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New York City Slang for a new generation

By Lenore Skenazy

New Yorkers have always had their own slang. We all know that that “coffee regular” means coffee with milk and sugar. A “straphanger” is a subway rider (though, come to think of it, maybe it’s a bus rider, too). And fugheddaboudit is a single word.

But we are clearly overdue for an update. So here is:

New slang for New York

Halal-anon: Meetings for people addicted to lamb over rice.

Quipster: A hipster who lives in Queens.

Tri-asselete: A person who, by a combination of man-spreading, leaning, and glowering, manages to take up three seats on the subway.

Celebate: A person who tries to not spot celebrities.

PPB: Short for “phantom phone booth”—a phone booth with only wires left in it.

High Line Line: A line you are likely to hear on the High Line, e.g., “It’s 7:30 in Milan now.” Or, “I could’ve bought that building for $50,000 in ’78.”

Yellowed Cab: Pre-Uber form of transportation.

Square Knot: A crowd of Times Square tourists trying to cross the street that intersects with a crowd of tourists trying to buy $10 handbags.

Coney-ism: Boardwalk employees who send business to other Boardwalk establishments, e.g., “Now that you’ve had a hot dog, maybe it’s time for a ride on the Cyclone.”

NO-DOZ: (Acronym) The neighborhood Near Or Directly Opposite Zabar’s.

NO-DOZ BRONX: The neighborhood Near Or Directly Opposite Zoo.

Blunch: Brunch that commences at or past lunch time.

Tramelot: Nickname reflecting Camelot-like hopes for new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island.

Churisma: The irresistible allure of a giant pile of churros.

Ferry Godfather: A Mafia don who lives on Staten Island.

Cartio Workout: The exercise one gets walking over to the hot dog cart.

Bubblestone: Street or sidewalk littered with bubble-shaped tops of Frappucino cups.

Lost and Lost: The MTA’s Lost and Found booth.

Late Bloomers: Buildings and projects begun in Bloomberg era only now reaching completion.

A-Riguez: The side of A-Rod we didn’t see until now.

Cataclysmic Climate Change: The act of entering a freezing subway car from sweltering platform, or vice versa.

Tube Jobs: A street fair job, e.g., selling tube socks.

Loughnut: The lone doughnut left on a doughnut cart.

Speed Lump: A person standing on the left side of the escalator unaware that that side is reserved for people walking.

Mister Loudee: Any ice cream truck that plays music.

Horse Shoo: Nickname for Mayor de Blasio’s initiative to rid Central Park of carriages.

Sick Passenger: Joking euphemism for lame excuse, e.g., “I wanted to get to your opening, but there was a sick passenger.” Or, “A sick passenger ate my homework.”

Eva-lution: The gradual switch from traditional to charter schools, often aided by Eva Moskowitz.

Mondo Condo: Nickname for Long Island City.

Shadowfreud: To feel pleasure in knowing a friend’s luxury apartment will soon to be in the shadow of an even more luxurious building.

Smidgeon: A small pigeon.

Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker and the author and founder of the book and blog Free-Range Kids.

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