33 NYC Slang Words Every New Yorker Should Know & Learn

Hip hop started in the Bronx, and although it may now be a worldwide phenomenon that appeals to a mass audience, its relatively short history traces back to one place, and one place only: New York City.

Every culture has its style, customs, and dialect-- and hip hop is no different.

You see, New York City slang is one of the most popular attributes the urban hip hop lifestyle has to offer.

People all over the world have admired, copied, and evolved their own version of the language. 

Before you read on, try to take the quiz and see how you do:For those of you who are interested in NYC slang, start taking notes below on these 33 words that every New Yorker should know and learn.

1. Take it there: to get into some kind of altercation

[via Mandeep Sethi/nbcnews.com]

“Hey bro, trust me-- you don’t wanna’ take it there.”

2. Grill: to stare

“Why you grilling me?”

3. To front: to act like you have it, but you really don't

“He’s fronting, he don’t own none of that sh*t!”

4. Brick: to be very cold, borderline freezing

[via denn-ice / tumblr]

“It’s brick outside, put your hat on!”

5. Rachet: a woman with very low standards when it comes to her attitude and sexual conduct

“You deal with her, she’s too rachet for me!”

7. Madhas absolutely nothing to do with being angry; instead, this adds an extra emphasis to the word that succeeds it

“I’m mad hungry bro!”

8. Dumb: this word also adds an extra emphasis to the word that succeeds it

“That sandwich was dumb good.”

9. Tight: to be upset

“I’m dumb tight over that bullsh*t last night.”

10. Spaz: to get violent or confrontational

“She spazzed out on some dude at the club last night.”

11. Thirsty: to act desperate

[via onevagabond/tumblr]

“Bro why you acting so thirsty?"

12. Thirstbucket: to act overly desperate

"Why you acting like a thirstbucket, bro?”


13. Na' mean: "Do you know what I mean?"

“I payed dumb guap for this sweater, na mean?”

14. Guap: money (also known as cake or cheese)

“I’m getting that guap, my man!”

15. Dead-ass: to act very seriously

"I was dead ass when I told him."

16. Trippin' or buggin': to act dramatic or to blow things out of proportion

“Stop tripping over that text message-- I didnt mean it.”

17. Son: a good friend

[via dontcarolina/tumblr]

"What up, son?"


18. I'm good: to indicate you're OK or fine

"Nah I'm good, my man. What up with you?" 

19. Tight: to express your pleasure with something/one

"That whip is real tight, my man!" 

20. Get the f*ck outta here: to express an enormous amount of disbelief

"Hold up my man! You serious?!? Get the f*ck outta here!" 


21. Chill out scrap: to express to a close friend that he or she needs to remain calm or relax

"Honestly, just chill out scrap!"

22. Gully: to be overly authentic or genuine to the streets

"My man is so damn gully!"

23. The 'hood: the neighborhood, usually a low income area. This could also mean that someone is ghetto and/or gangsta

“She lives in a crazy hood” or “Her brother is mad hood, yo!”

24. Kicks: sneakers

[via @jordan_joe/Instagram]

“Check out my new kicks!”

25. Ice: jewelry

"Dammn! Look at all that ice on his neck!”

26. Whip: an expensive vehicle, or nice car

[via We Heart It]

“That’s the whip I want, my man!”

27. Hooptie: a beaten down car

“I’m not riding around in that hooptie, b!”

28. We out: to indicate you, or a group of people, are leaving somewhere

“Yo, get your sh*t, we out.”

29. What it do: to ask what's up or how someone is doing

“Hey my man, what it do?”


30. My G: a close friend, also is short for gangsta

[via steezygokusteezygoku / tumblr]

"What's goin' on, my G?" 

31. Real talk: to indicate you're very serious

"Real talk, I'm not down with how you were actin' last night." 

32. What's good, madude: 'what's good' is used to ask what's going on, or what's up, and 'madude' is short for brother, or close friend

"Yo!!! What's good, madude?!? I haven't seen you in a minute!"

33. Kid: a very close friend

[via Bevis Chin / Flickr]

"What's poppin', kid?"

If you enjoyed this article, check out 35 Absurd Things You'll Never Hear a New Yorker Say!

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