How Well Do You Know Boston Slang?

By: Isadora Teich

5 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Boston's accent and slang are famous, but how well do you know them? See if you're a total chowdahead with this Boston slang quiz! You might be ready for Beantown and not know it!

Bostonians use the word "wicked" to:

People from Boston won't just say something is cool. They'll say it's "wicked cool."

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Someone who is a "chowdahead" is what?

This Boston slang word has an odd origin. In the old days, people would batch cook buckets of chowder and freeze them, slicing off pieces to reheat when they were hungry. Eventually, the frozen block of chowder would have a round shape, like a human head.

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"The Pats" refer to the:

Some Bostonians may refer to the New England Patriots as "Pats." This football team is based in the Boston area.

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"Sox" refers to what?

This refers to the Boston Red Sox. This is the baseball team that plays for Boston.

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American Chop Suey is a:

This is a very Boston dish. It's macaroni with hamburger, tomato sauce, green pepper and onion.

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What do you put in a "barrel" in Boston?

In Boston, a "barrel" refers to a trash can. You put your garbage in it.

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To "duff" someone is to:

This means to avoid a person or break a promise to meet with them on purpose. It's an old North End and East Boston term.

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A "reefah" is a:

This Boston slang word is old school. It's short for refrigerator.

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A "bubbla" is a:

In classic Boston slang, a "bubbla" refers to a water fountain. You can find them all over the Boston Commons.

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A carriage is where you put your:

What many Americans call a shopping cart, some Bostonians call a carriage. You wheel them around the grocery store.

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When you have "dungies" on, what are you wearing?

"Dungies" refer to blue jeans. "Dungahs" also can. It comes from "dungarees."

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What is a "Frappe"?

What most Americans call a milkshake or a malted, Bostonians call a "Frappe." Remember that the "e" is silent.

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"Jimmies" go on what?

In Boston, you get "jimmies" on your ice cream. In some other places, people call them sprinkles.

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If something is "mint," it is:

To call something "mint" is to compliment it highly. This is classic Boston slang.

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Someone who is "soft" is:

The word "soft" can be used to describe someone bold, crazy or particularly daring. You might say it to someone who you think has done something particularly out there.

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If a Bostonian tells you to "take a Dudley" they are telling you to do what?

If a Bostonian tells you to "take a Dudley," you better beat it. Get out of there.

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In Boston, what is "The T"?

In Boston, you will often hear the subway system referred to as "The T." Its full name is the MBTA or Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

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"Cabbage Night" refers to:

What is referred to as Mischief Night throughout most of the US is also called "Cabbage Night" in Boston. This is becuse throwing cabbages and eggs at houses was a popular prank.

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"Tonic" refers to:

In Boston, "tonic" is slang for all kinds of soda. In some stores, you can find signs for the "tonic" and "diet tonic" aisles.

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If something is a "wicked pissa" it's _______.

This is used to describe something that's amazingly cool. It's one of the most famous Boston slang phrases.

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"Gravy" refers to what in Boston?

This slang word refers to tomato sauce. It is usually only used by older people in East Boston.

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Someone who is a "tookie" is dating a:

This Boston slang is used to describe someone dating someone much younger than them. This could be a 5- to 10-year age gap or more.

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The "cella" is the:

According to Boston slang, it's not a basement. It's a "cella."

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If you call someone a "skeezah" you are:

Bostonians love their insulting slang. "Skeezah" is a derogatory word for a drug addict.

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"Dunkies" refers to what?

In Boston, this nationwide coffee chain is referred to as "Dunkies" or "Dunks." It was actually founded outside Boston.

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What are "badadoes"?

This is how some in Boston pronounce "potatoes." It's that famous Boston accent at work.

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What is a "Rippah"?

This can refer to a kegger. It can also refer to any kind of huge party that promises to be a blast.

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What do you buy at the "packie"?

"Packie" is Boston slang for a liquor store. Someone might stop at the "packie" on the way to a dinner party.

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What is a "grindah"?

You may call it a sub, hero, grinder or hoagie, but many in Boston call them "grindahs." This can also refer to non-hoagie sandwiches as well.

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What does "clickah" mean?

While it's common to refer to a TV remote as a "clicker," it's only a "clickah" in one place. That place is Boston.

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"The Hub" refers to:

This slang word for Boston dates back to the 19th century. It is important to refer to it to Bostonians as "The Hub" and never as "Beantown."

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To "rag" is to do what?

Someone who is "ragging" is wildly exaggerating their story. This comes from "ragtime."

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What is a "bankin"?

"Bankin" can refer to either a riverbank or a small hill. People can gather there.

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If someone is a "scootch" they are:

This word for annoying people comes from the Italian word "scocciare" which roughly translates to "to bother." It's usually pronounced "scutch."

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What does "Yaww" mean?

This word is a combination of "Yes" and "Yay." It was popular during the 1970s.

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