Maybe you're not FROM North Conway, NH - but you can talk like your are!
Knowing These Phrases Will Trick Any New Hampshirite Into Believing That You’re A Local.
If you’re a fan of visiting new places and kicking it like the locals it helps to know the popular lingo.
Every region, country, and community uses different vocabulary and slang. We have all types of vocabulary that relates to anything from food to tourists to New England weather.
Here are some of the most common phrases that New Hampshirites use in their everyday language (if you want to read about the crazy New Hampshire weather so you can dress appropriately, just click here).
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Most places would relate this word to a cackling witch on a flying bicycle, a Broadway show, or you may not hear that word often if ever at all. However, in New England wicked is used consistently in our every day language.
It is a replacement for the word “very” or “really”. For example, “Oh that’s wicked awesome!” or “That smells wicked bad…”. If you say any of the other adverbs like mad, very, or even hella you will stick out like a sore thumb.
Although, as a New Englander who likes to travel I tend to stick out like a sore thumb because I say wicked.
2. Leaf Peeper
Leaf peeper (pronounced leef peepah) is a phrase locals use more in annoyance than any other emotion.
A leaf peeper is a tourist who comes to New England to look at the changing leaves. They are considered an annoyance because they are the root of slow traffic, distracted driving, and rubbernecking.
Just as Americans are stereotypically annoying to Europeans, Leaf peeper’s are stereotypically annoying to New Englanders.
You think “oh look how beautiful all of the leaves are” and New Englanders think, “get over yourself. You drove all the way from Connecticut to look at trees”.
As annoyed as we may be, the leaf peepers presence do bring a large rush of business that New England businesses rely on.
3. Frappe is Not Short for Frappucino
Don’t go to a New England Starbucks and order a “Frappe” (silent “e”). Although, I’m sure the barista could figure out what you mean.
A frappe is a New England word describing a drink made of milk and ice cream and occasionally syrup. It differs from a milkshake because a milkshake is typically just milk and syrup, sans ice cream. A frappe is delicious and way better than a milkshake.
You’ll see frappes at locally owned ice cream parlors in the summer where you can order a chocolate milkshake or a chocolate frappe. I always say, go big or go home. Get the frappe!
4. “Bang a U-ey”
It may sound harsh, and it can be if done improperly, but bang a u-ey (pronounced yoo-ee) simply means to make a u-turn.
Instead of saying “make a u-turn at the light” a local New Englander may say “at the light, bang a u-ey”.
Make sure you’re hip to this one because it doesn’t mean you should drive around hitting things.
Granted, we all have GPS today but if your phone dies and you ask a local for directions they may say bang a u-ey.
This is a New England word but people from Massachusetts don’t use it.
I’ve come to learn that a lot of Massholes don’t even know that the word exists! However, it is a real word since it was officially placed in the Oxford Dictionary a few years ago.
A Masshole is a driver from Massachusetts—particularly from the Boston area. They are known for being aggressive and angry drivers (if you’ve ever driven in Boston you’d understand. Without aggression you will get no where).
Bostonians tend to bring that aggression with them no matter where they drive so on our peaceful roads they become quite an annoyance.
6. You Can’t Get There From Here
The worst part about this phrase is that it’s completely true.
Where most states have the convenience of highways that cut through various terrains, New England has just a few main highways but they don’t go everywhere.
You are left to to navigate around mountains, mountain ranges, and huge lakes. If you’re trying to get to your neighbors across the lake you have to drive around it. And some of our lakes are 14 miles long with very few crossing points!
Growing up my closest friend lived 40 minutes away and that was only two towns over.
Who has time to say water fountain?
Psh, New Englanders stick with bubbler (pronounced bubblah). It’s so much easier to squeeze into sentences when you have two seconds to get a sip of water out of one.
Stop being so pretentious.
8. Frost Heave
This one is a good phrase to be aware of if you plan on driving in New England during the winter.
You’ll see orange signs on the side of the road warning you about these darn things. A frost heave is when the cracks in the road are filled with ice. This ice causes the pavement to rise creating, sometimes tremendous, bumps in the road that could damage your car if you hit it at full speed.
The odd thing is that you can get so used to them and always slow down for them but once that warm weather hits the ice melts and the roads are smooth once more.
9. Mud Season
Most places relate spring to beautiful flowers blooming, bugs coming out of hiding, warmer weather and soft rains.
However in New England spring is just a time of mud. Everywhere.
All of the snow is melting and mixing with dirt making roads tricky to drive on and everything is filthy (ugh never mind your car).
One time during mud season we got our car stuck on a dirt road in a giant clump of mud for several hours. We broke our axle just trying to get out of it.
The good news about mud season is that once it clears, beautiful summer is on it’s way. Summer in New England means perfect weather, green fields and trees and all of the summer activities commence.
The best way to become fluent in a language is immersion.
The best option to learn how to speak like a New Englander is unfortunately, not by watching Mark Wahlberg movies, but to come hang with us! We'll have a wicked good time, and we can watch Mark Wahlberg movies together if you want.
If you love North Conway, NH and are planning a vacation here, give me a shout! I'm a local, I say all the things this blog makes fun of, and I know the best North Conway restaurants, outlet stores, hikes and places to have a drink with a local!
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