Guide to New York Jargon

The times they are a-changin’.

This post seems to be older than 19 years—a long time on the internet. It might be outdated.

While I don’t live in New York, nor have I ever been east of the Rockies, this is still very humorous and most of these definitions could be used in Seattle…especially Crappacino and Patagroupie. Enjoy!


You’re probably familiar with ‘Fugget about it,’ ‘Assa matta pa you,’ or the timeless ‘Fuck Off.’ But the Editors felt it was time to update New York’s jargon, and have compiled a list for the contemporary dweller

Babel Whore (noun): A person who intersperses their anecdotes with phrases from another language, though he or she doesn’t speak that language. E.g., ‘Mike and I saw the new Woody Allen movie, which was, you know, comme ci, comme ça…’

Barbore (noun): A man or woman, often found on the Upper East Side, that a) wears a Barbour rain coat, and b) can only talk about their work in the financial sector.

Big Mama’d (adjective): Being slowed on your exit from the subway by a large woman in front of you having trouble on the stairs.

Bust-bust (verb): To be reprimanded by your partner for staring at passing breasts.

Buttcrack (noun): The last remaining seat on a subway bench during rush hour that you will occupy – at any cost.

Crappacino (noun): A coffee beverage that you spill on your pants or shirt five minutes before an important interview.

Dandystriper (noun): Men wearing Prada shoes or sandals with red stripes on the rear of the soles.

Deliglare (noun): What you get when you draw a blank after being asked for your order in a deli line.

Derelicked (verb): Being persuaded by a bum to pay a dollar for a kiss.

Ejectile Vomiting (noun): A type of illness that results in your being kicked out of a cab after soiling the footwell.

Goodwill Hunting (verb): Looking for the one, mythical thrift store in the tri-state area that hasn’t jacked up its prices in anticipation of city folks searching for vintage fashion.

Limoscene (noun): Outside the front door of Moomba at three a.m. on a Saturday.

Main-lawn (verb): What heroin addicts do in Central Park.

Metrotard (noun): A person in front of you at the subway turnstile who can’t figure out how to swipe his or her subway pass. Also: A person who tries to use a Metrocard to withdraw money from an ATM.

Patagroupie (noun): A city-dweller who wears mountaineering clothing for doing laundry or grocery shopping. See also: Patagucci: The same person, equipped with Gucci or Vuitton accessories.

Rag-hag (noun): A person whose kitchen or bathroom is outfitted entirely by Williams Sonoma, Ralph Lauren, or Pottery Barn. See also: Bag-hag: Person with multiple totes meant for the same purpose.

Remnick (verb): To claim an anecdote is out-of-bounds for group conversation, based on two or more people having read said anecdote in this week’s New Yorker. E.g., ‘Did you read that in the New Yorker?’ ‘Yeah. You did too?’ ‘Yup. Oh well, this conversation’s remnicked. See also: To Samelane (verb) a movie is to offer the same opinion on the film as New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane; To Pee B.S. (verb) is to retell a PBS episode without referring to the episode in question.

Safetypelt (noun): A faux fur coat worn by rich women for fear the real deal will be stolen or attacked by animal-rights activists.

Sevgala (noun): Any party attended by Chloe Sevigny, or DJ’d by her brother Paul. E.g., ‘Oh great, another sevgala.’

Stoopified (adjective): The feeling you have after being glared at for walking on the sidewalk that your neighbors have converted into their own personal patio.

Thug-muffin (noun): A child wearing a North Face puffa jacket, carpenter jeans, and Timberlands. See also: Corn-muffin: An attractive tourist from the Midwest.

Tiffed (adjective): Feeling miserable about your life and future prospects after walking past the Tiffany’s display windows.

Tunnel-neck (verb): The act of peering down a subway tunnel to see if your train is coming.

Twenty-somethings (noun): People who, when it’s time to pay for dinner, have nothing smaller than a twenty-dollar bill.

Velcrophilia (noun): A condition you can claim if you spent all your money on dot-com clothes in ’98 and now can’t afford a new pair of jeans.

Wienerwash (noun): The tub of warm water that hot-dog vendors use to store frankfurters.

Window-washed (adjective): The feeling of being conned after trying on an ill-fitting shirt at home that you rashly purchased after seeing it in a window display.

Wonderbrawn (noun): Men with chest implants.