblehead!
phrase used when a dense person finally understands something
like a bastard
meant as "too much" or "excessively" (e.g. "The snow has fallen like a bastard tonight!")
not for nothing
phrase said in order to indicate you are not looking for a fight (e.g. "Not for nothing, but your shirt looks like crap.")
on the line
to wait in queue (e.g. "I'm waiting on the line for the new phone release, can't talk right now.")
Peep this!
phrase used to tell someone to look at something
take it there
to look for a fight (e.g. "Hey, you want to take it there?!")
to act the maggot
to fool and mess around
to bang a uey
to make a u-turn
to be the balls
to be awesome (e.g. "This concert was the balls!")
to be a good shit
to be an agreeable person
to go down
(1) to go in a southwards direction (e.g. "I'm going down the Cape right now.") (2) to go away (e.g. "Go down cellar now!")
to go to Chelsea
to go awry; to go wrong (e.g. "This is all going to Chelsea, Dean!")
to go up
(1) to go in a northwards direction (e.g. "I'm going up the coast.") (2) to come to somewhere (e.g. "Go up living room now!")
to hock a louie
to spit after drawing a large amount of snot in your mouth
to not be the full shilling
to not be fully sane
to be on the tear
to go out drinking
to pull a Billy
to commit suicide, named after William Reid, who threw himself off the Brooklyn Bridge after robbing a bank
to be right out straight
to be too busy to take a break
to suck diesel
phrase used to say that one makes sense after he has explained himself
to throw a shadow
to still work (e.g. "This car's a beater, but it still throws a shadow.")
to throw shapes
to show off
Well there!
used sarcastically and means "You are a piece of crap." or "You are full of crap."
wired to the moon
hungover
Womp womp!
phrase used to deride sympathy-gaining comments (e.g. "So you lit up your piazza? Womp womp!")
word is bond
used to guarantee something (e.g. "Word is bond, Jim, I'll be at the ripper tomorrow.")
Word to mother!
used to express exasperation (e.g. "Word to mother, Ralphie, you screwed this up!")
you good (?)
(1) Asking someone if they feel good (2) statement that someone feels good (3) question put when meeting up after a long time (4) question if someone has had enough of something (5) response to thank you (6) a phrase to tell someone to stop talking to you (7) a phrase to tell someone there's no need to apologize (8) a threat to harm

See also[edit]