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12 Expressions You’ll Only Hear in New York

New York, New York. I want to wake up in a city that never sleeps….and that has its own expressions you’ll only hear in the Big Apple. Here are 10 expressions that you can learn to speak like a real New Yorker:

1. Schlep

To carry or lift something heavy for a long distance or in a hard situation. “I was schlepping my school workbooks on my way back home”.

2. The City

It’s true that New York City is a city, but when you hear New Yorkers say the city, they’re talking about Manhattan. Most other places call the inner city, downtown, but in New York downtown means something else, which you will find out below.

3. Uptown/Downtown

Uptown and downtown refer to north and south directions. If you’d cut Manhattan in two parts, then the north of Manhattan and the Bronx is uptown, and the south of Manhattan and Brooklyn is downtown.

4. Bodega

You’ll find them on all corners in New York. A very common word for corner store or convenience store. At a bodega, you can buy snacks, magazines, beers, lotto tickets and more.

5. Deli

Short for delicatessen – a place where you can grab yourself a sandwich, a salad and various other meals. Depending on the deli, it can be a sit down, a take out or both.

6. Pie

When ordering a pie in New York, you won’t be ordering a pastry-based food. You’ll be ordering an entire pizza, that’s right.

7. Schmear

A lot of cream cheese. When you ask for a bagel with schmear, you ask for a bagel with lots of cream cheese!

8. Fuhgedaboudit

A fast way of saying, “forget about it”, meaning don’t worry about it or no way.

9. Wait on line

Grammatically speaking, in English you would say wait in line, but not in New York. Here you’d hear people saying: “I’m waiting on line to pay for my grocery’’.

10. The One

The #1 subway line, commonly known as The One Train.

11. Stoop

A small staircase at the entrance of a building. As most New Yorkers live in apartments, there’s a lack of outdoor space, such as a garden or balcony. A stoop is where friends will hang around on a nice summer day.

12. Schvitz

A Jewish word for sweat, commonly used in New York; “The train station was packed, I was schvitzing waiting for the train”.

So, the next time you’re in New York City, make sure to use some of these so unique, so New York expressions when speaking with the locals!

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