Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO Boston Convention & Exhibition Center June 14 -16, 2015

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Taxonomy of SLA2015: Sound like a local before you arrive

Taxonomy of SLA2015: Sound like a local before you arrive

by Jacob Ratliff, the Archivist/Taxonomy Librarian at the National Fire Protection Association (Located in Quincy). Feel free to listen to him talk nerdy about video games and information on twitter: @Gameronomist.

I have lived in the greater Boston area for about 4 years now, and learning to “Speak Bostonian” is an important part of being accepted by the city. To help out all my info pro peeps, I have created a beginners guide to not sounding like a tourist. If you have advanced questions about sounding like a Bostonian, I will consult with the experts (My Wife and her family) and get back with you.

Boston Phrases

Bang a left – It is not just making a left turn, it is to make a left as soon as the light goes green and before the oncoming traffic has a chance to react to the light changing to green. (from UrbanDictionary)

Beantown – What tourists call Boston.

Broons – The Boston Bruins, the local NHL team.

Bubblah – Drinking fountain.

Celts – The Boston Celtics, the local NBA team.

Carriage – Shopping cart.

Cellah – Basement. “I’m goin’ down cellah for some wine.”

Cruisah – Police car.

Dunkies – Dunkin Donuts; generally refers to the coffee. (Beware, a “regular” is 2 cream to sugar. Have to ask for black.)

Elastic – Rubber band.

Frappe – A milkshake has ice cream, a frappe is usually just heavy cream.

Jimmies – Chocolate sprinkles for your ice cream.

Masshole – A Boston driver.

Maine-iacs – A driver from Maine.

Nackins – Napkins.

No’reaster – A large storm that usually comes from the North East.

Packy – Package store, a colloquial term for the liquor store.

Pats – The New England Patriots, the local NFL team.

Pissah – Great/Awesome. ex. “SLA 2015 is gonna be a pissah of a time.”

Pockabook – (1) Pocketbook. (2) Purse.

Rotary – A roundabout or traffic circle.

Scrod – Catch of the day, can be many different kinds of fish. Almost always fresh, but not

always the same kind of fish.

Soder – A soda, pop, or tonic.

Spukie – Kind of like a hoagie, grinder or sub.

Wicked – A term that adds emphasis to a statement; similar to “Hella” on the west coast. ex. “That’s a wicked good pizza”

Whiffle –  A men’s haircut, usually done with electric clippers.

Boston Places and Towns (by pronunciation)

Want to sound like a local even though you’re only here for a short time? Make sure to pronounce these towns and places correctly, or you’ll be marked as a tourist.

Ahboretum – The Arnold Arboretum.

Bahnstible – Barnstable, MA.

Bahstin – Boston.

Comm Av. – Commonwealth Avenue.

Chattim – Chatham, MA.

Chuck Town – Charles Town, Boston.

Conkidd – Concord, MA.

Dahchestah – Dorchester, MA.

Dot  – A nickname for Dorchester, MA, or “Dot Ave” for Dorchester Avenue.

Dovah – Dover, MA.

Evrit – Eerett, MA.

Glossta – Gloucester, MA.

Hahwitch – Harwich, MA.

JP – Jamaica Plain, MA.

Kenmah – Kenmore Square, Boston.

Lemminstah – Leominster, MA.

Mass Av. – Massachusetts Avenue.

Meffid – Medford, MA.

New Hamshah – New Hampshire.

New’n – Newton, MA.

Peebahdee – Peabody, MA.

The Pru – The Prudential Center in Boston.

Quinzee – Quincy, MA.

Rhodeyelin – Rhode Island.

Rozzie – Roslindale, MA.

Ruhveea – Revere, MA.

Sherbern – Sherborn, MA.

Summaville – Somerville, MA.

The T – The public transportation system.

Vahmont – Vermont.

Vinyid – Martha’s Vineyard.

Wahttatown – Watertown, MA.

Wintrup – Winthrop, MA.

Whistah – Worcester, MA.

Woobin – Woburn, MA.

Southie – South Boston, MA.

3 Responses to “Taxonomy of SLA2015: Sound like a local before you arrive”

  1. Jacob Ratliff says:

    Errata: A Frappe is the one with ice cream, not Milkshakes. (h/t to Heather Hedden for the local knowledge)


  1. […] how to speak like a Bostonian before you […]

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