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In the western suburbs, the night before Halloween and a time for throwing cabbages, eggs and the like.

1. Green Line train: "Take the next cah to Nawth Station; get off at Haymahket."

Waiting for the Leech-meah cah at Pahk Street:
Pahk St.

2. An auto. By itself, not surprising, given the pronunciation, except that it leads to a joke that only a Boston kid would get, as Christine Leccese explains: "When we were kids (in Burlington), we played on the street a lot. When a car would come, someone would scream 'Cah!' and we'd all run onto the grass. Well, when two cars would come 'cah cah' would send us all into hysterics (cahcah=caca)!"

Cool your jets.
Colleen Booth

Can get. An example of the negative positive in Boston English: "Let's go see if we can't get yoah cah fixed."
Kathie Young

Boston bowling; involves tiny little pins and tiny little balls (the pins are so hard to hit, you get three tries a frame). R.I.P "Candlepin Bowling" on Saturday mornings. Also R.I.P. Major League Lanes in West Roxbury.

Candlepin lanes in Massachusetts.

NOTE: Bob Curtin reports that only people not from around Boston actually refer to "candlepin bowling," the locals just call it "bowling" (also see: Big-ball bowling).

Pins awaiting a smackdown at Ron's Gourmet Ice Cream and 20th Century Bowling in Hyde Park:

Hit 'em!

Massachusetts has two capes - Ann and Cod - but only the latter is The Cape.

What you use to wheel your groceries around at the Stah Mahket.

Your carriage awaits at Roche Bros. in West Roxbury:

Where two streets meet; sometimes, a small neighborhood. "My dad always tells me ta stay away from the bahs on Field's Cawna."
Joseph Hegarty

Basement. You go down cella to get some b'daydas.

The sclerotic north-south highway that once separated the North End and the waterfront from the rest of the city. Now replaced by the Big Dig and the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

The Curt Schilling Memorial Girder by Quincy Market is one of the few reminders of the old Central Artery:

Stupid person. The phrase has spread westa Wihsta, but it's definitely of local origins. Casserine Toussaint reports: "It comes from back when people would make a massive bucket of chowder and lay a clean rope in it so that when they put it into the unheated back room it would freeze solid and could be hung up. They'd slide off the bucket by putting a hot towel on it and voila! Anyone wanting a bowl of chowder went in and chipped off a piece to be warmed up on the stove. After a while the frozen block of chowder took on a round shape, like a head."

Where you bring your clothes to be Mahtinized. You'll never actually hear anybody say the word, but there are still any number of dry cleaners named "Such and such Cleansers" in the Boston area:

Hyde Park Cleansers

Coffee with some cream and two sugahs.

The city's "adult entertainment district," located between Downtown Crossing and Chinatown, more or less. The porno places are now almost entirely gone, and the "combat" these days are mostly between developers and Chinatown residents who don't want to be displaced by expensive condos planned for the area's rundown buildings.
Chris Gassler

The green in the center of a town (Boston Common is perhaps the most famous). So-called because it was land held in common for residents for uses such as cow grazing; however, one rarely sees cows meandering about Boston Common these days.

On Boston Common, the cows have been replaced by WWI naval mines:

Obnoxious, rude and generally not wanted person (especially at a kegga), at least in Acton: "Who invited the cool kid?"
Joe Angers

Former state Senate President (and former University of Massachusetts president) William Bulger. George Daher, chief justice of the Boston Housing Court, hurled the epithet after Bulger cut funding for the court in retaliation for Daher's refusal to hire a Bulger crony. Herald columnist Howie Carr picked it up and then, in typical Carresque fashion, used it to death (sometimes substituting a simple "CM").

A stretch of toll plazas, liquor stores and fireworks stands on the way to Maine. Also known as New Hampster.

Game of verbal insults; Boston's version of "the dozens."
Boston Sunday Globe, Focus section, 10/26/97.

Island south of Florida; capital is Havanner.

A Cumberland Farms mini-mart: "Heeya's five bucks; go downa Cumbies and gemme a pagga butts."
Douglas K. Lennan

Lame-ass taunt formerly hurled by Yankees fans at the Red Sox whenever they played in New York. One word: 2004.

It was the alleged reason for why the Red Sox haven't won a World Series since 1918 - the year before they sold Babe Ruth's contract to the Yankees (so then Sox owner Harry Frazee could finance the play "No, No Nanette" on Broadway). It could have been worse: We could have had an even stupider curse like the billy-goat thing and the Cubs.

But curse? What curse? What are you talking about?

The old-fashioned, two-toned trolleys with one large headlight that run on the Mattapan high-speed line.
Jeff Kline


More Cyclops photos.

Dressed nicely.
Matt Melillo and Chuck Luongo

1. In Roxbury, it's heroin, but in West Roxbury, Hyde Park and Roslindale, it's angel dust.

2. A person who works out a lot.
Jeff Kline, an Emerson student and Chuck Evangelista

A fall: "He slipped and took a digga."

Party: "You wanna go to a dingah on Friday night? Shuah."
Kelly Hulme

What you use to signal that you're about to make a turn - or to signal to the guy behind you that you've just cut him off and you want to rub it in. "No one out here in Arizona knows what I'm talking about with that one," reports Mark Badolato. "They only know from 'blinker' or 'turn signal'."

"Die-van." A couch, to people over 50.
Jonathan E. Dyer

Crazy person, at least in Newton's Nonantum neighborhood.
Steven Liberace

Where somebody is, for example: "They're down the Cape today." Sometimes prounounced "downna," as in "Wanna go downna Boston with me?"

Alicia from Meffid recalls: "When I worked in Boston City Hall, I was in room 601, which is the City Clerk's office. My friend Galen and I used to fall out laughing when people said, 'Oh, you work up the Clerk's?' And to make matters worse, the City Council was on the fifth floor, so in the course of a day you might hear THIS gem, 'Oh, you work up the Clerk's? My cousin works down the Council. He works down Dappa's. You musta seenim? Kid widda Ahmy-like haiya do? He's a gootlookin' kid.'"

North on the Cape.

The part of the house under the first floor: "Go down cella and get me some b'daydas."

How older Roslindale residents refer to Roslindale Square.

Piece of bedroom furniture used for storing clothes. Jawdan's sells 'em.

Bluejeans. It's "dungahs" in Hyde Park; "dungies" in South Boston.

Jonathan Lynch recalls: ''When I worked in my dad's store in Lawrence in the 40's, we sold 'dungjareens' not dungarees or jeans. If you wanted Levi's you asked for 'Levi dunjareens.' If you were a carpenter or painter, you would buy 'overhauls' - - not 'overalls.' ''

A donut shop found roughly every 1/10th of a mile on every street in greater Boston.
Eric Vroom

TV remote.


Dorchester By Choice. The antonym to OFD: Somebody who moved to the neighborhood voluntarily rather than just being born there.


An adjective referring to something or somebody from Dorchester (see Dot. Ave., OFD and rat).

It is NOT a synonym for "Dorchester," however. As OFDer Jim Sullivan notes:

People from Southie were the ones who called Dorchester "Dot". The only acceptable use of "Dot" was when speaking about the street "Dot Ave" or the public space "Dot Park". Everyone knew you were an outsider if you referred to the actual town by saying "Dot".

See rat.