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Words only Long Islanders Use

Learn to speak Long Island with this glossary of terms that Long Islanders use.

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When you're from Long Island you speak a very specific dialect in a very unique accent. We love it. Below are some terms you use when you're from Long Island wihtout even thinking about it. If you want to learn to speak Long Island then commit these terms and phrases to memory.

  • Hero - Not a sub or a hoagie. It's a sandwich on a long roll. They're called heroes because they're awesome.
  • BEC - Bacon Egg Cheese. On a roll. Preferably with some combination of SPK.
  • Deli - Where you get a hero or a BEC

  • Bagel Store - Where you get a bagel (a good bagel) or a BEC
  • Soda - If you say pop then go back upstate. Speaking of….
  • Upstate - Anything just north of the Cross Bronx Expressway, really.
  • Long Island - Nassau and Suffolk. Forget what you learned in geography. The rest is not a part of Long Island.
  • Out East - Anywhere east of where you are.
  • Up Island - When you’re from Out East anywhere west of where you are.
  • The End - Montauk Point.
  • North Shore/South Shore/North Fork/South Fork - For the most part, we divide the island into quadrants. North Shore, South Shore, North Fork, South Fork. There really is no good term for the middle of the island because Middle Island is already taken.
  • The City - Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx are also the city. But not The City, which is Manhattan.
  • Down Port - The area of the village of Port Jefferson that is by the harbor so called because you go down hill to get there from almost any direction except the water.
  • Hicksville - Sounds like a place that rednecks come from, but it’s not.

AEMoreira042281 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]

  • LIRR - It’s never the rail road or the Long Island Rail Road. You say it by the acronym: L.I.R.R. Or just the train.
  • LIE - Long Island Expressway, which is an oxymoron.
  • Citiot - City folk who invade the Hamptons and upset the locals.
  • A slice - Pizza. Usually used when you say you're "gonna grab a slice for lunch."
  • Grandma slice - Square pizza on a thin crust.