New York City Slang, Jargon and Abbreviations
Like every other large cultural center, New York City has slang words, jargon and abbreviations that are unique to the Big Apple. Learning the meaning of those words and phrases will be helpful if you are planning
on visiting the city for any length of time. Also, some of them are just down right fun.
So take a look at our growing list of New York City slang, jargon and abbreviations, and learn to talk like a New Yorker.
Alphabet City - A Manhattan neighborhood from East 3rd Street to East 14th Street between Avenues A thru D.
Avenue of the Americas - Another name for 6th Avenue in Manhattan.
B.Q.E. - An acronym for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, (I-278) Interstate 278.
Colyer House - A house filled with possessions. In 1947, the Colyer Brothers, two compulsive hoarders that lived in a Manhattan brownstone at 2078 Fifth Avenue were found dead. 130 tons of garbage, newspapers, books, furniture, musical instruments were removed from the house.
Downtown - Anything south of Canal Street in Manhattan is considered to be "downtown".
DUMBO - An upscale Brooklyn neighborhood. DUMBO is actually an acronym that stands for "Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass".
The G.W.B - Acronym for the George Washington Bridge.
Houston Street - A street in Manhattan that runs east and west. It is not pronounced like Houston Texas. Phonetically its pronounced "how - ston".
Hell's Kitchen - A Manhattan neighborhood that is from 40th to 59th Streets between the Hudson River and Eight Avenue.
Johnny Pump - Fire Hydrant.
The L.I.E. - An acronym for the Long Island Expressway (I-495), Interstate 495.
The Meat Packing District - A Manhattan neighborhood that was the central point where all the meat that was shipped to NYC was butchered and packaged for market. Many wholesale meat distributors are still in existence in the Meat Packing District, however
the neighborhood has become trendy, with upscale lofts and boutiques popping up all over the area. Its border are Gansevoort Street to the South and West 15 Street to the north, between 9th and 11th Avenues.
NoHo - is an acronym for "North of Houston". Its a Manhattan neighborhood that's boundaries are Houston Street to the south, 8th Avenue to the north, the Bowery and Third Avenue on the east, and Broadway on the west.
Nolita - A trendy Manhattan neighborhood that is north of Little Italy. Its boundaries are Little Italy (Broom Street) to the south, Houston Street to the north, Bowery on the east, and Lafayette Street on the west side.
Schmear - A word used in New York City Delis for coating a bagel with a small amount of cream cheese.
SoHo - is an acronym for "South of Houston". Its a Manhattan neighborhood where you can find some of the best shopping in the city. If you're a shopaholic, you can't visit New York City without visiting Soho.
Straphanger - A nickname for subway riders. In the late 19th century, subway cars had leather straps for subway riders to hold onto.
TriBeCa - An acronym for "Triangle Below Canal". An upscale Manhattan neighborhood that's home to many celebrates and the Tribeca Film Festival.
The Village - Nickname for Greenwich Village, a neighborhood in Manhattan. Its boundaries are Houston Street to the south, 14th Street to the north, Broadway on the east and the Hudson River on the west.
The Willie B - Nickname for the Williamsburg Bridge.