Today, I’d like to continue the theme of regional slang by focusing on Northeastern slang, which is in direct contrast to my other blog entry about Californian Slang. Today’s list will be words that I didn’t grow up using but I learned through television or heard from my friends and relatives, so I’ll try my best to share some of the expressions that I do feel connected to personally. I’ve divided up “Northeastern slang” into four parts from these areas: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and the remaining states in the east, referred to as “New England.”
Jawn — thing. (A thing that can be anything, like a person, thing or event.)
- Are you gonna go to that jawn(=party) tonight?
Youse — you people.
- Youse are my best friends for throwing me this get-together!
in one’s bag — to be focused on doing one’s own thing.
- Sorry for not paying attention to your story, I was in my bag for a moment.
Battling — the act of dancing against other people competitively.
- I can’t wait to go to the dance club and do some battling with some of my friends.
Yerp — yes, sure, ok.
A: Got the time?
B: Yerp, it’s noon.
Blowout — This is a hairstyle for men that is straightened on the top, shaved on the sides and on the back. Italian-American culture is highly popularized in New Jersey, and this expression refers to this well-known hairstyle.
- I’m going to get a blowout and surprise everyone I know.
Jacked — to get beat up after losing a fight.
- Ugh, I got jacked last night after arguing with some guy in a bar.
Bananas — something that is outrageous. (Used with a “s” but is typically singular in grammatical usage.)
- I thought the café was bananas for charging me extra for soymilk.
Wylin’ — unpredictable, crazy, out of control.
- Hey, you shouldn’t insult that guy because he often gets wylin’ in response to anything.
standing on line — the New York way of saying “standing in line,” such as in a line for a restaurant or movie.
A: Yo, whatcha standing on line for?
B: We’re on line in order to get some concert tickets.
Wavy — cool, nice, good.
- These new shoes look real wavy, but I don’t really know if they are comfy*1 enough.
Mooga — a large sum of money.
- If my project is successful, I’ll be responsible for earning our company tons of mooga!
Mad — very, extremely.
- The temperature is mad hot today, so imma*2 just gonna wear this T-shirt this afternoon.
Slice — This simply refers to a slice of pizza.
- You wanna go and grab a slice for lunch?
you already know — a phrase that is used to prepare someone for hearing news or information.
A: Hey bruv*3, how did the party go?
B: Well, you already know, I hooked up*4 with that girl from school.
A: Really? That’s awesome. I’m happy for you two.
Fuhgeddaboudit — a saying phrase that can be used to mean “no way.” Note that this comes from the words “forget about it.”
- You want me to buy a used car without any guarantee? Fuhgedaboudit!
Wicked good — very good. (Note that “wicked” can also be used by itself as an adverb similar to “mad.”)
- I picked up a wicked good bike at the shop the other day!
Goosin’ — to stare at someone seductively.
- I can’t tell if that girl in the corner is goosin’ at me or you.
Cised — short for excited.
- Are you cised for this upcoming weekend trip?
Package store — a store that sells alcohol.
- I gotta stop by the package store to pick something up for the party tonight.
Illest — short for silliest.
- Visitors from outside of our town always seem to do the illest things.
Statey — another word for a police officer.
- I noticed that there were many stateys in our usual donut shop this morning.
Jasm — a high level of energy.
- I don’t know if I have enough jasm to go to a sports gym every week.
So don’t I. — a nonsensical expression that means “I do too.” It doesn’t mean “I don’t either.”
A: I really like the new ice cream joint.
B: Yeah, so don’t I! I’ve been going there every day since it opened.
Well, as always, thanks for reading and I hope this helps you familiarize yourself with American slang. I’ll be back again early next year for a sixth entry!
*1 comfy — short for comfortable.
*2 imma — a variation of “I’m.”
*3 bruv — a common word used in New York that means “bro,” or friend.
*4 hook up — to get together with a man or woman. (The level of the relationship depends on context.)
【プロフィール】Jason Andrew Chau（ジェイソン・アンドリュー・チャウ）
アメリカのテキサス出身。ＵＣバークレーで心理学と人類学を学ぶ。これまで，日本の英語教育に10年以上かかわる中，「仕事の英語 緊急対策マニュアル 電話・メール編」「英会話リズムメソッド」「中学 定期テストの対策ワーク」等英文校正に携わる。また，レベルにあった英会話教授法も熟知している。