Rhode Island is known for its unique Rhode Island slang words and phrases. If you spend time in Rhode Island, you will hear locals talking with a unique style of English.
People new to Rhode Island may initially not understand the local slang, but people who live there love their vernacular.
Rhode Island Slang Words And Phrases – 13 Slangs!
Rhode Island is known for so much more than its majestic coastline. So many people may not realize it, but this small pocket of the New England region has its unique vocabulary.
Here’s your chance to learn a few of the words and phrases peculiarly local to Rhode Islanders.
From “witchy-britches” and “wicked” to the beloved and eternal statement of “tis what it tis”, learning the unique staple words and phrases will give you an insider track on how locals talk!
Filling your conversations with some classic Rhode Island slang will make you seem like a true ocean state local.
So start honing your skills, and you’ll be sure to impress your peers with the locally coined vocabulary. Here you go!
1. Lobster – Someone From Maine Or Massachusetts:
Lobsters are a popular food for people from Maine and Massachusetts. Not only do people like to eat them, but several slang words and phrases come from lobsters.
‘Crustacea-fied’, for instance, may be used to describe an individual who is overly enthusiastic about something.
Another phrase that may arise from the conversation is ‘lobstah roll’, which refers to someone bragging excessively.
Lastly, some might say they are ‘lobstering’ when they mean they are hard at work or doing something with great perseverance.
The lobster plays an important role in the folk culture of the Northeast.
2. “Bless You” Is A Polite Way To Say “Thank You” In Rhode Island:
Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States, but its people speak uniquely.
A polite way of saying “Thank you” in Rhode Island is to say “Bless You,” which carries an extra special touch to someone’s gratitude.
It is part of the local slang vocabulary, and it has become such a widespread phrase that even some non-Rhode Islanders use it too.
It’s not strange to hear a shopkeeper or waiter in Rhode Island say “Bless You” when they want to thank you. This is another reminder that this small state has its own culture and traditions.
3. “No Problem” Is The Most Common Response To “Thank You”:
“No problem” is often heard in Rhode Island after someone has been thanked for doing something.
It’s a unique bit of local vocabulary that has become so commonplace it’s been adopted as an unofficial response to “Thank you”.
From how people speak to their attitude toward others, the people of Rhode Island certainly have a distinctive identity.
4. Saying, “What Are You Doing?” Used As A Greeting Or A Question:
“What are you doing?” isn’t just a greeting in Rhode Island. It’s practically a local vernacular.
Most natives will use this phrase in almost every conversation exchange, whether asking what the other person is up to or simply letting them know they were thinking of them.
If you are looking for a polite way to wrap up conversations without expecting any reply, add an extra word at the end, like “alright?”
This simple step will ensure that your conversation is left on a pleasant note. Unfortunately, the slang has become so ingrained that mainlanders often assume this is how everyone says hello!
5. If Someone Bumps Into You, They Might Say “Excuse Me”:
In Rhode Island, saying “scuze me” is more of a regional vernacular than the widely accepted “excuse me.”
It can also be used to thank someone for something, but typically when coming across someone on the street unexpectedly and needing to pass.
In any case, if you hear someone say “scuze me” daily, it is an acknowledgment that they’ve bumped into you or apologized for something else.
Remember that no matter what phrase they use in Rhode Island, the sentiment behind it remains the same—an apology.
6. When Someone Sneezes, They Might Say, “Gesundheit”:
Gesundheit! is a common word when someone sneezes; however, in Rhode Island, there are additional slang phrases for this greeting.
Some of the most popular are “be wise,” “bless you,” and “bleschye.” Recently, these alternate sayings have been traced to German and Yiddish influences on Rhode Island speech patterns.
For example, “bleschye” is a combination of Yiddish and English derived from the Yiddish phrase “base ich bin vernemen,” which roughly translates to “please God I should forget about.”
Thus, different words will be used to respond to someone’s sneeze, depending on where you live.
7. Quahog – A Type Of Clam:
Quahog is the name of a type of clam, and it is pronounced: “Kwa-hog”. This Rhode Island slang term has been used for centuries by local fishermen who have harvested this tasty shellfish.
The clam is also commonly called a hardshell clam, or chowder clam because it provides broth for New England Clam Chowder.
Quahog clams can be found on menus throughout Providence and other cities in Rhode Island, either steamed, fried, stuffed, or served raw with some salt and pepper.
Whether you’re visiting the area or a native Rhode Islander, don’t let the unfamiliar word confuse you – quahogs are essential to Rhode Island’s cultural, and culinary heritage!
8. Pawtucket – A City In Rhode Island:
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, is a city that has developed its own unique identity through time.
Known as the ‘Creative Capital’, it offers diverse people and activities that have made the city distinct throughout its history.
With a population of over 75,604, Pawtucket has plenty to offer its residents and visitors.
The locals are proud of their relationship with the area’s rich history and heritage, and they often use some traditional Rhode Island slang words and phrases in their conversations.
From the iconic Slater Mill to historic Benefit Street and many nearby parks, there’s always something to see and do here!
9. “Rushed” Is A Term For Being Busy Or In A Hurry:
If you’re from Rhode Island, chances are you’ve heard the phrase “rushed” at some point.
While to most of the rest of the United States, this term might seem unfamiliar, in Rhode Island, it is a common slang word used when referring to being busy or in a hurry.
This would typically be used among friends and family who share knowledge about Rhode Island slang words and phrases.
For example, someone running late for an appointment might say, “I’m so rushed!” This shows how these words have become part of local culture.
10. Instead Of “They Are Scared”, People Say “They’re “Spooked”:
Rhode Island is a unique state with its distinct vocabulary, and there’s no shortage of fun linguistic phrases to be found here.
Just look at the phrase locals use when they are scared: Rhode Islanders might say they’re “spooked” instead of saying they are scared.
This delightful expression first appeared around 1968, but it quickly became popular among the population, popping up in conversation in almost every local situation.
From a midnight horror movie to a spooky Halloween party, an authentic Rhode Island experience is incomplete without someone being spooked!
11. If Something Is Cool, Rhode Islanders Might Call It “Boss”:
If you find yourself in Rhode Island and someone calls something “boss,” it means they think the thing is cool.
This common phrase is an example of true Rhode Island slang, with origins from the 1960s that were likely inspired by Jamaican immigrants who moved to Providence.
It refers to something that impressed or amused them – good food, a new outfit, an upcoming event, or anything else!
The Rhode Island vernacular brought up many other interesting phrases throughout the decades.
Use some of them around your friends or family if you want to sound especially hip and local!
12. “Wicked” Describes Something Awesome:
“wicked” is a popular slang phrase in Rhode Island, often used to describe something awesome.
Its origins are unclear, but one thing is certain – the phrase has become synonymous with how Rhode Islanders celebrate excellence and special moments.
Whether it’s an adrenaline rush after conquering a long hike or bragging rights after scoring that long-sought concert ticket, any enjoyable experience can be considered “wicked”.
To many natives, the term encapsulates an electrifying element of progress and happiness, serving as a regional stamp of approval for triumphant efforts.
13. Rhode Islanders Say “Ayuh” When They Mean “Yes”:
The expression “ayuh” is a regional piece of vocabulary that Rhode Island residents commonly use to mean yes.
This word has become an integral part of the local language, and it’s not uncommon to hear it on any given day as the conversation flows in the Ocean State.
Rhode Island has its own set of unique vernacular expressions, like “bubbler” for water fountain, “dahn cah’ for down the street, and “coffee milk” for a cold coffee flavored beverage.
The unique terminology of Rhode Island gives our beloved Ocean State its very own identity!
The strong culture here has created its vocabulary; each native knows what these terms mean, but they’re often met with confusion outside the state boundaries.
Rhode Island has a unique vocabulary passed down for generations.
Rhody slang words like “stoopid,” “whaddya” and “morney,” have become a source of state pride for locals, as they are instantly recognizable symbols that unite the community.
Frequently used in conversation, these expressions foster an atmosphere of togetherness among Rhode Islanders.
Even if you’re not originally from Rhode Island, learning some quintessential phrases makes any newcomer feel more connected to the Ocean State.
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