You're Definitely a New Yorker If You Talk Like This

You either get it or you don't.

New Yorkers have a reputation for being tough and unapproachable, but we also have an incredible sense of community. Think of us as something like a giant dysfunctional family: We may knock each other, but we'll never stand for anyone else messing with our neighbors or our neighborhood. Still, we do have our own schtick (so to speak) and you have to really be born and bred in NYC to get it. If these phrases sound familiar to you... you're probably a New Yorker!


Schmear: As a schmear of cream cheese on your bagel.

Bodega: Your corner deli or small grocery store, where you can get basically everything you need, including said bagel with a schmear. However, true New Yorkers will get their bagels from an authentic bagel shop. Fresh. Not toasted.

Plain slice: A slice of of cheese pizza, no toppings.

Hero: You probably know it as a sub wherever you are from. It tastes better in New York.

Coke: What you know of as pop elsewhere.

Local flavor

Hot garbage: Manhattan during the summer has a specific scent that smells something like sweat and rotting garbage.

Waterbug: That'd be a giant cockroach. May you never see one.

Brick: As in how cold it is in February. "It's brick cold out."

Schtup: Sex. "Hey man, are you going to schtup her?"

Thirsty: When someone reeks of desperation.


Bloomies: Bloomingales. Also known as the promised land to the upper-middle class. Bloomies also describes panties. Use context clues.

Times Square: Also known as hell.

Stoop: Front steps, most often seen in gentrified brownstones.

The city: Technically, all five boroughs of New York City are "the city" but surrounding boroughs of Manhattan will refer to that borough as "the city" when venturing in.

Outerborough: Not actually a thing. But it's what elitist Manhattanites will call the boroughs they refuse to visit, or think they are on this wild adventure to the unknown if they do visit.


Straphanger: Someone who rides the subway.

Train: The subway. We really don't differentiate between the subway and commuter rails.

Bridge and tunnel: Refers to people from Long Island or New Jersey, who need to take a bridge or tunnel to get into the city.

Schlep: A Yiddish term that has become a vocab word for New Yorkers at large. It means to have to drag your butt from one place to another... as in, "You want me to schlep all the way to Brooklyn for your birthday? UGH." 

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