New Study Shows 13 Words New Yorkers Say Differently
The study used data from two nationally conducted surveys.
From TV shows of the '90s to today's TikToks, people have been trying to replicate or even mock New York's distinctive accents for decades. Words such as "huge" and "New York'' are known to be pronounced differently in the NYC area, but they're definitely not the only ones.
A new study by the language learning platform Preply analyzed data from two different national surveys (Bert Vaux and Scott Golder's Harvard Dialect Survey and Burt Vaux and Bridget Samuels' UWM Dialect Survey) and came up with a list of 13 things only New Yorkers say.
"From Al Pacino to Barbara Streisand, Donald Trump to Bernie Sanders, New Yorkers have made their legendary dialect the most recognizable in North America," Amy Pritchett, learning success manager at Preply, said in a statement. "But we found that it's more than 'yuuge' and 'fuhgeddaboutit' that set New York English apart. There are more subtle features in the New Yorker's speech that could clue you into where they come from."
Check out the complete list below:
New Yorkers expect everybody to know that "the City" refers to Manhattan
Unfortunately, that is not true across the rest of the US. Other Americans, when using the term "the City" refer to other cities in the US, like Boston and Chicago.
Only New Yorkers use the word "hero" to describe a long sandwich
If you go anywhere else in the US, it is very likely that they won't understand what you mean if you ask for a Philly cheese steak on a hero. New Jersey, for example, mostly uses the word "sub" or "hoagie."
New York residents will wait "on line"
People across the US will instead say that they are waiting "in line." The New York idiom is accepted in the NYC area, but can definitely sound odd when outside of the East Coast.
You can open a "draw" in NYC, not a "drawer"
It's just easier to pronounce.
When a New Yorker talks about pizza, they'll use the term "pie"
Outside of NYC, a pie is a sweet dessert—but not here.
You go relax at the "pak," not the "park"
The letter "R" is commonly omitted in the New York accent, but there are some words—like this one—that don't really make sense to an untrained ear, unless you know what they mean.
New Yorkers use "cray-ahns" to color
The difference here is in the syllable division. While in other parts of the country the word "crayon" is pronounced with a single syllable, like "cran" or "crown," NYC residents divide the word in two syllables.
It's pronounced "sear-up"
Pancakes in NYC come with a heavy drizzle of "sear-up." Other Americans will tell you that the correct pronunciation is "sih-rup" or "sir-up."
If you pronounce the words "merry," "marry," and "Mary" in three different ways, you're likely from New York
In other parts of the US, they're either pronounced all the same or there is only one that's different (which is either "marry" or "merry").
New Yorkers will have "caw-fee" in the morning
Everybody knows this one.
Water is pronounced "waw-tuh"
New Yorkers drop the "R" here.
New Yorkers will ask for a piece of "chaw-clet"
Other Americans will pronounce it "cho-klut."
And finally, they will walk their "dawg"
Not their "dog," like everybody else says.