What New Yorkers Say and What They Really Mean

things new yorkers say and what they mean
Shutterstock / Jennifer Bui/Thrillist
Shutterstock / Jennifer Bui/Thrillist

We New Yorkers obviously aren't shy about saying what we want, whenever we want (much to the displeasure of those not from here). We'll blatantly ask you how much you pay for your apartment, and readily offer up the intricate details of our sex lives and the black mold growing in our showers -- but a lot of the time, what we say and what we really mean are completely different things. Which is why we created this translation guide -- so next time someone says, “It’s like Uber but for failed Tinder dates and pug owners,” you'll know what they REALLY mean (probably).

Seamless delivery food
Lauri Patterson/Thrillist

“I should probably stay in and cook tonight.”

Translation: I’d rather sit on my couch and order $55 worth of Seamless than go to your 16-person tapas dinner where I will have to fight for food that I'll end up paying $80 for.

“I live in East Williamsburg.”

Translation: I live in deep Bushwick.

“I live in Greenpoint.”

Translation: I live in Queens.

“I live on the border between X and Y Brooklyn neighborhoods.”

Translation: I truly have no idea what neighborhood I live in.

New York Transplant Brick Wall
Andrew Zimmer/Thrillist

“You’re probably not even from here.”

Translation: I’m probably not even from here.

“We’re right off the train, you should come visit.”

Translation: The nearest train stop is technically in another borough.

“I was born here!”

Translation: I am a very insecure person who thinks the random chance that my mom shot me out in a particular zip code makes me a special magic person with undeniable insight into a city of 8 million people.

“It’s a great little place.”

Translation: I live in a converted washer/dryer in a converted shoe closet in a converted 7/18ths bedroom.

Hamptons beach bonfire couple and dog

"I'm going out east this weekend."

Translation: I'm going to the Hamptons, but for some completely insane reason I feel like this makes me sound significantly less pretentious.

“You have a washer/dryer?”

Translation: Marry me.

“You have a dishwasher?”

Translation: Marry me.

“Times Square just isn’t the same... ”

Translation: I’m 22 and saw The Lion King on Broadway when I was 10 and it was pretty rad.

“This person/that place/that thing is for hipsters.”

Translation: I call anything I don’t like “hipster,” and I am a bucket head with poor vocabulary skills.

“Did you read that thing in the New Yorker?”

Translation: I have opinions and oh boy are you about to hear them.

Chinatown graffiti

“The neighborhood is just not the same anymore.”

Translation: I moved here three weeks ago and I’m probably the exact kind of person responsible for the sentiment I am trying to express.

"That's not real Brooklyn"

Translation: I'm not old enough to know what "real Brooklyn" means.

“The rent is too damn high.”

Translation: I have no idea that Jimmy McMillan endorsed Donald Trump.

“Let’s get drinks soon”

Translation: I look forward to sending an email a month from now saying “Let’s get drinks soon” to you, as well as receiving a reply from you that says “Yeah, let’s!” And never getting drinks.

“This apartment is no-fee!”

Translation: There most definitely is a fee, and also this apartment doesn't exist and I’m going to show you something else that has none of the things I advertised.

Waiter serving couple food
Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

“I’m an actor.”

Translation: I’m a waiter.

“I’m a writer.”

Translation: I’m a waiter.

“I’m a musician.”

Translation: I’m a waiter.

“I’m a waiter.”

Translation: I actually make a pretty good living... way better than you would expect and probably more than a lot of corporate nerds who put in like 80 hours a week staring at Excel formulas.

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Jesse Brukman was born in Beth Israel hospital sometime in the 1980s and continues to live here now. You can angrily disagree with him via Twitter.

Lucy Meilus was born in NYU hospital some time after the 1980s and continues to live there now, because it’s a pretty nice hospital. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.