How to speak New Yorker

There are many words and phrases used in NYC that will be foreign to a Southerner.  This is a guide to some of them.

  • Standing “on line”:  This means standing in line.
  • Curb your dog:  This means make sure your dog poops and pees on the curb nearest the street, not up against the building.  This also applies to the little planters around trees, which is of course illogical as they are on the curb.
  • No Standing:  This means no parking, and there is positively no explaining it.
  • Uptown / Downtown:  Although Manhattan is on an almost exact north / south orientation, people will look at you crazy when you ask them which way is north or south.  Use uptown for north, downtown for south.
  • Bodega:  The raunchy convenience store on the corner you do not feel comfortable entering.
  • Houston: They pronounce it like “Howston”.  This is totally incongruous with SoHo, which is short for south of Houston, but is pronounced “SoHo” instead of “SoHow”.
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