Words New Yorkers Say Differently: Weird New York Accent Words

60+ New York Accent Words of New Yorkers Say Differently

So you are looking for New York accent words, huh? You know, those words New Yorkers say differently? Maybe we New Yorkers are just saying the words correctly, and the rest of the USA is wrong…jk. As a New Yorker, I feel it is only fitting to provide you with an extensive list of some of the most common words New Yorkers say differently with their New York accents! 

I mean, who doesn’t love a New York accent?! Am I right?! Let’s see how many New York accent words you know! Or, start taking notes on how you can do the New York accent.

FYI: If you are a fellow New Yorker reading this list and noticed I may have forgotten your favorite New York accent words, 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 will also love this list of New York Slang Words and Sayings! Fuhgeddaboutit!

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 hear differences in the New York accent as you travel around the state. 

The most common New York accent you are familiar with is likely the Brooklyn accent, Staten Island accent, Queens accent, and Bronx accent. People from New Jersey even have a slight accent that is similar to the New York accent.

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 New York City and surrounding areas.

In my opinion, New Yorkers from the Boroughs (Brooklyn, Staten Island, Bronx, and Queens) have a stronger accent, whereas the Long Island accent is a slightly more subtle accent. The Long Island accent is still there, my in-laws were all born and raised on Long Island, but it’s not thick like my family’s Brooklyn and Staten Island accents.

I find that people from Upstate New York don’t always have the New York 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 or Italian movies. I’m “tawkin bout” those Robert De Niro or Joe Pesci New York movies. Well, unless you’re talking to an older Brooklynite, aka my mom or aunt, who says Idea like Idear – it cracks me up every time!

New York Skyline with Accent Word

Most Popular Accent Words New Yorkers Say Differently

Starting off with some of the most popular words New Yorkers say differently and stereotype New York 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 – Wawlk
  • Smart – Sm-awt
  • Long – Law-ng
  • Later – Lat-ah
  • Car – Cawr
  • Orange – Awr-range
  • Huge – Yuuge
New York Accent Words Coffee

New York Accent “AW”

As you might already notice, the most common words New Yorkers say differently you will hear the “aw” sound 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, New York accent 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 sounds.

This most commonly happens at the end of a word with an “er” or “ar” ending. 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 New York accent words didn’t already have you laughing or scratching your head, then I am sure these New York accent words will.

Many of these words can be generational New York accent words or specified to a particular 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 accent 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

Submitted by NY lost in LA

  • Florida – Flah-rida

NY Accent 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 of accent words New Yorkers speak could go on forever, but if I missed any of your NYC favorites, make sure you add them in the comments below!

So, do you think you can do a New York accent yet?

If you enjoyed these New York Accent Words of Things New Yorkers say differently, I’d really appreciate it if you could share it below! 

Things New Yorkers Say
Photo of author

Samantha Oppenheimer

Samantha Oppenheimer (Sam Opp) quit her corporate marketing job in 2018 to travel the world and become a travel writer, blogger and content creator. She loves experiencing authentic travel experiences, photography, and nature. Sam shares helpful travel itineraries, travel tips, budget tips, and travel advice from her personal experiences. You can also find Sam's words featured in large publications including Mirror, Thrillist, and Well + Good.

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

  1. I love it. Born and raised in NYC I never knew I even had the New York City accent till I traveled out of borough and someone alerted me of my accent. I’m trying to look for videos of native New Yorkers havin a conversation with each other in addition similar sites like this.

    Reply
  2. I am sorry you are completely wrong and I question if you are a native New Yorker because I am. The accent you are describing is Boston and Baltimore. Not how we pronounce at all.

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    • I guess we will have to agree to disagree because my whole family who were born and raised in Brooklyn, along with my husbands family who were born and raised on Long Island have all agreed with me (that’s a lot of New Yorkers). Maybe you’re not from the boroughs? Upstate has a different accent. In any case, I have never been told my accent sounds like a Boston or Baltimore accent. Maybe you disagree on the way I choose to spell it out?

      Reply
  3. Born and raised in SW Kansas, but lived with NYers in Kanas for 5 years. Visited NY twice a year with them. I picked up their accent and after 35 years not being around them, I’m told I still have an accent. I’ve lived in AZ for 20 years and people ask me where I’m from. It’s funny to see their minds working as they try to place the accent with the region of the country I’m from.

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  4. In regards your New York accent: I was born and raised there until about age 16 and recovered over the next few years. I’m never accused of being from New York any more!
    But you left out the most notoriously infamous example of the New York accent. Actually I believe only people from Brooklyn will actually claim it!

    Toity doity poiple boids, sittin on de coib, choipin an boipin an eatin doity woims.
    Note that both COIB and WOIMS are pronounced with a very long letter I!

    Reply
    • Yeah, I kept waiting for that to come up. I’m told that it’s an older generation accent (like my Dad’s — he grew up in Brooklyn) and the young people don’t use it so much. I still mix up my ‘ir’ and ‘er’ with ‘oi’ as in “earl” for “oil” and “terlet” for “toilet.” My kids and grandkids laugh at me every time.

      Reply
      • I love it. Born and raised in NYC I never knew I even had the New York City accent till I traveled out of borough and someone alerted me of my accent. I’m trying to look for videos of native New Yorkers havin a conversation with each other in addition similar sites like this.

        Reply
  5. We change the a’s to r’s…. My daughters have there names as Lisa to Liser. Alana as Alaner…. They say I cannot say their names! ???

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  6. Just a quick correction New Yorkers don’t pronounce all names of Houston as “how stun” for example Houston Texas is pronounced the traditional way by all New Yorkers. That SPECIFIC street in Manhattan is pronounced “how stun” but ONLY that one Street

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  7. When I saw something I said “I sore it.” That got beat out of me when I was in the Army and the rest of the country couldn’t understand a NY accent. I do say “saw” now.

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    • Neither do I. People say I have the nyc accent but I not only can’t hear it when I talk but I can’t hear other native New Yorkers accents.

      Reply
  8. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!
    I grew up in the Bronx (accent & all) have lived in AZ for 30 years…
    I recently learned
    Drawh has 2 syllables – Drawer!
    & the i in Roon is Not silent – Ruin!
    Who knew?! Lol

    Reply
    • Im a Bronx native & I lived in AZ for 35 yrs. Thought I lost my NY accent til.. my sobs gf was putting away some very fragile stationary in my desk drawer & I yelled out “Dont put that in the drawh yu’ll roon it!”
      She said “huh?” Lol
      Guess the wer in drawer & the ui in ruin matter! Hahaha

      Reply
  9. My mother’s immediate family are all native New Yorkers (Queens, Lower Eastside, and the Bronx by marriage.) You left out the one that is like nails on a chalkboard to me.
    Ask = aks / ax
    Growing up all my cousins and their friends said aks/ax instead of ask. Drove me crazy! Lol
    And another one that even I picked up-
    Aunt = ant
    When we moved to Connecticut when I was twelve and I heard the way my classmates said aunt, I came home and interrogated my poor mother about why she had taught me to pronounce it incorrectly.

    Reply
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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

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      • 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
    • Hahahahahaha OMG that’s how I Tawk! Until readin this post I didn’t realize that I had a New York accent and I’m from North Jersey. I’m always gettin teased faw my Cawfee!!!

      Reply
  20. 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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