Understanding Bostonians

This is just so you people from Massachusetts don't forget your roots, and for those of you who try to understand.


  1. The geographical center of Boston is in Roxbury.
  2. Due north of the center we find the South End.
  3. This is not to be confused with South Boston which lies directly east from the South End.
  4. North of the South End is East Boston and southwest of East Boston is the North End.
  5. There is no school on School Street, no court on Court Street, no dock on Dock Square, and no water on Water Street.
  6. Back Bay Boston streets are in alphabetical ohddah:
    Arlington, Berkeley, Clarendon, Dartmouth, etc.
  7. So are South Boston streets: A, B, C, D, etc.
  8. If the streets are named after trees (e.g. Walnut, Chestnut, Cedar) you are on Beacon Hill.
  9. If they are named after poets, you are in Wellesley.
  10. Massachusetts Avenue is Mass Ave.
  11. Commonwealth Avenue is Comm Ave.
  12. South Boston is Southie.
  13. The South End is The South End.
  14. East Boston is Eastie.
  15. The North End is east of the former West End.
  16. The West End and Scollay Square are no more. A guy named Rappaport got rid of them one night.
  17. Roxbury is The Berry.
  18. Jamaica Plain is J.P.


  1. There are two State Houses, two City Halls, two courthouses, and two Hancock buildings (one is very old, one is relatively new).
  2. The colored lights on top the old Hancock tells the weathah:

    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!).

Getting Around, Etc.

  1. Route 128 South is I-95 south and it is also I-93 north. Most people live here all their life and still do not know what the hell is going on with this.
  2. The underground train is not a subway. It is "The T," and it does not run all night (Fah chrysakes, this ain't Noo Yawk).
  3. Order the cold tea in China Town after 2:00 AM; you will get a kettle full of beer.
  4. Bostonians:
    • Think that it is their God-given right to cut off someone in traffic (it is!).
    • Think that there are only 25 letters in the alphabet (No Rs, except in idear.)
    • Think that three straight days of 90+ temperatures is a heat wave.
    • Refer to six inches of snow as a dusting.
    • Always bang a left as soon as the light turns green, and oncoming traffic always expects it.
    • Believe that using your turn signal is a sign of weakness (it is).
    • Think that 63 degree ocean water is warm.
    • Think Rhode Island accents are annoying.
  5. The bridge connecting Boston and Cambridge via Massachusetts Avenue is commonly known as the Harvard Bridge (or Hahvahd Bridge). When it was built, the state offered to name the bridge for the Cambridge school that could present the best claim for the honor. Harvard submitted an essay detailing its contributions to education in America, concluding that it deserved the honor of having a bridge leading into Cambridge named for the institution. MIT conducted a structural analysis of the bridge and found it so full of defects that they agreed that it should be named for Harvard. This is all true!

Unwritten Rules

  1. Do not pahk your cah in Hahvid Yahd. They will tow it to Meffad (Medford) or Summahville (Somerville).
  2. Do not sleep on the Common (Boston Common).
  3. Do not wear orange in Southie on St. Patrick's Day.

Sports Teams

  1. The Sox = The Red Sox.
  2. The Cs = The Celtics.
  3. The Bs = The Bruins.
  4. The Pats = The Patriots.

Common City/Town Name Pronunciations

  1. Worcester: Wuhsta or Wistah
  2. Gloucester: Glawsta
  3. Leicester: Lesta
  4. Woburn: Woobun
  5. Dedham: Dead-um
  6. Revere: Reh-vee-ah
  7. Quincy: Quin-zee
  8. Tewksbury: Tooks-ber-ry
  9. Leominster: Lemon-sta
  10. Peabody: PEE-buh-dee
  11. Waltham: Walth-ham
  12. Chatham: Chad-dum
  13. Samoset: Sam-oh-set or Sum-aw-set (but nevah Summerset!)
  14. Scituate - Sit chu wit

Massachusetts Facts

  1. Frappes are made with ice cream - milkshakes are not.
  2. If it is carbonated and flavored, it is tonic.
  3. Tonic means Soda.
  4. When we want Club Soda we ask for CLUB SODA.
  5. When we want Tonic Water we ask for TONIC WATER.
  6. Pop is another name for Dad.
  7. The smallest beer is a pint.
  8. Scrod is whatever they tell you it is, usually white fish. If you paid more than $7 per pound, you just got scrod.
  9. It is not a water fountain, it is a bubblah.
  10. It is not a trash can, it is a barrel.
  11. It is not a hero, or a grinder, it is a sub.
  12. It is not a shopping caht, it is a carriage.
  13. It is not a purse, it is a pockabook.
  14. They are not franks, they are haht dahgs.
  15. Franks are money used in Switzahland.
  16. Police do not drive patrol cahs or black and whites, they drive a crewzah.
  17. If you take the bus, you’re on the looza crooza.
  18. It is not a rubber band, it is an elastic.
  19. It is not a traffic circle or round about, it is a rotary.
  20. "Going to the islands" means going to Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket.

H/T: George F.