Sunday, March 06, 2011


Whatchawaidinfoar? New Yawk Tawlk isn't that easy to accomplish - especially if you don't want to give away that you are not from here (unlike the real local pictured above I recently met in Madison Square). This problem isn't new - and was addressed already in the olden times. If you check out the 1938 Almanac for New Yorkers (14.5 MB, p. 114 f.), you'll find some extraordinarily funny descriptions of the local way to speak. Do you mind if I quote?

In a manner of Speaking.......

IT IS FUTILE to quibble with academicians who deny that New Yorkers speak English, since herewith is presented sufficient evidence to prove that New Yorkese, however the savants may classify it, is at least as fruity and full-flavored as ever proper English could be.

Braykidup, braykidup: Policeman's suggestion to any group of loiterers.

Wazzitooyuh? Delicate rebuff to an excessively curious questioner.

Invitation to a brawl.

: Sophisticated expression of polite incredulity.

To a gentleman with facial contusions or (colloq.) a shiner.

: One third of the vocabulary necessary to operate an elevator.

: Another third of the vocabulary necessary to elevator operators.

: The remaining third.

: "Please remove it from sight immediately."

: Expressing specific disagreement, with undertones of disparagement.

Statnylant: The place on the horizon where good ferries go.

Whuzzup? Request for information, any information.

Waddadajintzdoodisaft? "Did the New York National League baseball team win today, I hope?" (Except in Brooklyn)

Ladderide: Warning not to pursue the subject further.

Hootoadjuh? "Please give the source of your information."

Whyntchalookeryagoyn? Rhetorical expression of relief used (by motorists esp.) after a near-collision.

Filladuppigen: To a sympathetic bartender. Eventually elicits the response ....

Toovadanuffbud: From the same sympathetic bartender.

Duhshuh-ul: An underground railway connecting Times Square and Grand Central Terminal.

Domeblokadoor: An usher, or guard, in full cry.

Sowaddyasaybabe or Hozzabotutbabe: Prelude to romance.

Steptiddyrearidybuspleez: Bus driver's request whenever two or three passengers are gathered together.

Nyesplayshagottere: On first looking into a friend's apartment.

Welyecut: Antiphonal response for host and hostess.

Saddy: Last day of the week.

Sumpmscroowie: A note of suspicion.

Plennyaseatsnabalkny: Optimism outside a motion picture theater; not entirely trustworthy.

Scramltoowisydafrench: a short-order is given.

Onnafyah: A short-order is being prepared.

Wahgoozidoo? Cynical dejection.

Assawayigoze: Philosophical interjection for conversational lulls.
(C. D. H. & J. R.)

Thanks to Shawn Chittle for this peculiar find!

Listen yourself

Rocketboom New York spoke with dialect designer and dialect coach Amy Stoller to find out about NY's lingo secrets:

And ya can imagine, therawre plenty moar funny vids of howta acquire da rite accent...

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