Going to college in Boston? "Mary-mutha-ah-gawd, you gotta be wicked smaht!"
But we bet you don't know some things. Like, what's a three decka? A packie? How about a rotary? Ever banged a U-ey? Worn dungarees or ordered a frappe? Even a Rhodes scholar would have a tough time deciphering the language Boston calls its own.
"New Englanders have had a long and strong tradition of eccentric ways of expressing themselves, especially in Boston," said Boston University Linguistics professor Michael Feldman. "It's very distinctive."
Indeed ~ and we'd have a pissah time tryin' to stump ya, then make fun a ya behindja back ... but that's wicked mean. Instead, here's a little primer to take with you on the T, while you're on the Common or in the Gahden, maybe catchin' a Pats game or sipping a regulah coffee at Dunkies.
American Chop Suey ~ Found in school cafeterias, this delightful dish doesn't resemble anything American or Chinese. It's macaroni with meat and tomato sauce. (and no one can make it like my Nam!)
Bangin' a U-ey ~ This is what you do while driving after you miss a turn and you have to turn around.
Book it ~ To hightail someplace, as in, "I better book it to Stah Mahket before it closes."
Bubblah ~ Spelled "bubbler", it's a water fountain.
Der ~ An interjection indicating disdain for someone else's stupidity, as in, "The old Gahden was way betta than the Fleet! Der!"
Down Cella ~ The basement. As in; "run down cella and get me a dishtowel outta the drya." Derived from "upstayuhs".
Dungarees ~ Jeans. Hardly heard anymore, unless you're at some sort of senior citizens event. (or almost anywhere in MA/RI with folk over 50)
Frappe ~ What the rest of the nation calls a milkshake. But in Boston, a milkshake is just flavored milk; no ice cream allowed. And don’ even get me stahted on a cabinet!
Fried and Bizaah ~ Weird. "That dude is wicked fried." "Yah, he's totally bizaah."
Fudge-icle ~ To the rest of the world, a frozen chocolate pop is a Fudgesicle, but in Boston, the 's' is silent.
Hermits and Black 'n Whites ~ Cookies. A hermit is a molasses and raisin bar. Black 'n Whites, known anywhere else as "half moons" or "half and halfs", are round, cakelike cookies with chocolate frosting on one half, vanilla on the other.
Jimmies ~ Sprinkles you put on ice cream, usually chocolate. (the best on an ice cream cone!)
Packie ~ Liquor Store. You'll have to make a packie run if you want a kegga (keg party.)
Pissah ~ Good.
Rotary ~ traffic circle. And in Massachusetts, those in the rotary have the right of way. (as it flippin' should be ... think about it!)
Scrod ~ a generic name for white fish. We think it's cod, but no one's sure. Usually breaded and laden with butter.
So Don't I / So Aren't I ~ So do I, So am I. "I have tickets to Aerosmith tonight." "Oh my Gawd, so don't I!" "No Suh!" "Yah huh." "Wicked Pissa!"
Three Decker ~ Pronounced "three decka", it's a three story house in which each story is a separate apartment.
A Time ~ A party. "We're going to a time for Sully at McGuire's."
Tonic ~ Soda.
Wicked ~ Extremely. "Nomaaah's a wicked good baseball playa." (of course, we're really not supposed to use that traitor Garciaparra as an example anymore ...)
Yah Huh and No Suh ~ Yes and no. Usually heard during an intense conversation. "I saw Mickey at Castle Island and he was with another girl." "No SUH!" "Yah huh."
- Don't say COPEly Square, it's COPley.
- Worcester isn't WOOster, it's Wisstah.
- Say Commonwealth Avenue, Massachusetts Avenue or Dorchester Avenue and you'll get pinched. It's Comm. Ave, Mass. Ave and Dot. Ave.
BOSTONIANS!!! . . . . ya gotta love 'em!