29 Trendy New York Slang Words

Unlock the hippest New York slang words! From "deadass" to "YOLO," level up your conversations with trendy NYC lingo.

November 10, 2023

New York Slang: A Unique Language

New York City is not only known for its iconic landmarks and vibrant culture but also for its unique language, often referred to as New York slang. This distinctive dialect is infused with a mix of diverse influences, including African American Vernacular English, immigrant communities, and hip-hop culture. In this section, we will introduce you to the fascinating world of New York slang.

Introduction to New York Slang

New York slang refers to the informal vocabulary and expressions that are commonly used by New Yorkers in their everyday conversations. This language is often characterized by its distinct pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. It serves as a form of identity and connection among the city's residents, creating a sense of community and shared experiences.

New York slang encompasses a wide range of words and phrases that have become deeply ingrained in the city's culture. From neighborhood-specific phrases to expressions borrowed from other languages, New York slang reflects the diversity and multiculturalism of the city.

Why New York Slang is Trendy

New York slang has gained popularity beyond the city's borders and has become a trendy language choice for many young people. Here are a few reasons why New York slang has captured the attention of people around the world:

  1. Pop Culture Influence: New York City has been a hub for music, fashion, and entertainment, influencing global pop culture. Hip-hop, in particular, has played a significant role in spreading New York slang worldwide through its music, lyrics, and iconic artists.
  2. Social Media and Internet Culture: The rise of social media platforms and internet culture has allowed New York slang to spread rapidly and gain popularity. Memes, viral videos, and online communities have contributed to the dissemination and adaptation of New York slang into mainstream culture.
  3. Expression of Identity: New York slang provides a unique way for individuals to express their identity and connect with others. Using New York slang can create a sense of belonging and authenticity, allowing individuals to showcase their knowledge of the city's culture and language.
  4. Influence of Television and Film: New York City has been a backdrop for countless movies and television shows, which often incorporate local slang to add authenticity to the characters and storylines. This exposure to New York slang in popular media has further contributed to its trendiness.

As New York slang continues to evolve and adapt, it remains an integral part of the city's vibrant cultural landscape. Whether you're a native New Yorker, a visitor to the city, or simply fascinated by language, exploring New York slang opens up a whole new world of expressions and connections.

Trendy New York Slang Words

New York City is known for its vibrant and unique slang. Here are some of the trendiest New York slang words that you might come across:


A bodega is a small convenience store commonly found in New York City neighborhoods. These stores offer a variety of items, including snacks, drinks, and household essentials. Bodegas are an integral part of the city's culture, serving as a hub for locals to grab a quick bite or pick up necessities.


Deadass is a versatile slang term that can be used in various contexts. It is often used to express seriousness or authenticity. For example, if someone says, "I'm deadass tired," they mean they are genuinely exhausted. It's a word that adds emphasis and truthfulness to a statement.


Fuhgeddaboudit is a phrase commonly associated with New York City and is used to dismiss or emphasize that something is not worth considering. It's a playful way of saying "forget about it" or "don't even bother." This phrase is often used in a lighthearted manner during casual conversations.


Guap is a slang term for money or cash. It refers to a substantial amount of money, typically earned through hard work or success. Someone might say, "He's making guap" to indicate that a person is earning a significant income.


Hella is a slang term that originated in the West Coast but is commonly used in New York as well. It is used as an intensifier to mean "a lot" or "very." For example, if someone says, "I'm hella tired," they mean they are extremely tired.


When something is described as lit, it means it is exciting, amazing, or full of energy. This term is often used to describe parties, events, or experiences that are particularly enjoyable and entertaining. If a friend tells you, "The concert last night was so lit," it means the concert was fantastic and had a great atmosphere.


In New York slang, mad is used as an intensifier, similar to "very" or "extremely." For example, if someone says, "I'm mad hungry," they mean they are very hungry. It's a way of emphasizing the degree or intensity of a feeling or state.

No Cap

No cap is a phrase used to indicate that someone is speaking the truth or being genuine. It can be used interchangeably with "no lie." When someone says, "I aced that test, no cap," they mean they genuinely scored well on the test.

On Fleek

When something is described as on fleek, it means it is flawless or perfect. The term is often used to refer to well-groomed eyebrows, but it can also be used to describe anything that is impeccable or looking its best. For example, if someone says, "Her makeup is on fleek," they mean her makeup looks flawless.


Salty is a term used to describe someone who is angry, bitter, or upset. It can also refer to someone who is being rude or disrespectful. If a person feels slighted or offended, they might say, "Why are you so salty?" This term is often used in a playful or teasing manner.


To schmooze means to engage in casual conversation, often with the intention of networking or making favorable impressions. It involves being friendly, charming, and sociable. If someone is attending a party to meet new people and make connections, they might say, "I'm going to schmooze tonight."


Son is a term used to address or refer to someone, often a friend or acquaintance. It's similar to saying "dude" or "man" and is commonly used among friends in informal settings. For example, someone might say, "Hey, son, what's up?" as a casual greeting.

Spillin' Tea

When someone is spillin' tea, it means they are sharing gossip or revealing juicy information. This slang phrase is derived from the idea of someone figuratively "spilling" a cup of tea, symbolizing the act of disclosing secrets or interesting tidbits.


A stoop refers to the steps leading up to the entrance of a building, particularly in residential neighborhoods. In New York City, stoops often serve as a gathering place for neighbors and friends to socialize, relax, or simply enjoy the neighborhood atmosphere.


When something is described as tight, it means it is cool, impressive, or well put together. It can refer to various things, including fashion, music, or events. For example, if someone says, "Those sneakers are tight," they mean the sneakers look really cool.


Wavy is a term used to describe something that is trendy, stylish, or cool. It can be used to refer to fashion, music, or overall aesthetic. If someone says, "His outfit is wavy," they mean his outfit is fashionable and on-trend.

These trendy New York slang words add flair and personality to conversations in the city. However, it's important to understand the context and use them appropriately. Embrace the authenticity of New York slang while avoiding overuse or misuse.

More New York Slang Words

New York City is known for its vibrant and unique slang. In addition to the trendy words we've already explored, here are some more New York slang words that you can incorporate into your vocabulary to sound like a true New Yorker.


Brick is a term used to describe extremely cold weather. It conveys the idea of freezing temperatures that make you feel as if you've been hit by a brick. So, if you find yourself in New York during winter and it's bone-chillingly cold, you can say, "It's brick out here!"


Chillin' is a versatile term that means relaxing or taking it easy. It's often used to describe a state of calm or leisure. For example, if someone asks you what you're doing on a lazy Sunday afternoon, you can respond with, "Just chillin' at home, watching movies."


In New York slang, copping refers to purchasing or acquiring something. It is commonly used when talking about buying items, especially in urban street culture. For instance, if you recently bought a new pair of sneakers, you can say, "I just copped the latest Air Jordans."


Cypher is a term used in hip-hop culture to describe a group of people engaged in freestyle rap or a rap session. It often takes place in a circle, with each person taking turns showcasing their rhyming skills. So, if you're at a party and a group of people starts rapping, you can join in and say, "Let's start a cypher!"


FOMO stands for "fear of missing out." It refers to the feeling of anxiety or unease that arises from the belief that others may be having exciting experiences while you are not present. It's commonly used in social situations when someone wants to ensure they are included in plans. For example, if your friends are going out for a fun night and you want to join, you can say, "I don't want to miss out, count me in! I've got major FOMO."


G is a term used as a shortened form of "gangster" or "gangsta." It is often used as a term of respect or camaraderie between friends. For instance, you might greet your friend by saying, "What's up, G?"


Jawn is a versatile slang term that can refer to any person, place, or thing. It is commonly used in Philadelphia, but has also made its way into New York City slang. It's a term that can replace almost any noun in a sentence. For example, instead of saying, "That girl is beautiful," you can say, "That jawn is beautiful."


In New York slang, L refers to taking a loss or experiencing a failure or disappointment. It can be used when someone makes a mistake or fails at something. For instance, if your favorite sports team loses a game, you can say, "We took a big L today."


Thirsty is a term used to describe someone who is desperate or overly eager, especially when it comes to seeking attention or validation. It can refer to someone who is excessively pursuing romantic or social interests. For example, if someone is constantly trying to impress others, you can say, "They're so thirsty for attention."


Whack is a term used to describe something that is boring, uninteresting, or of poor quality. It can be used to express disappointment or disapproval. For instance, if you watch a movie that you didn't enjoy, you can say, "That movie was whack."


Yerrr is a popular greeting in New York City. It is an enthusiastic way of saying "hello" or getting someone's attention. It's often used to initiate a conversation or to acknowledge someone's presence. For example, if you see your friend across the street, you can shout, "Yerrr, what's up?"


YOLO is an acronym for "you only live once." It is used to express the idea that life is short and should be lived to the fullest. It's often used as a motivational phrase to encourage taking risks or seizing opportunities. For instance, if someone suggests trying a new adventure, you can say, "Why not? YOLO!"


Zonin' refers to being in a state of deep focus or concentration. It is often used when someone is fully engaged in a task or activity and not easily distracted. For example, if you're studying for an important exam and completely absorbed in your work, you can say, "I'm zonin' right now, don't disturb me."

By familiarizing yourself with these additional New York slang words, you'll be able to navigate conversations with New Yorkers and embrace the local culture. However, remember to use them appropriately and be mindful of the context in which they are used.

Using New York Slang in Conversations

New York slang adds a unique flavor to conversations and allows individuals to connect with the vibrant culture of the city. However, using slang words effectively requires an understanding of context, embracing authenticity, and avoiding overuse and misuse.

Understanding Context

The key to using New York slang successfully is understanding the context in which it is appropriate. Slang words are often tied to specific situations, social groups, or neighborhoods within the city. For example, words like "bodega" and "stoop" are commonly used in everyday conversations to refer to local corner stores and the steps in front of residential buildings, respectively. However, using these words outside of New York City may lead to confusion.

To ensure that you're using New York slang appropriately, pay attention to the people you're conversing with and the setting in which you find yourself. Adjust your slang usage based on the comfort level and familiarity of those around you. Remember, using slang should enhance communication and create a sense of connection, not cause confusion or alienation.

Embracing Authenticity

When incorporating New York slang into your conversations, it's important to embrace authenticity. Slang words are deeply rooted in the culture and identity of the city, so using them genuinely and naturally will make your conversations more engaging. However, it's essential to strike a balance and avoid overdoing it. Using too much slang can come across as forced or inauthentic.

To develop a genuine understanding of New York slang, immerse yourself in the culture by engaging with local communities, exploring neighborhoods, and listening to native New Yorkers. This will help you grasp the nuances and subtleties of the language, making your usage more natural and effective.

Avoiding Overuse and Misuse

While incorporating New York slang into your conversations can be fun, it's important to avoid overusing and misusing slang words. Overusing slang can make your speech sound forced or gimmicky. Instead, sprinkle slang words into your conversations sparingly and when they feel appropriate.

Additionally, be cautious about the meaning and connotations of slang words. Some words may have different interpretations depending on the context or the individuals you're conversing with. To ensure effective communication, understand the nuances of each slang word and use them appropriately.


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