M.D. Wright

    • Edited: 7.18.2014

… and it’s even borough/borough-section specific at times, which adds to the beauty of it all.

Outta town cats think we’re all kooks and weird with the slang. But the terms have real meaning and immediate understanding is formed between the speaker and the listener. Whether you are straight hood 24/7, or corporate/hood or a nerd who still knows what is being implied whenever you hear the slang, our slang is unlike any other. Some examples (not going to be an exhaustive list on my part, but as always, INTERACTIVE — with you, my readers) of the aforementioned slang words/phrases:

“OD/Ohdee/Odee, etc.”

Derived from the thought of simply “overdoing” something to the point of excess and annoyance. While I personally use the term with regularity, when I hear someone say “odee” every 10th word, I have to wonder about their vocabulary.

Example of Usage: “Yo son, why you always gotta OD with EVERYTHING whenever chicks is around, though?”

“Fuck Outta Here!”

OGs would say “Get the Fuck Outta Here”; a dismissive retort to something foolish being said or done on the part of someone else. Nowadays, “Get the” has been cut off. I recall this starting in the late 90s.

Example of Usage: “You copped a Benz cash money and still live with your grandparents’ basement, B? FUCK OUTTA HERE!”


Bruva (Harlem enunciation), Brother, etc.

This goes back to the early B-boy and B-girl days of Hip-Hop. Still alive and well, especially Uptown.

Example of Usage: “Come on, B. You can’t expect nobody to believe that bullshit you tryna pass off on niggas.”


Part of  almost every New Yorker’s vernacular who is from the hood or at least lived here for any real period of time. Whether referring to someone directly and addressing them as “son” while talking to them, or saying that someone in sports or Hip Hop is your “son” (i.e. one of your favorites), this is vintage New York slang — something that will never die.

Example of Usage: “Son what’s goodie with the party on Saturday, though?”

Example of Usage: “Derrick Rose is my SON, B.”

“Pause”/”No Homo”

One of the more controversial (??? — amongst overly PC people who are oblivious to the joke nature of the terms) phrases out there. This began as a Harlem-rooted response in a lighthearted attempt at humor. Usually delivered in ironic fashion as a response to someone saying something that can be construed as a) sexual and b) gay or gay-suspicious in nature.

NOTE: The term has no purpose in “offending” gays nor does it “make you gay” because “you have to be thinking that way in order to even have to say ‘pause’ or ‘no homo’ to begin with”. IT’S NOT THAT SERIOUS. Not everything requires some Psychological GSS-data analysis. If you were around when the usage began (Spanish Harlem, early 90s and going forward), then you understand it.

Over-usage can be annoying and may require questioning of the user. Otherwise, it is all jokes and is funny to play on words. Simple as that.

Example: “I had to hurry and get that shot off, because I heard son coming hard behind me, no homo.”


My legal people know about this very well. I actually heard this first on “Law & Order” back in the mid-1990s, and first heard it in music on a DMX song (“Niggas Done Started Somethin'”) back in 1998. It refers to the 730 psychological exam that inmates undergo while imprisoned or in transit through their court processes; denoting someone’s sanity (or lack thereof).

Example of Usage: “I’m not wit it, them cats over on 140th is a bunch of 730 niggas who don’t give a fuck if they have to go upstate to Clinton or not for poppin’ a nigga.”


I love how people use this term, yet don’t give credit (and many do not even KNOW WHO originated its usage in the colloquial sense) where it’s due. Harlem rapper Max B. coined the term in its current slang carnation. It is simply used to refer to something being “cool”, “nice” or advantageous to the person who speaks it (or addressing something that is overall good).

Example of Usage: “I like them new LeBrons, them joints is wavy, even though I hate that Cosby hairline nigga.”

OTHER SLANG TERMS/PHRASES (definition varies depending on borough or region — outside of NYC)


— Something crazy or outrageous


— Big money


— Out of control, loose cannon, crazy, acting or talking foolishly/wildly.

“Posted Up”

— Whether it is referring to the cops on the corner watching who they will harass next, or the pitchers moving their work, to “post up” means to just hold up the block by standing by a street post or in front of a bodega or whatever establishment/edifice is behind the person in reference.

“Scream at Me!”

— A takeoff of “Holla”, which is late 90s/early 00s, and “get at me”, which was 90s in origin.

“Good money”

— Simply put: “Good”. Or dependable, a good look, etc.

“Wild  _____”

— An intensifier; interchangeable with the more recognizable intensifiers, “VERY” or “OUTRAGEOUS(LY)””/”RIDICULOUS(LY)”

“(Caught in a) Gaffle”

— A gaffle is a jackpot, a bad situation where someone is taken advantage of or caught unawares.


— Basically the same as being caught in a gaffle, or robbed/swindled.

“Get/Got the Drop On”

— Getting new information; usually before anyone else does — so that you can have a leg up on everyone else.

“You Already Know”

— This is more universal, and not New York City specific (anymore), but one of the more nonsensical phrases out there; given that most people do NOT “already know” what the situation is before you actually tell them. However, slang-wise, it is a confirmation of sorts — referring to the speaker’s confirming what the listener is most likely thinking or expecting.


— Bogeys refer to smokes — whether they are cigarettes or tightly-wrapped cigars (Cloves). Take off of Humphrey Bogart, who is just as famous for his constant cigarette smoking in movies — and the style in which he portrayed while smoking, as he is for his acting. Loosies are individually-sold cigarettes; a pretty lucrative market in New York City if you can get cartons or palets from outta town for cheap.

“Bruva”/”Muva”/”Fava”, etc.

— Words that contain “th” are pronounced with the “th” replaced by “v” sounding phonetics. Likewise, words/names that contain an “r” have that same sound replaced by a “v” sound.

Example: “My bruva, what’s goodie?”
Example: “My homie Evric (Eric) got the drop on that V (whip, car) and copped it for cheap.”

As always… add your own flavor here. I can talk about slang all day, but I’d rather hear everyone else’s take on some of the terms and phrases I listed, and add the plethora of others that I intentionally left off.

Word to muva…

75 thoughts on “New York City Slang: REAL URBAN DICTIONARY — NOT THAT TRASH ONLINE

  1. Meagan August 29, 2012 / 1:58 PM

    lmao this is mad true yo.


  2. Crystal G September 17, 2012 / 11:53 AM

    There’s “word”(I agree; yes; confirmed) “be easy”( calm down; relax; chill out) “buggin” (same as whylin), but this is on point. I’m in Sydney Australia and I’m sending people the link to this page left and right so they can understand me lol. Thanks for this set up.


    • projectpaki January 30, 2015 / 4:32 AM

      “Be easy” means to be safe, take care of yourself. If I’m saying peace (parting from someone with blessings of tranquility) to someone, I’d be like aight man, be easy.


  3. hamed October 24, 2012 / 9:11 PM

    yo Mr wright
    awesome stuff! not that trash online one! I love the way ya write
    hope to read more of yo stuff (mean new yawk city slang)
    keep it comin
    needjur help, so keep it comin, I’ll keep droppin by for more information


  4. Papist emce November 21, 2013 / 10:20 AM

    Yeap em papist emce da rap atirst around east coast i finna say all’yal brooklyn nizzles/mc’s alwayz def yea peepz merrow in date!


  5. Papist emce November 28, 2013 / 6:13 AM

    Underground rap/hip-hop rap (atirst) & acta known by his stage name papist emce da lyrical export


  6. FreeUrCloset December 21, 2013 / 9:40 PM

    right, dope and all that and a bag of chips y’all!


    • Anonymous August 23, 2015 / 6:07 AM

      wah ?


  7. 2 face jones February 22, 2014 / 8:37 PM

    – “At the end of the day….”
    – ” not for nothin”
    – “you mad?”
    – “ayo”


  8. Chris F April 1, 2014 / 7:22 PM

    One – goodbye
    Squalie/5-0/The Boys – The cops
    Brick – cold..Its brick outside
    Jack – cell phone… Yo hit my jack


  9. Peter May 20, 2014 / 9:59 PM

    dead ass


  10. lex spades July 17, 2014 / 3:48 PM

    dun/dunny/thunny…QB Stand up


  11. Hala hue August 22, 2014 / 4:00 AM

    frizzle……………skeety/way ahead
    Chibabababa……… Nigg/dawg/portna
    hauite hauite…………u/thus dope

    Nig dwn here in Africa,Zimbabwe,niggz really trynna jab chats the NY way,this will help…..imma broaden ths ish,na doubt


  12. Ty August 27, 2014 / 12:55 AM

    Lol tha truth kid


  13. chanel September 10, 2014 / 9:48 PM

    What would be a good word for homegirl?


  14. chanel September 10, 2014 / 10:16 PM

    Ok. thanks Mr. Wright 212. I’m in the process of writing a book and one of my characters is from New York so I’m trying to do my research.


  15. chanel September 10, 2014 / 10:23 PM

    Also, say for instance I asked you, “Would you like something to drink?” Would “word” be the response given or is that too much.. Thanks Again!


    • Mr. Wright 212 September 10, 2014 / 10:48 PM

      Only if you are really close with the person would that work. Otherwise, “word” doesn’t really fit there. But to people who are close acquaintances, “word” is filler and can be used in any situation ha.


      • earl Washington September 12, 2014 / 2:59 PM

        Funny how true that is


    • Dice April 11, 2015 / 3:11 PM

      “Word” is more so like, ” that dude sucks in ball” then the responder would say “word” it’s a confirmation that you agree with what was said


  16. Jared September 14, 2014 / 3:04 PM

    Mad and dumb can be used to substitute OD


    • Jared September 14, 2014 / 3:07 PM

      When used as an adjective*


    • Shonn frank November 25, 2014 / 6:20 PM

      Or they can each replace “wild” as an adverb. lol


      • Shonn frank November 25, 2014 / 6:24 PM

        …..along with crazy and stupid.


  17. Emma September 15, 2014 / 12:01 AM

    brolic –> muscular, jacked, strong, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. los angeles October 9, 2014 / 10:19 PM

    Bobby shmurda sus as fuck..


  19. Shonn frank November 25, 2014 / 6:22 PM

    What’s poppin? What’s crackin? = What’s going on?


      • Kimmy February 8, 2016 / 1:41 PM

        But these are actually gang affiliated so I wouldn’t just go around saying them anywhere if you’re in certain neighborhoods to be honest…

        What’s poppin = blood
        What’s crackin = crip


  20. Jimothy scoliosis January 7, 2015 / 11:21 AM

    Facts- I agree; can be used like “word”
    “-Popeyes is mad good”
    Lit- poppin, live;
    “that party was lit; it was lit last night”
    Up- rich; having money;
    “I got my check yesterday im up”


  21. Alexander Paul Love February 17, 2015 / 5:34 AM

    Sus – sketchy

    Copy – i gotchu

    you heard – you understood?

    that’s light – it was nothing

    lit – live

    brick – freezing

    dub – something that didn’t go as planned haha

    fam – my non blood brotha

    link up – meet up

    tight – mad as fuck angry

    facts – word


  22. Anonymous April 2, 2015 / 8:01 AM

    I’m weak (usually from laughing so much)
    dead ( sub for very, really, wild, etc.) ex:; I’m dead serious or another expression for laughter ex; I’m dead, that was odee funny. i’m crying goes along with those as well
    Zoe (swindle, joox, gaffle)
    chicken, bread, green, cake, bands (money)
    cake can also mean a fat ass ex; she got the CAKE!


  23. @mangina April 9, 2015 / 3:21 PM

    As a white guy, is muthafucka a good replacement for nigger?


    • OG February 18, 2016 / 7:38 AM

      First up, I think you mean nigga not nigger.

      If you’re asking should a white guy address someone as muthafucka instead of nigga: just say man, bruh, B, dude, son, etc. Muthafucka is doing too much.

      If you’re asking would someone call a white guy muthafucka instead of nigga: nigga is used on the street basically like guy. ‘Dominican nigga’, ‘Chinese nigga’, ‘short nigga’, ‘white nigga’, etc. But unless you came up in the hood, just say guy or dude.


  24. Anonymous April 17, 2015 / 7:55 PM

    I often hear/see the term “word to” or “word to your muva”, what exactly does one mean by that? Or when does one use it?


    • Mr. Wright 212 April 17, 2015 / 8:00 PM

      Just means intense agreement or heavily emphasizing that what is being said is factual.


  25. E_factor November 30, 2015 / 4:05 AM

    What phrase would be used to say, “that is hard” like, “did you hear Missy’s new single? That song goes hard.”
    Hard meaning hot, nice or fire if in the south


    • rustjack January 8, 2016 / 7:17 PM

      I thought “hard” meant “intense” LMAO


  26. E_factor November 30, 2015 / 4:15 AM

    And what about “keeping tabs on someone”, “stepping to/trying to holla at someone” and “being booed up or trying to make someone your boo”. I’m working on a story with NY characters and want to be authentic as possible. Thanks!


  27. Ayanah December 15, 2015 / 5:02 PM

    Lmaoo this is dead true . & some other words is like No funny shit or no funny , or Facts which is like deadass , or like dayroom Lmao theres mad other words


  28. rustjack January 8, 2016 / 7:07 PM

    So glad you didn’t put “bro” here. It’s never been black slang at all. Some idiots have been saying “bro” is black or white slang. No it’s Spanish/Italian slang. They don’t call it “guido slang” for nothing. The first none usage of it in English was by a man named John Evelyn

    I suspected “B” meant “brother.” I lived around blacks and whites — neither used the word “bro.” And “bro” is not related to the word “brother” (slang either), neither is it even related to the religious titles.


    • rustjack January 8, 2016 / 7:25 PM

      Whoops I accidently upped myself. Sorry for that, ladies and bros😀


  29. rustjack January 8, 2016 / 7:09 PM

    “Brother” as a slang originated when blacks would unite against racism and saw each other as “brothers and sisters.” “Bro” originated in England (in its English form) by a man of Norman ancestry. In terms of further roots it can be Spanish or Italian as many of them say the word in their language.


  30. rustjack January 8, 2016 / 7:10 PM

    I’m Puerto Rican myself and I’ve heard so many of my fellow countrymen and women say the word to other fellas. It’s actually kinda sweet. Not so into “brother” or “sister” (maybe I’m not black so I wouldn’t be able to understand the love for the word, but to each their own).


  31. rustjack January 8, 2016 / 7:24 PM

    Funny, for a country that loves slang so much we’ve definitely hated the word “bro” in this country. Funny thing it wasn’t until “Seinfeld” — a show with so many of our fav immigrant groups — that the word got popularized😀
    And later “Jersey Shore” would further popularize the word.
    “It’ll be me you and the bro, BRO!” hahahahahaha
    Even Jerry Seinfeld himself has said it
    All 4 of them have said.
    Linda Stasi is a guida herself hahaha🙂
    She has said the word “bro” but has never said “brother” (in its slang usage).

    Liked by 1 person

  32. rustjack January 8, 2016 / 7:28 PM

    Am I wrong for thinking “bro”/”sis” sounds tougher-sounding slang compared to “brother” and many black slang? Maybe I’m racist, but the culture of chuvanism isn’t as endrained in African culture like it is in Meditteranean culture We’re rough people hahaha
    So our loving terms are so rough😀
    Wouldn’t be surprised if Annabella Sciorra (who is Italian btw) has said “bro” many times in her life to good buddies😀


  33. rustjack January 11, 2016 / 8:43 PM

    Don’t know why my post got deleted, so I say it again: “bro” is a guido/a slang.
    Linda Stasi, who is Italian, has said it in her tweets😀
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Annabella Sciorra (who is also Italian) has said it😀
    She seems like that Jordanshead type of girl😀
    Italians and Puerto Ricans we’re no different haha


  34. rustjack January 11, 2016 / 8:44 PM

    Whoops apparently my post didn’t get; just is awaiting moderation


  35. Anonymous January 16, 2016 / 12:41 AM



  36. Kimmy February 8, 2016 / 1:36 PM

    One that always confuses non New Yorkers is “I’m mad that _________”… because it’s never followed by anything that actually makes you mad.

    Also I definitely thought brolic was an actual word.

    Brick ass – cold
    Dead – absolutely… as in I was dead feeling him

    The list goes forever!


    • Alex May 17, 2016 / 5:32 PM

      “I was mad that _” typically means that someone noticed something, or at least that’s how people I know use it. for example, “I’m mad she bought her friend food.” could also means you find something funny
      in the case of “I was dead feeing him,” dead comes from ‘deadass’ which is a confirmation in a way. it means something similar to ‘indeed’ or “really” hopefully these examples help clarify:
      “she dead pissed me off,” = she really/indeed/actually pissed me off
      “that shit wasn’t even funny, but he dead thought it was” = that wasn’t even funny but he really/actually thought it was
      “she dead just said the same thing!” = she (really) just said the same thing


  37. Alex May 17, 2016 / 5:38 PM

    Some you left out are:
    violate = to go beyond boundaries when talking to someone
    “he violated her” = he just said something messed up about her

    shitted on = made fun of / violated
    “She dead just shitted on his life” = she just violated him

    deadass = indeed, really, actually: can really be substituted for anything
    “she deadass just said the same thing” = she [really, actually, indeed] just said the same thing… ask you can see, it’s not necessary to be used, but it is

    bet = I agree / confirm / yes
    “wanna go out tonight?”
    “bet” =
    “wanna go out tonight?”

    no funny shit = seriously
    “I like her, no funny shit” = I seriously like her
    “no funny shit, do you think he’s ugly?” = “seriously, do you think he’s ugly?”


  38. Alex May 17, 2016 / 5:39 PM

    Some you left out are:
    violate = to go beyond boundaries when talking to someone
    “he violated her” = he just said something messed up about her

    shitted on = made fun of / violated
    “She dead just shitted on his life” = she just violated him

    deadass > indeed, really, actually: can really be substituted for anything
    “she deadass just said the same thing” = she [really, actually, indeed] just said the same thing… ask you can see, it’s not necessary to be used, but it is

    bet = I agree / confirm / yes
    “wanna go out tonight?”
    “bet” =
    “wanna go out tonight?”

    no funny shit = seriously
    “I like her, no funny shit” = I seriously like her
    “no funny shit, do you think he’s ugly?” = “seriously, do you think he’s ugly?”


  39. Vanessa June 8, 2016 / 10:00 PM

    What does “ya mad dayroom” mean?


  40. Toriano Nelson June 22, 2016 / 3:53 PM

    It’s not yo son, it’s yo Sun!!!


  41. revdom777 July 19, 2016 / 1:19 PM

    Jakes: Cops

    Dem Boys: Cops

    Hat or Joe: another way of saying “my man”, like, “What’s good, hat? What’s poppin, Joe”. Honestly, I’ve only ever heard this said by Yonkers cats.

    Slammin: Mad good

    Bangin: About the same as “slammin”

    Woolly or woo-banger: a coke laced blunt

    Cut me off/let me get that cut/bust me short: asking someone to give you the last few pulls on your cigarette.


  42. Catchin Plays August 27, 2016 / 5:06 AM

    “Slammin” is old ass shit, so is “Jakes”…And in NYC a “Hat” or “Hat Boy” is a blood gang member from a Brim set… in NYC they are addressed as Hats. Hat is what brims call each other in NYC and even New Jersey… The yonkers lingo youre talking about is just “Haah”, Not “Hat”.. No “T” at the end.


Feel free to share your thoughts here...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s