How Ya Talk in Jersey and New York

Length: 7 Pages 1798 Words

What if you were standing between a person from New York and a person from New Jersey who were talking at exactly the same time. You hear a “How awe ya” (Ellis “New York Slanguage”) and a “How ya doan” (Ellis “New Jersey Slanguage”), even though these two greeting mean exactly the same thing they are said in different ways. Where did their slang come from? Why is it different in other places? And how can locations as close as New York and New Jersey have any differences at all? This scenario makes you wonder about the differences in New York and New Jersey slang and how they have changed over the years. Slang has developed immensely over the years and at most times originated in New York City. Most of the slang that has developed is a result of cultural history. “These words about the city, individually and taken together, retell in a new voice the story of metropolitan life down to the 1950's” (Allen 3). When people speak these words of slang they tell us something about the history and culture of cities which teaches us what was popular during that time and what most people enjoyed participating in. The popular culture of big American cities historically has come from New York City, a Continue...


It is obvious that New York and New Jersey must have some similarities since the two states are directly adjacent to each other. Like the beginning scenario you would never know those two people were from different locations until they opened their mouths. These insults are meant to show that either New York is superior to New Jersey or vice versa. Both New York and New Jersey are very proud of their slang. They also have words to say where people are from, for example when a person is from Yonkers they would be called Yonkiz or Yonkus this also has to do with the way the pronounce it ( Ellis 5). For this reason we would never want to change our speech because another area did. Slang also shows us some cultural history and what types of technologies existed at that time. Most of the New Yorkers interpret things the same way and this in a way makes them speak the same type of slang. The difference of pronunciation between New York and New Jersey plays a huge part in the difference of their slang. Most popular expressions always have some association with Manhattan because there is so much cultural diversity. Diversity is what makes this country exciting and different. Our country will most likely never soeak the same language through out all the land because of how popular the slang is in each state. Many of these slang words include: The Big Apple, The Great White Way, butter-and-egg man, golddigger, rubbernecker, sugar Hill, rent party, The Tenderloin, the urban jungle, hooker, straphanger, hot dog, cliff dweller, tar beach, spieler, yellow journalism, breadline, hokey-pokey man, The Upper Ten, The Four Hundred, herimer jerkimer, or applenocker, these are only several names mentioned on the streets of Manhattan (Allen 3). In the internet site Slanguage, the first phrase that is typed is "DO NOT CONFUSE US W NYC OR SOUTH JERSEY!!! This phrase came fro the slang dealing with North Jersey( Ellis 1). Some insults like Go to Jersey are commonly heard among New Yorkers when they are displeased with the person they are speaking with ( Ellis 2).