Words New Yorkers Say Differently

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25+ Words New Yorkers Say Differently

Since many of you loved my article on Things New Yorker’s Say, I thought you might also enjoy a list of some of the most notable words New Yorkers say differently! I mean who doesn’t love a New York accent?! Am I right?!

New York Travel Skyline

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Not only do New Yorkers say the below words differently, but you can also hear slight accent changes throughout the state!

In my opinion, Brooklyn and Staten Islanders 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.

However, 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.

Most Popular Words New Yorkers Say Differently

  1. Coffee – Caw-fee
  2. Water – Waw-ter
  3. Chocolate – chaw-clet
  4. Dog – dawg
  5. Call -cawl
  6. Talk – tawlk
  7. Walk – wawlk
  8. OFF – Aw-ff
  9. Office – Aw-ffice
  10. New Yorker – New yawker
  11. Awful – awe-ful
  12. Sure – shore
  13. Want to – wana
  14. Long Island – Lawn-guy-land
  15. Awesome – Aw emphasized
  16. Regardless – Ra-gardless
  17. Remove – Ra-move
  18. Return – Ra-turn
  19. All – awll
  20. Often – aw-ften
  21. Wrong – raw-ong
  22. Thought – Thaw-ght
  23. Boston – Baw-ston
  24. Lost – lawst
  25. Sauna – Saw-na
  26. Sausage – saw-sage
  27. fault – faw-lt
  28. Lobster – lobstah
  29. Regular – regulah
  30. Corner – cawnah

One of the top instagrammable places in NYC is at The Top Of The Rock


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:

  • walk
  • talk
  • coffee

This happens with words that have “au”, “aw”, “of”, “ou” to name some (I am sure there are more)!

New York Accent “RE”

Another thing you might notice is that New Yorkers pronounce their “Re” with a soft “RA”. You can notice this in words like remote (ra-mote).  More likely than not, words that start with “Re” will be pronounced as “Ra”.

  • Regardless (Ra-gardless)
  • Remove (ra-move)
  • Return (ra-turn)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn New York City Skyline view
Williamsburg, Brooklyn at Shmorgasburg

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 it in the comments below!

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

Words New Yorkers Say Differently

23 thoughts on “Words New Yorkers Say Differently”

  1. Horror….hahruh.
    Should have … shudduh
    Could have….cudduh
    Would have….wooduh.
    Houston… howstun
    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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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 🍎

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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!


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