Are You From Around Here?
by Paul Saulnier 6/22/12
Many people have moved into the area and brought with them new terms for what we greater Bostonians recognize as normal speak. Here then are a few things for newcomers to learn and a refresher course for the rest of us.*
Starting with Boston proper:
The geographical center of Boston is in Roxbury.
Due north of the center we find the South End. This is not to be confused with South Boston which lies directly east of the South End.
North of the South End is East Boston and southwest of East Boston is the
The bridge connecting Boston and Cambridge via Massachusetts Avenue is
commonly know as the Harvard Bridge. When it was built, the state offered to name the bridge for the Cambridge school that could present the best claim for the honor. Harvard submitted an essay detailing its contributions to education in America, concluding that it deserved the honor of having a bridge leading into Cambridge named for the
institution. MIT did a structural analysis of the bridge and found it so full of defects that they agreed that it should be named for Harvard.
Information on Boston and the Surrounding Areas:
Back Bay Boston streets are in alphabetical oddah: Arlington , Berkeley,
Clarendon, Dartmouth, etc. So are South Boston streets: A, B, C, D, etc.
If the streets are named after trees (e.g. Walnut, Chestnut, Cedar), you
are on Beacon Hill. If they are named after poets, you are in Wellesley.
Massachusetts Avenue is Mass Ave. Commonwealth Avenue is Comm Ave.
South Boston is Southie.
The South End is the South End. East Boston is Eastie.
The North End is east of the former West End.
The West End and Scully Square are no more; a guy named Rappaport got rid of them one night.
Roxbury is The Burree. Jamaica Plain is J.P.
How to say these Massachusetts city names correctly (Say it wrong and be shunned).
Worcester : Wistah
Gloucester : Glawsta
Dedham : Dead-um
Tewksbury : Tooks-berry
Leominster : Le-min-sta
Waltham : Walth-am
Samoset: Sam-oh-set or Sum-aw-set, but nevah Summerset!
Frappes are made with ice cream; milkshakes are not.
If it is carbonated and flavored, it is tonic.
Soda means CLUB SODA.
Pop refers to DAD.
When we want Tonic WATER, we will ask for TONIC WATER.
The smallest beer is a pint.
Scrod is whatever they tell you it is, usually fish. (If you paid more than
$7/pound, you got scrod.)
It is not a water fountain; it is a bubblah.
It is not a trashcan; it is a barrel.
It is not a spucky, a hero, or a grinder; it is a sub.
It is not a shopping caht; it is a carriage.
It is not a purse; it is a pockabook.
They are not franks; they are haht dahgs; franks are money used
Police do not drive patrol units or black and whites; they drive a crewza.
If you take the bus, you're on the looza crooza.
It is not a rubber band; it is an elastic.
It is not a traffic circle, it is a rotary.
"Going to the islands" means going to Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket.
The Sox = The Red Sox
The Cs = The Celtics
The Bs = The Bruins
The Pats =The Patriots
Things not to do:
Do not pahk your cah in Hahvid Yahd. They will tow it to Meffa (Medford )
or Summahville (Somerville) .
Do not sleep on the Common. (Boston Common)
Do not wear orange in Southie on St. Patrick's Day.
Things you should know:
There are two State Houses, two City Halls, two courthouses, and two
Hancock buildings (one is very old; one is relatively new).
The colored lights on top the old Hancock tell the weatha:
"Solid blue, clear view."
"Flashing blue, clouds due."
"Solid red, rain ahead."
"Flashing red, snow instead." (except in summer, flashing red means the Red Sox game was rained out.) Most people live here all their lives and still do not know what is going on with this one.
Route 128 South is I-95 south. It is also I-93 north.
The underground train is not a subway. It is the T, and it does not run all
night (fah chrysakes, this ain't Noo Yawk).
Order the cold tea in China Town after 2:00 am; you will get a kettle full
Bostonians: think that it is their God-given right to cut off someone in
Bostonians: think that there are only 25 letters in the alphabet (no R,
except in idear.)
Bostonians: think that three straight days of 90+ temperatures is a heat
Bostonians: refer to six inches of snow as a dusting.
Bostonians: always bang a left as soon as the light turns green, and
oncoming traffic always expects it.
Bostonians: believe that using your turn signal is a sign of weakness.
Bostonians:.think that 63 degree ocean water is warm.
Bostonians: think Rhode Island accents are annoying.
*(from an email circulating on the internet)