Words New Yorkers Say Differently: Weird New York Accent Words

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60+ Words New Yorkers Say Differently: Top New York Accent Words

So you are looking for New York accent words, huh? You know, those words New Yorkers say differently? Maybe us New Yorkers are just saying the words correct and the rest of the USA is wrong…jk. As a New Yorker, I feel it is only right to provide you with an extensive list of the most common words New Yorkers say differently! I mean who doesn’t love a New York accent?! Am I right?! Let’s see how many New York accent words you know!

FYI: If you are a fellow New Yorker reading this list and noticed I may have forgotten your favorite New York accent word, let me know in the comments so I can add it!

P.S. If you are excited to learn about the words New Yorkers say differently, you are also going to love this list of New York Slang Words and Sayings!

New York Travel Skyline

Disclaimer: There may be affiliate links in this post where I may earn a small commission at no cost to you. 

About the New York Accent

A common misconception is that all New Yorkers have the same accent. While many believe NYC is the Capital of the whole state (the Capital is Albany), you might be surprised to find to hear differences in the New York accent as you travel around the state. 

And if you didn’t already know, New York is a huge state! The 27th largest state to be specific! So while the NY accent varies, we will be focusing on the common accent we are used to hearing New Yorkers say differently in NYC and surrounding areas.

In my opinion, New Yorkers from the Boroughs (Brooklyn, Staten Island, Bronx, and Queens) have a stronger accent whereas Long Island and Upstate New York have a slightly more subtle accent.

Regardless, the New York accent is fun to hear and imitate, so we will be focusing more on the Brooklyn, Bronx, and Staten Island accent. Picture the same words for the Long Island accent, but more subtle. 

Oh, and keep in mind the New York accent is not as over-exaggerated as you might have seen it in Brooklyn/Italian movies; think Robert De Niro or Joe Pesci New York movies. Well, unless you’re talking to an older Brooklynite, aka my mom or aunt!

New York Skyline with Accent Word

Most Popular Words New Yorkers Say Differently

Starting off with some of the most popular words New Yorkers say differently and stereotype accent words that non-Natives love to hear locals say.

  • Coffee – Caw-fee – Easily a New York Accent word favorite. The “off” in the word coffee is replaced with an “aww” sound.
  • Water – Waw-ter or Waw-da
  • Chocolate – Chaw-clet
  • Dog – Dawg
  • Call – Cawl
  • New Yorker – New Yawka
  • Talk – Tawlk
  • Walk – Walk
  • Smart – Sm-awt
  • Long – Law-ng
  • Later – Lat-ah
  • Car – Cawr
  • Orange – Awr-range

New York Accent Words Coffee

New York Accent “AW”

As you might already notice that in the most common words New Yorkers say differently, you will hear the “aw” emphasized in words like coffee, talk, and water. This happens with words that have “au”, “aw”, “of”, “ou”, “ar”, and “or” to name some (I am sure there are more)! Here is a list of words New Yorkers say differently with the “aw” accent.

  • Corner – caw-nah
  • OFF – Aw-ff
  • Office – Aw-ffice
  • Awful – awe-ful
  • Awesome – Aw emphasized
  • Burrito – Baw-rrito
  • Sarf – scawf
  • Author – Aw-thaw or Aw-thor depending on the Borough
  • Boston – Baw-ston
  • Lost – lawst
  • Sauna – Saw-na
  • Sausage – saw-sage
  • fault – faw-lt
  • All – awll
  • Often – aw-ften
  • Wrong – raw-ong
  • Thought – Thaw-ght
  • Strong – Straw-ng

Office Words New Yorkers Say - Empire State building

New York Accent “RE” and “RAH”

Another thing you might notice is that New Yorkers pronounce their “Re” with a soft “RAH”. You can notice this in words like remote (rah-mote).  More likely than not, words that start with “Re” will be pronounced as “Rah”. Here are some of the most popular words New Yorkers say weird with the “rah” accent

  • Regardless – Rah-gawdless
  • Remove – Rah-move
  • Return – Rah-turn
  • Regret – Rah-gret
  • Reciporate – Rah-ciporcate 
  • Resort – Rah-sort
  • Reward – Rah-ward
  • Reporter – Rah-port-ah
  • Remember – Rah-memb-ah
  • Proceed – Prah-ceed

NYC black and white with yellow cab

New York Accent “R” and “AH”

Not only do New Yorkers change the “ra” sound with “ra” as we saw in the above examples, but also the “r” sound to an “ah” accent sound. This most commonly happens at the end of a word that ends with “er” or “ar”. Here are some words New Yorkers say with the “ah” accent!

  • Lobster – lobstah
  • Regular – regulah
  • Flower – Flow-ah
  • Whatever – What-eva
  • Brother – Bra-thah
  • Sister – Sis-tah
  • Mother – Moth-ah
  • Swagger – Swagg-ah
  • Daughter – Daugh-tah
  • Listening – Lis-ah-ing
  • Other – Otha
  • Better – Betta
  • Dresser – Dressa -My mom called me asking about the “Dressa” while writing this and had to add it!

Other Words New Yorkers Say Weird

If the above words did already have you laughing or scratching your head at New York accent words, I am sure these will. May of these words can be generational New York accent words, or specified to a certain region in New York. 

  • Idea – I-dear – You will likely hear people from Brooklyn pronounce idea like idear. 
  • Gyro (YEE-roh) – Ja-eye-roh
  • Long Island – Lawn-guy-land
  • Out of – Out-ta
  • Either – Eith-a 
  • Understand – Unda-stand
  • Let Me – Lemme
  • Sure – shore
  • forbid – Fah-bid
  • Park – Pak
  • Want to – wana
  • Huge – You-ge
  • Bacon Egg and Cheese – Baconeggancheese

Long Island Accent Words

My New York Accent Commenters

I love it when my readers participate in the comments, so I wanted to add an additional section just for you! In this section, you will find more words New Yorkers say differently provided by other amazing readers! 

Submitted by Ba Te

  • Horror – Hahruh
  • Should have – Shudduh
  • Could have – Cudduh
  • Would have – Wooduh
  • Houston – Howstun

Submitted by Philip

  • Other – Udder

Words New Yorkers Say Differently Wrap-up

I hope you had fun reading this list of words while probably practicing your New York accent! I am sure this list could go on forever, but if I missed any of your favorites, make sure you add them in the comments below!

Other Guides You Will Love:

If you enjoyed these New York Accent Words, I’d love it if you could share it below! 

Things New Yorkers Say

27 thoughts on “Words New Yorkers Say Differently: Weird New York Accent Words”

  1. I am a NYer relocated in LA for 12 years. My accent was never strong but my friends say I still say Flah-rida! I also say whatcha. I loved baconeggancheese! It’s one word to the guy at the Bodega too!

    Reply
  2. Horror….hahruh.
    Should have … shudduh
    Could have….cudduh
    Would have….wooduh.
    Houston… howstun
    Her….huh.
    There were a few generations that said the following words differently. There aren’t many New Yorkers anymore that pronounce this way. It was fairly common in Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, The Lower East Side, Williamsburg, Bushwick, Greenpoint, Astoria, Woodside, the Bronx, and Jersey City. It involved saying words containing.”oi” as you would say “er”.
    Oil…. erl
    toilet… Terlet
    Spoil… sperl
    Boil… berl
    Tin foil…. tin ferl
    Broil…. brerl

    Reply
  3. It’s crazy. Everyone knows right away I am from NY when I speak. But, now when NYers speak I’m in shock because I hear the accent and don’t understand.

    Reply
  4. I’m a born and raised New Yorker and I don’t replace my re with ra. Maybe SOME do but not all . Depends where in N.Y. You’re from.I don’t say wawda.

    Reply
  5. Don’t fuh-get the “er” suffix at the end of words is pronounced “ah” or “uh”
    Lobster = lobstah
    Regular = regulah
    Harley Sportster = Hahley Spawtstuh
    Corner = cawnah

    Reply
  6. I enjoyed your Most Popular Words New Yorkers Say Differently. It was interesting as I had never noticed those differences in my own speech and you are quite correct. You broke it down well, the specific sounds. However… you write, “the New York accent is not as over-exaggerated as you might have seen it in Brooklyn/Italian movies; think Robert De Niro or Joe Pesci New York movies.’ It actually was that over-exaggerated and not too long ago. I am a New Yorker born and raised, living in Manhattan and that was how a lot of Italian Americans commonly did talk, at least up until about the 1980s. It’s my belief that it was the mass exposure to white bread television speech that changed how Americans throughout the US now talk, leaving us generally with a blander and generic shared version of American English. Everywhere local people have pretty much lost their distinctive accents. The speech we are exposed to on national TV is mostly without ethnic, geographic, or class markers. If you watch old tv shows though, listen to the thick rich sound of a New York accent; Groucho for example on “You Bet Your Life”, or the entire cast on The Honeymooners. New Yorkers really did commonly sound like that. Then.

    Reply
  7. I am a New Yorker and don’t in any way speak like people from New York City. My Upstate accent (Finger Lakes born & bred) isn’t more “subtle” than what you are describing here, it’s completely different! How do I know for sure you ask, because both my parents were born in Brooklyn. All my Aunts, Uncles, and, cousins say for example, bawl, for ball… I do not. We discuss it at every family wedding. I wish you had mentioned the adding “R” to words that don’t contain “R’s”. As a kid my Aunt once asked for help to “Beryl” some eggs, I thought she was speaking another language and had yo ask my Mom what she meant. Mom just laughed and said, “Help your Aunt “Boil” the eggs” Trust me, that’s not a subtle difference. Lol. BTW many Upstaters say an elongated and flat “A” but we Definitely do not add extra letters to our words like the “W” you mentioned and the “R” I did. Yours truly, from a New Yorker who’s not from The Big 🍎

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing all that. I always hear the generational Brooklyn “R” in Idea which my family pronounces “Idear” lol

      Reply
      • Even Billy Joel has it! In Scenes from an Italian Restaurant, he sings: “Brender…” I was raised in NY and had the accent until I studied Speech and Articulation in college. The lights went on. I love listening to it though. Cracks me up.

        Reply
  8. Loved this! So many interesting phrases too. I’m from upstate NY but lived in NYC for four years and learned how different the phrases can be, like “on line” for standing “in line” at a store. Great share!

    Reply
  9. As a Brit this is hilarious! From tv I had an idea ho New Yorkers speak but it’s so funny to see it written lol, such a fun post!

    Reply
  10. This is amazing Sam! Even though I’m from New Jersey I got teased a lot when I went to college in Virginia. Everyone thought I was from Brooklyn because of some of the things I said. People used to joke around saying to me “I wawk, I tawk, I come from New Yawk and I drink my cawfee with wawta.” lol My accent isn’t as bad as it was when I first entered college because I lived in VA for four years.

    Reply
  11. Love this post so much! As a Canadian, I’m so used to New Yorkers telling me I say things differently so it’s nice to have the shoe on the other foot – and to understand it all!

    Reply

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