Welcome to the world of Brooklyn slang words! If you’re not from Brooklyn, you might feel like you’re in a foreign country when you hear some of the words locals use.
Embrace the fun side of slang and confidently work those words into your speech! Revel in learning a new language, and chuckle at the freshness it brings to conversations.
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13 Brooklyn Slang Words That Can Help You!
Brooklyn slang words are a unique part of New York City’s cultural identity. From using the word “deadass” to emphasize a point to calling someone “son” as a term of endearment, Brooklyn’s slang is colorful, creative, and constantly evolving.
Whether you’re a native New Yorker or a tourist exploring the city, learning these slang words can help you with your cultural immersion.
These words allow you to connect with Brooklynites on a deeper level and serve as a window into the vibrant and diverse communities that call this borough home.
It is ok to use Brooklyn slang words in your conversations. It will make you sound cool and show respect for New York City’s special culture.
1. Bodega- A Convenience Store:
Bodegas, oh, how we love them! These little neighborhood shops are a lifesaver when you need a quick snack or a place to pick up essentials.
Bodegas are a true staple in city life, and every neighborhood seems to have its beloved one. Who doesn’t have a favorite bodega cat that always greets you at the door?
But let’s not forget the endless variety of drinks, snacks, and trinkets lining the shelves.
Whether you’re in the mood for a bag of chips, a cold beer, or some last-minute party supplies, you can always count on your trusty bodega to come through.
So next time you’re in your hood, don’t forget to show your local bodega some love!
2. Swag- Style And Confidence:
Have you ever noticed how some people just seem to exude an aura of cool confidence?
They walk into a room, and their heads turn, not just because of their stylish clothes or flashy accessories, but because they have that certain something.
That’s right, folks; we’re talking swag. Again, it’s the combination of style and confidence that makes people sit up and take notice.
But there’s no one-size-fits-all recipe for swag – it’s all about finding what works for you. Maybe it’s a bold pair of sneakers or a funky pair of sunglasses that make you feel like a million bucks.
Maybe it’s a killer outfit that highlights your unique personality. Whatever your swag is, embrace it with confidence and watch as the world takes notice.
3. Finna- Going To Do Something:
You know that feeling when you’re “finna” do something? It’s that thrilling anticipation mixed with a dash of uncertainty – like you’re about to embark on an adventure.
But where did this slang term originate? According to linguists, “finna” is a contraction of “fixing to,” commonly used in African American Vernacular English.
Slang words are popular now with people of all ages. When you go out with your friends or try something new, use slang words. It is cool and fun!
4. Wildin’- Acting Crazy Or Out Of Control:
Let’s talk about wildin’ – that crazy, out-of-control behavior that we’ve all indulged in at some point in our lives.
Maybe you stayed out too late with your friends or impulsively booked a last-minute trip to Vegas.
Whatever your version of wildin’ might be, it’s important to remember that we all need to let loose and have some fun now and then.
Of course, it’s also important to be responsible and not let our wild behavior get out of hand. When you want to have fun, it is important to stay in control. Have a great time!
5. Gully- Extremely Tough Or Aggressive:
When you think of someone who is a gully, you might picture a rugged, no-nonsense individual. But being gully is more than just toughness. It’s about attitude, confidence, and fearlessness.
A gully person is not afraid to take risks, challenge the status quo, or stand up for themselves and what they believe in.
Think about some of the most iconic characters in pop culture: Wolverine, John McClane, Furiosa. These are all characters who embody the essence of gullies.
So if you want to channel your inner gully, don’t just focus on being tough.
Work on cultivating that unshakable spirit, that unwavering sense of self, and that fearless attitude that will set you apart from the crowd.
6. Stuntin’- Showing Off Or Bragging:
Stuntin’, a term originating from hip-hop culture, refers to showing off or bragging. It’s a way of proclaiming one’s success or accomplishments to others.
While some may view this behavior as narcissistic or obnoxious, it can also be viewed as an opportunity to celebrate one’s achievements and inspire others to do the same.
Humans have an inherent need for validation and recognition as social creatures, which is why we often engage in this behavior.
Of course, there is a fine line between healthy self-promotion and excessive boasting, and it’s important to be aware of that boundary.
The next time you want to do something special, ask yourself – are you doing it to make people think differently or just to show off?
7. Woke – Being Informed On Societal Issues:
Do you know what it means to be “woke”? It’s not just about being informed on societal issues – it’s about being aware of the larger structures and recognizing your place in them.
It’s about understanding how systems of oppression work and doing your part to dismantle them.
It’s not enough to read the headlines or post a black square on social media – waking up means actively educating yourself, listening to marginalized voices, and taking action.
So grab a cup of coffee and start reading up on the latest news – it’s time to wake up and make a difference.
8. Sheisty – Shady Or Untrustworthy Behavior:
Picture this: you’re walking down a dimly lit alleyway, looking over your shoulder every few seconds for any suspicious characters.
Suddenly, out of the shadows steps, a guy with a slick suit and a toothy grin. You can tell right away that this dude is sheisty – he’s got shady written all over him.
Untrustworthy behavior oozes from every pore of his being. You don’t know what he’s up to, but you’re sure it can’t be good.
That’s the thing about sheisty people – you always feel like you should keep one hand on your wallet and the other on your pepper spray.
Lesson learned: stay far away from anyone who reeks of shady behavior.
9. Dunny – Friend Or Acquaintance:
Are you wondering if your dunny is a friend or just an acquaintance? Well, let me tell you, there are a few tell-tale signs to look out for.
Firstly, a friend dunny won’t be all business, only showing up when you need him. No, a friend dunny will want to chat and catch up, even if you don’t have to do your business.
Additionally, a friend, dunny, will be there for you in times of need, offering comfort (albeit, in his unique way).
And lastly, a friend dunny won’t judge you for how long you’ve been sitting on the throne. So, look at your dunny and ask yourself, “Is he a friend or just an acquaintance?”
10. Milly Rock – Popular Dance Move In Brooklyn Culture:
When it comes to Brooklyn culture, the Milly Rock reigns supreme. This dance move has taken the world by storm, featuring prominently in music videos, dance battles, and social media.
It originated in the Bed-Stuy area of Brooklyn and quickly spread across the borough, becoming a staple of hip-hop culture.
Its signature move involves swinging your arms back and forth while swaying your hips, creating a mesmerizing effect that’s impossible not to groove along to.
Even celebrities like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Rihanna have been caught doing the Milly Rock on camera, proving just how influential this dance move has become.
11. So-So – Neither Good Nor Bad Or Average:
Let’s talk about the word “so-so”. It’s the ultimate middle ground. Neither good nor bad, just simply average.
Some might argue it’s a bland and uninspired term, but it has uses.
For example, if you’re asked how your day was, and it was just “so-so”, it’s not something to complain about. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t the best day ever.
You could also use it to describe your opinion of a movie or restaurant. It wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t a total disaster.
It’s a useful word to have in our vocabulary, even if it’s not the most exciting one. So let’s appreciate the word “so-so” for always being there for us when we need it.
12. Dough – Money:
Dough, moolah, cash, cheddar – whatever you call it, money makes the world go ’round. Some say that money can’t buy happiness, but let’s be real; it helps.
Our society places a lot of value on the dough in our pockets, and it’s no wonder why.
Money provides us with security, opportunities, and the ability to treat ourselves occasionally. Whether we like it or not, dough is a crucial part of our lives.
So, the next time you’re feeling down about your bank account balance, just remember – there’s always a way to make more dough.
Brooklyn is famous for its bridge, hip-hop music, and special words that people who don’t live there might not understand.
Brooklyn slang can often be intimidating to those unfamiliar with it, but have no fear!
With little guidance, you can easily decipher the most commonly used Brooklyn slang words.
Brooklyn slang can be confusing at first. But speaking, it will make you feel like a local. For example, “Deadass” means “seriously,” and “son” means “son of a bitch”.
And remember, as Biggie once said, “spread love, it’s the Brooklyn way.”
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I've always loved learning and teaching languages. I started my career as a teacher in Madrid, Spain, where I taught business professionals. I then moved to Brussels, Belgium, where I worked with international affairs students and interns who were working with the European Union.
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