New York City Slang: REAL URBAN DICTIONARY — NOT THAT TRASH ONLINE


New York City Slang: REAL URBAN DICTIONARY — NOT THAT TRASH ONLINE
M.D. Wright
2.26.2012

    • 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!”

“B”

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.”

“Son”

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.”

“730”

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.”

“Wavy”

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)

“Bananas”

— Something crazy or outrageous

“Mooga”

— Big money

“Wylin”

— 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.

“Joox”

— 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.

“Bogey”/”Loosie”

— 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…

64 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.

    Like

  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.

    Like

    • 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.

      Like

  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
    loveyalots

    Like

  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!

    Like

  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

    Like

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

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

    Like

    • Anonymous August 23, 2015 / 6:07 AM

      wah ?

      Like

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

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

    Like

  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

    Like

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

    dead ass

    Like

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

    dun/dunny/thunny…QB Stand up

    Like

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

    Ish……..shit
    cabbin………….crib/hse
    frizzle……………skeety/way ahead
    Chibabababa………..ma 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

    Like

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

    Lol tha truth kid

    Like

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

    What would be a good word for homegirl?

    Like

  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.

    Like

  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!

    Like

    • 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.

      Like

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

        Funny how true that is

        Like

    • 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

      Like

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

    Mad and dumb can be used to substitute OD

    Like

    • Jared September 14, 2014 / 3:07 PM

      When used as an adjective*

      Like

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

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

      Like

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

        …..along with crazy and stupid.

        Like

  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..

    Like

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

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

    Like

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

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

    Like

  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

    Like

  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!

    Like

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

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

    Like

  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?

    Like

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

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

      Like

  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

    Like

    • rustjack January 8, 2016 / 7:17 PM

      I thought “hard” meant “intense” LMAO

      Like

  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!

    Like

  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

    Like

  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.

    Like

    • rustjack January 8, 2016 / 7:25 PM

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

      Like

  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.

    Like

  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).

    Like

  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 :D
    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 :D
    Wouldn’t be surprised if Annabella Sciorra (who is Italian btw) has said “bro” many times in her life to good buddies :D

    Like

  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 :D
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Annabella Sciorra (who is also Italian) has said it :D
    She seems like that Jordanshead type of girl :D
    Italians and Puerto Ricans we’re no different haha

    Like

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

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

    Like

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

    Bet

    Like

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