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Here are 25 Slang Terms You’ll Only Understand if you’re from New York




Welcome to the Empire State, where the hustle and bustle of city life meet the tranquility of upstate landscapes, and a unique linguistic tapestry weaves the stories of its people. From the iconic cityscape of Manhattan to the charming villages nestled along the Hudson River, New York’s slang reflects the melting pot of cultures and the unmistakable energy that permeates the state. Join us on a linguistic journey through 25 slang terms, each a vibrant thread in the rich fabric of New York’s diverse and spirited identity.

Big Apple Banter

Light-hearted exchanges or humor associated with New York City, often referred to as the Big Apple.


A single slice of Pizza


Taxi cab driver


Having a grudge against someone.

Upstate Chuckle

Amusement specific to the regions outside of New York City, known collectively as Upstate New York.


Convenience store

Metro Mirth

Laughter inspired by the metropolitan lifestyle of New York City.

Bodega Banter

Unique language or expressions related to the corner stores, known as bodegas, found throughout the city.


A whole pizza

Subway Snicker

Humorous exchanges or jokes related to the New York City subway system.

Empire State Jest

Amusement tied to the state’s nickname, the Empire State.

Knickerbocker Chuckle

A playful term for a good laugh, referencing the historical term “Knickerbocker” associated with early Dutch settlers.


When you head to a deli, you may want to order a bagel with schmear. It’s a shorter way to say “a lot of cream cheese”!

The Village

“The Village” is a nickname for Greenwich Village, a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan known for its bohemian culture and nightlife. It is a popular destination for students and young professionals.

The Heights

“The Heights” refers to Washington Heights, a neighborhood in Upper Manhattan that borders the Hudson River. It is known for its diverse population and vibrant food scene.

The Uptown

“The Uptown” is a term used to refer to the Upper East Side or Upper West Side of Manhattan, two affluent neighborhoods located on opposite sides of Central Park. They are known for their high-end shops, art galleries, and museums.

Five Boroughs Funny

Jokes specific to the five boroughs of New York City: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island.

Concrete Jungle Jest

Amusement related to the urban and bustling nature of New York City.

The Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Broadway Banter

Humor associated with Broadway, the famous theater district in Manhattan.

Yankee Yarn

Jokes or humor related to the New York Yankees, a major baseball team in the state.

Hudson Valley Hilarity

Amusement specific to the picturesque Hudson Valley region in Upstate New York.

City That Never Sleeps Snicker

A laugh inspired by the 24/7 energy and activity in New York City.

Coney Island Chuckle

Humor associated with the iconic amusement area of Coney Island in Brooklyn.

Central Park Quip

Jokes related to Central Park, a vast green space in the heart of Manhattan.

Currently residing in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and Pomeranian, Mochi. Leo is a lover of all things travel related outside and inside the United States. Leo has been to every continent and continues to push to reach his goals of visiting every country someday. Learn more about Leo on MuckRack.

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