Boston Slang


A
ABI - American Born Irish; someone of Irish descent born in the United States who enthusiastically admires Ireland and Irish culture.
alls - common substitute for "all that." ("Alls I know," "alls I want," etc.)

B
bagged - arrested; "He got bagged for a DUI."; (Driving Under the Influence)
bang - to make a left turn (often, "bang a left"; also used often as "bang a U-ie" - make a U turn); sometimes used interchangeably with hang
barney - a Harvard student or graduate (used by working class residents of Somerville), apparently in reference to trolley barns near the university. The term is rarely used today; now yuppie is used as a desciption of almost all outsiders, including college students, professors and men wearing expensive suits.
Beantown - Boston (seldom used by Bostonians)
bobos - Cheap no-name sneakers.
BoSox - See Sox (Seldom used within New England, national slang to differentiate from the ChiSox, or White Sox of Chicago)
breakdown lane - right margin or shoulder on highways used for broken down vehicles. Cars can drive in the breakdown lane at certain hours on some Massachusetts highways.
Da Broons - Reference to the Boston Bruins, also often called The B's. The Bruins AHL affilate from Providence are referred to as the Baby B's.
bubbler [pron. bubblah] - water fountain


C
calm your liver - chill out (uncommon)
The Cape - Cape Cod
Children's - Children's Hospital Boston
chowdah [chowder] - New England clam chowder, or occasionally fish chowder. Never, never, the Manhattan variety of clam chowder.
chowderhead (sometimes chowdahead) - stupid person
Chuck Rivah - the Charles River
Comm Ave - Commonwealth Avenue
The Combat Zone - the red light district of Boston that used to exist between Downtown Crossing and Chinatown
The Common - Boston Common


D
decked - adj., dressed nicely ("decked out"); past tense verb, punched
directional - noun., turn signal
down cellar (pronounced "down sellah") - refers to a basement
d-tech - An undercover police car

E
Eastie - East Boston.

F
FBI - Foreign Born Irish; someone born in Ireland; an Irish immigrant
the flat of the Hill - the portion of Beacon Hill between Charles Street and Storrow Drive
frappe [pron. frap] - a milkshake; the term milkshake has a separate use

G
The Gahden - a reference to the Boston Garden or the TD Banknorth Garden, home of the Boston Celtics and the Boston Bruins
grinder [pron. "grind-ah"] - A submarine sandwich. Some insist that a grinder is toasted, while a sub is not.

H
hang - to make a right turn (often, "hang a right"); sometimes used interchangeably with bang
Hell - MIT, particularly to its students
the Hill - Beacon Hill
Hoobanger - (pronounced who-banga) A large party.
hook - used interchaneably with hang; ("hook a right")
hi hosey - to claim ownership of something; ("Hi hosey the front seat.")
The Hub - Boston; shortened from Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.'s phrase The Hub of the Solar System (often misremembered as Universe) (seldom used in conversation, but seen often in writing and advertisements, e.g. in the Boston Globe)

I
the Irish Riviera - the South Shore coastal suburbs to the southeast of Boston such as Hingham and Weymouth

J
The Jetties - refers to Jetties Beach in Nantucket
JP - Jamaica Plain

L
the Law School - Harvard Law School
the Leather District - the neighborhood surrounding South Street in Boston
"Light dawns on Marblehead" - used when a dense person finally realizes something. Also any variation such as, Dawn breaks on Marblehead.
the Lower End - that part of South Boston around the Broadway MBTA station

M
Man's Greatest Hospital - Massachusetts General Hospital (alternatively, the medical-industrial complex)
Mass Ave - Massachusetts Avenue
Massholes - derogatory term for residents of Massachusetts, especially of Boston drivers (popular in New Hampshire).

N
"No suh!" [No sir, compare "no sirree"] - "No way!". The appropriate response is "Ya huh!"

O
The Orange Dinosaur - big orange dinosaur on Rt. 1 Saugus

P
packie (also package store) - liquor store
Pats - the New England Patriots
the People's Republic - Cambridge (alternatively, seven square miles surrounded by reality)
The Pike - the Massachusetts Turnpike, also the Mass Pike
pissa (1) - cool, good: "You hit the Lottery? That's pissa man."; less commonly it can be used instead of pissed to mean drunk: "I had ten beers last night. I was wicked pissa!"
pissa! (2) - used as an exclamation when something goes wrong: "Oh pissa!", he shouted as his car keys fell down the storm drain.
pol(s) - politician(s), political operative,

R
Red Sox Nation - the collective group of Sox fans that span the US and beyond. Red Sox Nation is seen in the immense crowds of Sox fans that gather even at visiting parks.
re-re- an idiot ("He's a wicked re-re."). A derogatory variation on "retarded". Most people from Mass generally say "retahded" more often that "re-re".
The River - the Charles River

S
Salt and Pepper Bridge - Longfellow Bridge
sketchy - A term used, most often by teenagers, referring to something strange or out of place (such as a suspicious person).
skally - a driving cap or an ivy cap that has snap button front.
skidder - referring to someone who bums (borrows) money from friends. Pronounced "skiddah".
SoBro - South Brookline
So don't I - pleonasm, used to agree with a statement; a replacement for "me too"; ("I like the Red Sox." "So don't I.")
Southie - South Boston; also used for residents of the area
spa - neighborhood shop that sells groceries, soda fountain drinks, sandwiches (or other prepared food) and miscellaneous notions. Spas of this sort include the Hillside Spa Cardoza Brothers, on Hancock Street, or the Brookline Spa, in Brookline, MA.
spuckie - submarine sandwich, or the bread it was made with. Rarely used anymore. Replaced by "sub".
SoWa - the southern portion of Washington Street in Boston. A term created by the real estate industry and not used in common speech.
Sox (also The Sox) - the Boston Red Sox; pronounced "socks" or "So-AX".
The Square - Harvard Square
statie - Massachusetts state trooper, or police officer

T
The T - the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority; also used for services run by the MBTA, particularly the Subway. Taken from the MBTA's logo, a block-letter T within a circle.
Taxachusetts - derogatory political state title and comparative reference to the limited taxation of neighboring New Hampshire
tonic - soft drink (like "spuckie", an older term that has gradually been replaced); others insist it refers exclusively to seltzer water.
tonic, boss o - a 2 liter bottle of soda or soft drink
Triple Eagle - Someone who has graduated from Boston College High School, Boston College, and Boston College Law School. Taken from the fact that all three schools use the eagle as a mascot.

U
Upper Mass Ave - the stretch of Massachusetts Avenue that runs north from Harvard Square toward the town of Arlington

V
The Vineyard - Martha's Vineyard

W
whip - to throw; "I whipped the ball at his head."
wicked - very; or occasionally cool. Used indiscriminately, can modify anything (e.g.: "Wicked good." "Wicked bad." "Wicked boring.", etc.). Almost always used as an adverb, rather than an adjective; some Bostonians feel it is grammatically improper not to put an adjective or verb after "wicked".
wicked pissa - awesome, very cool



For more see: http://www.aboutlanguageschools.com/language/slang/boston-slang.asp

Home