Carolyn Kruse

Carolyn Kruse

Carolyn Kruse

There are so many words, catch phrases and slang terms that people associate with Boston. Some are tried and true, others have fallen off the “banks of the River Charles.” Have you ever visited friends or family in other parts of the country, or had visitors from out of town ask you to “talk Boston?” I usually throw in a “wicked” and and a couple of “Yahs” before I sign off with a “I gotta go…I’m dyin’ for a Dunks.” If you grew up in New England you will certainly appreciate these 21 Saucy slangs that are SO Boston. 

Let’s take a dip into the hahbah (habor) of hot Boston slangs and sayings. This will give you ample ammunition for the next encounter with inquiring outsiders.




  • Wicked

    Because, well, it’s wicked cool to say. It’s just an adjective, but it’s uniquely our adjective. You can’t have it New York! Add it to a pissah, and you are slaying the jam.

    Kansas City Royals v Boston Red Sox

    (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)


  • Packie

    This isn’t a bag to keep your stuff in. A packie is a liquor store, as in package store, where they conceal your alcoholic beverages in a brown “package” or paper bag. And since we’re talking about it, can you pick me up a 6-pack of Sams next time you’re at the packie?

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  • Bubbler

    This is where you go when you’re thirsty and your building actually still has one of these things. More likely to be found outside near parks and beaches these days.  It’s a water fountain, and bubbler just sounds better, even though there isn’t any bubbles to be found in the water.

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  • Clicker

    Seems like a no-brainer. Of course a clicker is a remote control, at least it is for us. The rest of the world likely refers to it as a remote. My clickah is always missing, temporarily.


  • Elastic

    No, it’s not a rubber band. It’s an elastic, and I always have one on my wrist, in case I want to put my hair up.


  • Dungarees

    When I moved back to Massachusetts in the 6th grade, I heard everyone referring to their jeans as dungarees. Dungarees are best worn while enjoying Dunkaroos! (You know, I just made that up, right?)

  • Pissah

    A word often heard following wicked. It just means the absolute best! But, it can be used very effectively as sarcasm too. Oh, yeah. That’s wicked pissah, like the Celtics this year.

    Kansas City Royals v Boston Red Sox

    (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

  • Frappe

    When is a milkshake not a milkshake? When it’s a frappe. You see, for those outside New England…a milkshake is generally milk shaken with a syrup blend. If you want a thick ice cream drink, you want a frappe.  Of course, if you grew up near a Friendly’s…then it’s a Fribble.


  • Carriage

    I know, Boston is old. So old. But a carriage is not what you’re thinking. It’s not a reference to a horse and carriage, but rather a shopping cart you can load up with lobstahs and chowdah.

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  • Regular

    Nope. Not referring to your personal body function habits here. This is how you order your coffee at Dunks when you want it with milk and sugar. Try ordering it that way in California, and you’ll get a cup of black coffee.

    driniking coffee kruser

  • Cellar

    Ah, this brings back sweet memories of my mother telling me to “run down cellar for some tonic.” It’s the basement of course and we’ll get to the tonic, next. 

  • Tonic

    Certainly this Boston term isn’t as popular as it used to be, but for those who grew up around here tonic was soda, or anything carbonated.

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  • Statie

    Just a warning. If someone tells you to watch out for staties, that means you may want to pay attention to your speed when driving, as not to get pulled over by the State Police.

    2014 B.A.A. Boston Marathon

    (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

  • Rotary

    We say it so much and drive through so many, we often take for granted the fact that most people refer to these circular traffic paths as round-a-bouts. And doesn’t that just sound silly?

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  • Kid

    You must have heard Ben Affleck use this term of endearment in some movie about Boston. And that’s exactly what “kid” is. A term used among friends, regardless of age. “Hey kid, can you pass me another beeah?”


  • In Town

    Telling someone that you are going in town, just means you are going to Boston. The Town. You don’t go into the city, you go “in town.” Oh, and when you do, have a wicked pissah time!


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  • Bang A Uey

    You know, when you need to make a u-turn at a light, or just because you’re going the wrong way? Yup, that’s when you are bangin’ a uey. Be safe out there.

  • Bang Out

    You need to get out of something, like an obligation? Then you definitely need to bang out. Like when the Red Sox are losing badly in the 8th, you might bang out to beat the crowd.

    Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox

    (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)



  • No Sir

    Better pronounced as no “sah.” Oh, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a male or female you are speaking to. In this case, the term is gender neutral. Yes, sah!


  • Yah No

    Despite the “yah.” It’s a HARD no, for a Bostonian. Yah, no, I’m not buying this round of beeahs.

    Cheers Bar Coming to Boston

    (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

  • Storrowed

    Strictly Boston here, “storrowed or storrowing” refers to a stuck truck, in a low clearance area. It usually happens when students move into Boston, rent a U-Haul and drive it on Storrow Drive, without checking the height of the vehicle or paying attention to the signs on the road. There get stuck in the overpass. It’s usually on routes like Storrow Drive, Memorial Drive and Soldiers Field Road along the Charles River. Heed the warning…

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