Hey! Welcome to the sixth and last lesson in our series on the New York City dialect. By now you should be able to understand the natives well enough to ask for subway directions (which also makes it obvious that you are a tourist). Don’t worry about being able to understand the announcements in the subway, no one can understand them.
To review last month’s lesson, a number of words in the city dialect drop the “H” in words that start with that letter. The two examples are ‘uge and ‘uman. Here are some more examples of them used in a sentence.
- Katz’s Deli sandwiches have a ‘uge pile of cold cuts between two slices of bread.
- Sometimes Grand Central Station can seem like a sea of ‘umanity.
This month’s lesson:
The New York dialect is known for two qualities: we speak very fast and tend to blur our words together. So much so, that phrases, and even entire sentences, can seem like one word. Life in the city is fast paced, so we don’t have time to even wait for the next word. Here are some examples of words in the New York dialect. Click on the links to hear the pronunciation.
- Amirite A word used at the end of sentence, asking for confirmation.
There’s nothing quite like seeing a Broadway play, amirite?
- Fugedaboudit. A word used to express resignation or forgiveness.
You can’t drive anywhere in the city on a Sunday afternoon, fugedaboudit, the traffic is too much.
- Gedoutahea A word used to express surprise or disbelief.
You got a rent controlled apartment in Chelsea for $700 a month? Getoudahea!
- Ariteaready A word used to express annoyance at being pushed or hurried.
I’m moving, aritearedy, I just double parked for a minute!
Final exam: see if you can interpret this conversation between two natives.
First Guy “jeetyet?” Second Guy “No, jew?”
I hope you have enjoyed these lessons in the New York City dialect. Listening to conversations among locals is the best way to tune your ear in to the pronunciation. It’s also a great way to learn about and experience what this great city has to offer. Don’t forget there are five boroughs in the city, it’s not just Manhattan. There is a wealth of culture, cuisine and entertainment to explore. So many people come here every year to visit or to stay. Not only is the United Nations headquarters here, but there are over 100 different ethnicities in the city’s population, that’s why they call the city “The Capital of the World”.
“Did you eat yet?” “No, did you?