It’s widely known that Bostonians have an accent. Technically, there are multiple accents associated with different parts of the city. However, even when you look beyond our unique way of pronouncing things, what about the words that we’re actually saying? Some visitors find that our slang leaves them as lost and confused as if they were hearing a foreign language. Here are some phrases that you’ll only hear in Massachusetts, especially in Boston:
1. "I’m going to take the T today."
Commuting sucks but at least Bostonians have the option of taking public transit, a.k.a. "The T." If you think about it, this term makes it sound as if we’re carrying iced tea to some unspecified location, when actually we’re just taking the Green Line. And if you aren’t rolling your eyes when the Green Line is mentioned, it’s because you’re not from here. Otherwise, you’d know that it equates to a slow commute because you'll be riding a trolley, not a train.
2. "I got stuck on the Pike forever."
While this is also called Mass Pike, you won’t hear it referred to by its full name: the Massachusetts Turnpike. If you’re from out of town and expect to be able to use cash at a toll plaza, you’re out of luck. They were discontinued in 2016 and now it’s E-Z Pass all the way. No pass? No problem. The vaguely threatening signs assure you that you’ll be paying by plate. In other words, you’ll be tracked down by your license plate, which is in no way stalkerish or creepy.
3. "All the drivers on the Pike are chowderheads."
Except you of course — because you wouldn’t refer to yourself as stupid! Despite the fact that this guy is literally carrying chowder on his head, he is probably not a chowderhead. Just a guy who is popular at Fenway.
4. "I got in a car accident today because this total Masshole decided to bang a uey and crashed into me."
Although all Massachusetts residents can technically be "Massholes," Boston drivers are often on the receiving end of this — ahem — term of endearment. To bang a uey just means to make a U-turn.
5. "I had to pull into the breakdown lane."
In other places, this is known as the shoulder. If you need to use it then you’re probably already having a bad day. To make things worse, there’s a fair chance you’ll encounter a Masshole or two zipping down the breakdown lane. During rush hour on certain roads, this is legal, but speeding here is particularly dangerous.
6. "Alls I know is that he deserved to get bagged. Where’s a statie when you need one?"
Here’s a hint: if you get bagged, you’ll be posing for a mugshot. A statie is a state trooper. Out-of-staters take note… our state police don’t ride around in black and white vehicles. Instead, they cruise across Massachusetts in appealing two-tone vehicles in hues of blue that look like they should be called "rich navy" and "ocean fog."
7. "I had to wear a johnny and you know that means there was a breeze on my butt."
Get your mind out of the gutter! A johnny is a hospital gown. The breeze on your butt is an unfortunate side effect of wearing one.
8. "Is anyone making a Dunks run? Because I’d kill for some coffee regular."
Here in Boston, we have coffee in our veins. Specifically coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. Coffee regular means your beverage has cream and sugar. How much? Usually two creams and two sugars for a small coffee.
9. "Remember when I rented that huge, cheap apartment near the Garden, on Comm Av?"
Yeah, that was definitely a dream. But, even when you wake up, you’ll still abbreviate streets named "Avenue" to "Av."
10. "My friend just moved into a three decker."
This type of Boston-area building is also called a triple decker.
11. "My apartment’s in a wicked good location."
Congrats! But does it have on-site laundry? Because that would be wicked sweet. Wicked is Bostonian for "very" or "really."
12. "We’re out of beer. Let’s go to the packie."
The package store is where alcohol lives.
13. "Did you remember to buy tonic?"
Some people here call soda tonic.
14. "I’d like a green monster frappe."
Me too! The Green Monster is the name of the leftfield wall in Fenway Park. In 1947, it received a coat of green paint, which is how the structure earned its nickname. This iconic symbol of the Sox is so popular that it has spawned Green-Monster inspired products, such as ice cream. Hood’s version consists of mint ice cream with fudge, but you sometimes see mint mixed with Oreos. A frappe is a milkshake. Out-of-state visitors might want to order one "extra thick" to get the consistency they’re expecting.
15. We’re going down the Cape this weekend. It’ll be wicked pissah/pissa."
No doubt. Trips to Cape Cod are usually amazing.