Understanding NY Slang

Understanding NY Slang

March 13, 2024   1679

New York City, a melting pot of cultures and languages, has developed its own unique slang over the years. From the bustling streets of Brooklyn to the vibrant corners of Manhattan, NY slang is an essential part of the city's identity. This guide explores 45 common slang terms that capture the essence of New York, providing a transcription for each, along with descriptions and examples of their use in everyday life.

The Language of New York

Embrace the heart and soul of the Big Apple with our quintessential New York slang collection. From the timeless echoes of the streets to the vibrant pulses of the city's spirit, our guide offers a deep dive into the lingo that shapes the city's identity. Whether you're thirsty for knowledge or eager to speak like a true New Yorker, we've got you covered with everything from the latest slang for cool to the cherished sayings that have defined generations. Join us on a journey through the lexicon of New York, where every word is a doorway to the city's legendary essence.


Everyone participating in the CDPAP program calls New York home. This shared connection means we're all well-versed in the unique language that pulses through the city's veins. Yet, for those who wish to dive deeper into the essence of New York, we've crafted a guide to 45 of the city's most iconic slang terms. It's our way of embracing and celebrating the vibrant tapestry of voices that make New York truly unforgettable.

Common Slang Terms From NY

1. Bodega (boh-DEY-guh)

A small convenience store or grocery store, often found on street corners.

  • Example: "I'm heading to the bodega to grab a coffee and a sandwich."

2. Deadass (DEHD-ass)

Serious or genuinely; used to emphasize sincerity.

  • Example: "Deadass, this is the best pizza in New York."

3. Brick (brik)

Extremely cold or chilly, often used to describe weather.

  • Example: "It's brick outside, you'll need an extra layer."

4. Finna (FIN-nuh)

Short for "fixing to," meaning about to do something.

  • Example: "I'm finna hit up the gym, you wanna come?"

5. Bet (bet)

An expression of agreement or confirmation.

  • Example: "Meet you at 7?" "Bet."

6. Dap (dap)

A friendly gesture of greeting, agreement, or solidarity, usually involving a handshake, fist bump, or the tapping of fists.

  • Example: "Gave him a dap when I saw him at the court."

7. Grub (grub)

Food; used to refer to eating or meals.

  • Example: "Let's go get some grub, I'm starving."

8. Mad (mad)

Very or extremely; used for emphasis.

  • Example: "It's mad hot today, isn't it?"

9. Schmoney (SHMUN-ee)

Money; often used in a playful or bragging manner.

  • Example: "Just got paid, time to make some schmoney!"

10. Tight (tyt)

Upset, angry, or annoyed.

  • Example: "He's tight because he lost his keys."

11. Yo (yo)

A greeting or a way to attract someone's attention.

  • Example: "Yo, over here!"

12. Flex (flex)

To show off; displaying wealth or status in a boastful way.

  • Example: "He loves to flex his new designer shoes."

13. Facts (fakts)

An expression of agreement, similar to saying "that's true" or "exactly."

  • Example: "This is the best coffee in town, facts."

14. It's Lit (its lit)

Something is exciting, fun, or amazing.

  • Example: "The party last night was lit."

15. Thirsty (THUR-stee)

Desperate, overly eager, or too keen, especially in a social or sexual context.

  • Example: "He's always sliding into DMs, so thirsty."

16. OD (oh-dee)

Overdoing it, excessive.

  • Example: "You're ODing on the hot sauce, slow down."

17. Woke (wohk)

Being aware, especially about social injustices and issues.

  • Example: "Stay woke about what's happening around us."

18. The City (the SIT-ee)

Refers specifically to Manhattan, even though New York City comprises five boroughs.

  • Example: "I'm heading into the city for a meeting."

19. Son (sun)

A term of endearment or general reference to a person, not necessarily male.

  • Example: "What's up, son? How's it going?"

20. Spill the Tea (spil the tee)

To share gossip, secrets, or the latest news.

  • Example: "Come on, spill the tea on what happened last night."

21. Chop it up (CHOP it up)

To have a conversation or catch up with someone.

  • Example: "Let's chop it up over coffee tomorrow."

22. Jawn (jaw-n)

A general term that can refer to a person, place, or thing. Although more commonly associated with Philadelphia slang, it has found its way into NY vernacular.

  • Example: "Check out this jawn I bought yesterday."

23. No cap (no KAP)

No lie or for real; used to emphasize the truthfulness of a statement.

  • Example: "This is the best burger spot, no cap."

24. The Stoop (the stoop)

The front steps of a building, particularly in residential areas; a popular gathering place.

  • Example: "We were just sitting on the stoop, talking."

25. Lowkey (LOH-kee)

Understated or moderate; can also mean somewhat or slightly.

  • Example: "I'm lowkey tired, but I can hang out for a bit."

26. Highkey (HY-kee)

The opposite of lowkey; used to denote something that is significant or intense.

  • Example: "I'm highkey excited about the concert tonight."

27. Sus (suhs)

Short for "suspicious" or "suspect"; questionable or dubious.

  • Example: "That deal sounds sus, I'd avoid it."

28. The Plug (the pluhg)

Someone who has access to or can obtain hard-to-find or exclusive items, often at a good price.

  • Example: "He's the plug for concert tickets."

29. Frontin' (FRUHN-tin)

Pretending or putting on a facade, often to seem tougher or more important.

  • Example: "Why you frontin'? We all know you're not like that."

30. Whip (wip)

A car or vehicle.

  • Example: "Check out my new whip."

31. Guap (gwahp)

A significant amount of money.

  • Example: "Just got paid today, feeling like I got that guap."

32. Ice (ahys)

Jewelry, especially diamonds or other precious stones.

  • Example: "His new watch is all ice."

33. Lit (lit)

Used to describe something that is amazing, exciting, or lively.

  • Example: "The party last night was absolutely lit."

34. Wack (wak)

Something that is bad, poor in quality, or not up to standard.


  • Example: "That movie was wack, I wish we watched something else."

35. Slept on (slept on)

Underrated or not given enough recognition.

  • Example: "That artist is seriously slept on; his work is amazing."

36. Wavey (WAY-vee)

Cool, trendy, or having a good vibe.

  • Example: "This new bar is pretty wavey, you should check it out."

37. Dead (ded)

Extremely boring, empty, or lacking in energy.

  • Example: "This party is dead, let's bounce."

38. Bounce (baunss)

To leave, especially quickly or abruptly.

  • Example: "It's getting late, time to bounce."

39. FOMO (FOH-moh)

Fear Of Missing Out; anxiety that an exciting event may currently be happening elsewhere.

  • Example: "I've got serious FOMO knowing they're all at the festival without me."

40. GOAT (G-O-A-T)

Greatest Of All Time; used to describe someone who is the best in their field or category.

  • Example: "Beyoncé is the GOAT, no question."

41. Hypebeast (HYP-beest)

Someone who always follows the latest trends, especially in fashion and sneakers.

  • Example: "He's such a hypebeast, always wearing the newest drops."

42. On the low (on the loh)

To keep something secret or private.

  • Example: "We've been dating, but we're keeping it on the low for now."

43. Throw shade (throh SHADE)

To subtly express contempt or disrespect for someone.

  • Example: "I can't believe she threw shade at me in the meeting."

44. Salty (SAL-tee)

To be upset, angry, or bitter, usually over something minor.

  • Example: "He's still salty about the game last night."

45. Vibe check (vahyb CHEK)

Assessing the general mood or feelings of a person or a place.

  • Example: "Let's do a quick vibe check before we decide to stay."


1. What does tp mean in new york? 

In New York, "TP" primarily stands for "Think Positive". This slang is often used on social media platforms like TikTok in motivational or inspirational content to encourage people to maintain a positive mindset .

2. What does od mean in new york slang ?

In New York slang, "OD" (sometimes spelled as "Odee" or "Ode") generally means "very," "extra," or to do something to an excessive degree. The term can stand for "overdose" or "overdoing it," indicating that something is done to an extreme level, whether it's a behavior, an action, or even the quality of something. For example, saying "That party was OD crowded" means that the party was extremely crowded to the point of being over the top. This usage of "OD" is part of the vibrant slang that has developed in New York, particularly in urban communities and among younger demographics, reflecting the city's dynamic and diverse culture .

3. What does bird mean in new york slang ?

In New York slang, "bird" is often used to refer to someone considered disloyal or untrustworthy. It can also refer to someone who talks too much or spreads rumors. The context in which "bird" is used can vary, influencing its exact meaning.

4. What does muddy mean in new york slang ?

To call someone "muddy" in a metaphorical sense,  implies that the person's thoughts, ideas, or explanations are obscure, muddled, or confused. It suggests that their reasoning or argument lacks clarity and precision, making it difficult to understand or follow. "Muddy thinking" refers to a thought process that is not clear-cut or well-articulated, leading to conclusions or statements that are vague or perplexing. This characterization can apply to situations where someone is unable to communicate effectively, leaving their audience puzzled about their points or intentions.

5. What does dub mean in new york slang ?

In New York slang, "dub" can have a few meanings depending on the context, but it primarily refers to a rejection or a negative response. For instance, if someone says they're going to "dub" an event or a person, it means they plan to not attend the event or avoid the person. It can also be used to describe something or someone as unworthy or a failure. Additionally, in some contexts, "dub" can refer to a $20 bill, deriving from "double" since it's twice the value of a $10 bill. The versatility of the term "dub" showcases the dynamic nature of New York slang, where words can take on multiple meanings based on the situation.

6. What does chopped mean in new york slang ?

In New York slang, "chopped" can have several meanings depending on the context in which it's used. One common usage is in the context of cars or motorcycles, where "chopped" might refer to vehicles that have been modified or customized, often to lower their height or enhance performance. However, in a broader slang context, "chopped" can mean being under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the point of impairment.

Another usage of "chopped" in New York and other urban areas is to describe a situation where someone is being flirted with or hit on. For example, if someone says they were "getting chopped" at a party, it could mean someone was expressing interest in them in a flirtatious manner.

It's also used in competitive contexts, such as in games, sports, or battles, meaning to defeat someone decisively or to perform better than someone else.

The specific meaning of "chopped" largely depends on the conversational context, the community using it, and the nuances of the interaction.











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