Welcome to Boston

You know you’re from Boston if…

  1. You think of Philadelphia as the midwest.
  2. You think it’s your God-given right to cut someone off in traffic.
  3. You think there are only 25 letters in the alphabet (no R’s).
  4. You think three straight days of 90+ temperatures is a heat wave.
  5. All your pets are named after Celtics or Bruins.
  6. You refer to 6 inches of snow as a “dusting.
  7. Just hearing the words “New York” puts you in an angry mood.
  8. You don’t think you have an attitude.
  9. You always ‘bang a left’ as soon as the light turns green, and oncoming traffic always expects it.
  10. Everything in town is “a five minute walk (pronounced ‘wok’).”
  11. When out of town, you think the natives of the area are all whacked.
  12. You still can’t bear to watch highlights from game 6 of the 1986 World Series.
  13. You have no idea what the word compromise means.
  14. You believe using your turn signal is a sign of weakness.
  15. You don’t realize that you walk and talk twice as fast as everyone else.
  16. You’re neurotic, pessimistic & stubborn.
  17. You think if someone is nice to you, they must want something, or are from out of town.
  18. Your favorite adjective is “wicked.”
  19. You think 63 degree ocean water is warm.
  20. You think the Kennedy’s are misunderstood.

When we say / We mean…

roses, etc.
30 minutes after the hour/half past
How are you?
what we staht the cah with
of course
you, plural
popular snack

How We’ll know you weren’t Bon Heah (Born Here)

  • You wear a Harvard sweatshirt.
  • You cross at a crosswalk.
  • You ask directions to Cheers.”
  • You order a grinder and a soda. (a Sub & Tonic)
  • You follow soccer.
  • You eat at Durgin Park.
  • You pronounce it “Worchester” or “Glouchester.”  (Worcester, Gloucester… Wohstah, Glostah)
  • You call it “COPE-ly” Square.

Getting around

Pay no attention to the street names.  There’s no school on School Street, no court on Court Street, no dock on Dock Square, no water on Water Street.

Back Bay streets are in alphabetical odda: Arlington, Berkeley, Clarendon, Dartmouth.  So are South Boston streets: A, B, C, D, etc.  If the streets are named after trees (Walnut, Chestnut, Cedar), you’re on Beacon Hill.  If they’re named after poets, you’re in Wellesley.

All avenues are properly referenced by their nicknames: Comm Ave, Mass Ave, Dot Ave.  Dot is Dorchester, Rozzie is Roslindale, JP is Jamaica Plain.  Roxburry is The Burry.  Readville doesn’t exist.

The North-East-South-West Thing

Southie is South Boston.  The South End is the South End.  Eastie is East Boston.  The North End is east of the former West End.  The West End and Scollay Square are no more – a guy named Rappaport got rid of them one night.


  • Frappes have ice cream; milk shakes don’t.
  • If it’s fizzy and flavored, it’s tonic.
  • Soda is club soda.
  • Pop is Dad.
  • When we mean tonic WATER, we say tonic WATER.
  • The smallest beer is a pint.
  • Scrod is whatever they tell you it is, usually fish.  If you paid more than $6 a pound, you got scrod.
  • It’s not a water fountain, it’s a bubbalah (bubbler).
  • It’s not a trash can, it’s a barrel.
  • It’s not a shopping cart, it’s a carriage.
  • It’s not a purse, it’s a pockabook.
  • Brown bread comes in a can.  You open both ends, push it out, heat it and eat it with baked beans.
  • They’re not franks, they’re haht dawgs.  Franks are money in France.
  • Police don’t drive patrol units or black and whites they drive a crooza”.
  • If you take the bus, you’re on the “looza crooza”.
  • It’s not a rubber band, it’s an elastic.
  • It’s not a traffic circle, it’s a rotary.
  • “Going to the islands” means Martha’s Vineyard & Nantucket.
  • If something’s good, it’s a “pissa”.  If something’s really good, it’s “wicked pissa”.
  • The Pat’s = The Patriots
    The Sox = The Red Sox
    The C’s = The Celtics
    The B’s = The Bruins

Things Not To Do

  • Don’t call it Beantown.
  • Don’t pahk your cah in Hahvid Yahd.  They’ll tow it to Medfid (Medford) or Slumaville (Somerville).
  • Don’t swim in the Charles, no matter what Bill Weld tells you.
  • Don’t sleep on the Common.
  • Don’t wear orange in Southie on St. Patrick’s Day.

Things you should know

  • There are two State Houses, two City Halls, two courthouses, two Hancock buildings (one old, one new for each).
  • Route 128 is also I-95.  It is also I-93.
  • It’s the Sox, the Pats (or Patsies if they’re losing), the Seltz, the Broons.
  • The underground train is not a subway.  It’s the T, and it doesn’t run all night (fah chrysakes, this ain’t Noo Yawk).
  • The colored lights on top the old Hancock tell the weatha’:
    “Solid blue, clear view…”
    “Flashing blue, clouds due…”
    “Solid red, rain ahead…”
    “Flashing red, snow instead…” (Except in summer; flashing red means the Red Sox game was rained out)
  • Order the “cold tea” in China Town after 2:00 am you’ll get a kettle full of beer (Beeyah).
  • Bostonians… think that it’s their God-given right to cut off someone in traffic (It is, isn’t it?).
  • Bostonians… think Rhode Island accents are annoying.

How to say these Massachusetts city names correctly:

  • Worcester: Wuhsta (or Wistah)
  • Gloucester: Glawsta
  • Leicester: Lesta
  • Woburn: Wooban
  • Dedham: Dedim (like denim)
  • Revere: Re-vee-ah
  • Quincy: Quinzee
  • Peabody: Peabuddy
  • Waltham: Walth-ham
  • Chatham: Chattum
via email from John Treworgy sometime prior to 3 August 2000, with additional information added Thu, 24 Feb 2005 08:34:11 -0500