20+ Common Slang Terms From NJ

Discover the colorful language of New Jersey with these 20+ phrases! From "Taylor Ham" to "Fuggedaboutit," immerse yourself in the Garden State's unique slang.

A Taste of New Jersey Slang

New Jersey is a state known for its unique culture, and a significant part of that culture is its distinct slang. The richness of New Jersey language reflects the diverse influences and vibrant history of the state. From expressions for directions to sports-related slang, everyday expressions, and even historical references, New Jersey has a language of its own. Here are 20 common New Jersey phrases you should know to fully immerse yourself in the local lingo.

"From Exit to Exit" - Referring to the distance between two exits on a highway, often used to describe travel times or directions.

"The Parkway" - Short for the Garden State Parkway, a major highway in New Jersey.

"The Turnpike" - Referring to the New Jersey Turnpike, another prominent highway in the state.

"Taylor Ham" - A popular pork roll breakfast meat, often used in sandwiches.

"Disco Fries" - French fries topped with melted cheese and gravy, a favorite late-night snack.

"Hot Dog with All the Fixins" - Refers to a hot dog with all the traditional toppings such as mustard, sauerkraut, onions, and relish.

"Benny" - A term used to describe tourists, especially those visiting the Jersey Shore from New York or North Jersey.

"Shore Traffic" - Referring to the heavy traffic experienced during the summer months as people travel to the Jersey Shore.

"Jughandle" - A unique type of traffic intersection commonly found in New Jersey that requires drivers to use a loop to make a left turn.

"Jersey Jinx" - The belief that supporting a New Jersey sports team may bring bad luck.

"The Meadowlands" - A famous sports and entertainment complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey, home to the MetLife Stadium.

"The 'Big Game'" - A euphemism used by New Jersey residents to refer to the Super Bowl, which was held in the state in 2014.

"Fuggedaboutit" - A phrase meaning "forget about it," often used to dismiss or disregard something.

"Down the Shore" - Referring to going to the Jersey Shore, a popular destination for beachgoers.

"Cawfee" - The New Jersey pronunciation of the word "coffee."

"The Garden State" - A nickname for New Jersey, highlighting its agricultural history and abundance of beautiful gardens.

"The Jersey Devil" - A legendary creature said to inhabit the Pine Barrens region of New Jersey.

"The Jersey Shore" - The coastal region of New Jersey known for its beaches, boardwalks, and vibrant summer culture.

"You'se Guys" - A colloquial way of addressing a group of people, similar to "you all" or "you guys."

"Wawa Run" - Referring to a visit to Wawa, a popular convenience store chain in the region.

"Pork Roll or Taylor Ham?" - A debate over the name of the breakfast meat, depending on the region of New Jersey.

By familiarizing yourself with these common New Jersey phrases, you'll be able to engage in conversations with locals and fully embrace the spirit of the state. Whether you're exploring the Jersey Shore or navigating the unique roadways, understanding New Jersey slang will add an extra layer of appreciation for the local culture.

Expressions for Directions

Navigating New Jersey can sometimes be a unique experience, especially when it comes to expressions for directions. Here are three common phrases that you should know when trying to find your way around the Garden State.

"From Exit to Exit"

In New Jersey, it's not uncommon to give directions using the phrase "from exit to exit." This refers to the interstate highway exits, particularly those on major highways like the Garden State Parkway or the New Jersey Turnpike. Instead of specifying specific street names or landmarks, locals often provide directions based on the exit numbers. For example, someone might say, "Take the Garden State Parkway from Exit 130 to Exit 105."

To make things easier for visitors, it's helpful to familiarize yourself with the exit numbers along the major highways. This way, you can easily follow directions and navigate through the state. For more information on New Jersey lingo and slang, check out our article on new jersey lingo.

"The Parkway"

When New Jersey residents refer to "The Parkway," they are talking about the Garden State Parkway, which is a major highway that runs from the northern part of the state to the southernmost tip. This iconic roadway provides access to various towns, cities, and attractions throughout New Jersey. Locals often use this term when giving directions or discussing travel plans. For example, you might hear someone say, "To get to the beach, take The Parkway southbound."

"The Turnpike"

Another commonly used phrase for giving directions in New Jersey is "The Turnpike." This refers to the New Jersey Turnpike, a toll road that stretches from the northern part of the state to the southern part, connecting major cities like Newark, Trenton, and Philadelphia. The turnpike is known for its high traffic volume and is often used by commuters and travelers. When someone mentions "The Turnpike," they are referring to this highway and may use it as a landmark or reference point when giving directions.

Understanding these expressions for directions will help you navigate New Jersey more effectively. Whether you're traveling on "The Parkway" or "The Turnpike," knowing what these terms mean will make it easier to follow directions and explore the state. For more New Jersey slang and phrases, check out our article on jersey slang phrases.

Phrases for Food

New Jersey has its own unique food culture, and with that comes a variety of slang phrases used to describe local dishes. Here are three phrases for food that you should know when immersing yourself in the New Jersey lingo.

"Taylor Ham"

When it comes to breakfast in New Jersey, one phrase you're likely to hear is "Taylor Ham." Taylor Ham, also known as pork roll, is a popular breakfast meat often served in a sandwich. It is made from pork and seasoned with a blend of spices, giving it a distinct flavor. Whether enjoyed on a bagel or as part of a breakfast sandwich, Taylor Ham is a staple in New Jersey's breakfast scene.

"Disco Fries"

If you find yourself in a New Jersey diner, don't be surprised to see "Disco Fries" on the menu. This indulgent dish consists of french fries topped with melted mozzarella cheese and smothered in gravy. The combination of crispy fries, gooey cheese, and savory gravy creates a satisfying and comforting treat. It's the perfect late-night snack or hearty meal to enjoy with friends.

"Hot Dog with All the Fixins"

When it comes to hot dogs, New Jerseyans have their own way of enjoying them. A "Hot Dog with All the Fixins" refers to a hot dog loaded with various toppings and condiments. This can include mustard, ketchup, relish, onions, sauerkraut, and even chili. The exact combination of toppings can vary, but the idea is to pile on as many flavors as possible to create a delicious and satisfying hot dog experience.

To fully immerse yourself in New Jersey's food culture, be sure to try these local favorites and embrace the unique phrases associated with them.

Unique New Jersey Terms

New Jersey has its own unique set of slang words and phrases that may leave outsiders scratching their heads. Here are three unique terms commonly used in the Garden State:


The term "Benny" is often used by locals to refer to tourists who visit New Jersey's coastal areas, particularly during the summer months. While its origins are debated, some believe that the term originated from the initials of the towns tourists typically visit: Bayonne, Elizabeth, Newark, and New York. It has since expanded to include any out-of-town visitors who flock to the Jersey Shore. The term is not necessarily derogatory but is used more lightheartedly to distinguish tourists from locals.

"Shore Traffic"

Ask any New Jerseyan, and they'll have stories to share about "shore traffic." This term refers to the heavy congestion and delays experienced on the roads leading to the popular coastal destinations, especially during peak vacation periods. As locals and tourists alike flock to the Jersey Shore, highways and roads become congested, resulting in longer travel times and frustrations. Navigating shore traffic is an essential skill for those heading to the beaches during the summer months.


A distinctive feature of New Jersey's roadways, a "jughandle" is a type of traffic interchange that allows motorists to make a left turn or a U-turn without crossing oncoming traffic. Instead of making a direct left turn at an intersection, drivers must use a curved ramp on the right side of the road to loop around and merge into the cross street in the desired direction. Jughandles can be found throughout the state and are known for causing confusion among out-of-state drivers who are not accustomed to this unique traffic pattern.

Understanding these unique New Jersey terms will help you navigate conversations and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Sports-Related Slang

New Jersey is home to a vibrant sports culture, and it's no surprise that there are several slang phrases associated with sports in the state. Here are three sports-related phrases that are commonly used in New Jersey:

"Jersey Jinx"

The term "Jersey Jinx" refers to the belief or superstition that supporting a New Jersey sports team can bring bad luck. It's often used when a team experiences a streak of losses or unfortunate events. While it may be said in a light-hearted manner, some fans take this jinx quite seriously and may even alter their game-watching rituals to avoid tempting fate. The "Jersey Jinx" is a unique phrase that reflects the passion and superstitions of New Jersey sports fans.

"The Meadowlands"

"The Meadowlands" is a term frequently used to refer to the Meadowlands Sports Complex, a sprawling sports and entertainment venue located in East Rutherford, New Jersey. This complex is home to the MetLife Stadium, which serves as the home stadium for both the New York Giants and the New York Jets football teams. Additionally, the Meadowlands hosts various other sporting events, concerts, and exhibitions. The term "The Meadowlands" is synonymous with the excitement and energy of New Jersey's sports scene.

"The 'Big Game'"

In New Jersey, when people refer to "The 'Big Game'," they are typically talking about the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is the pinnacle of American football and is played annually to determine the champion of the National Football League (NFL). New Jersey has had the honor of hosting the Super Bowl at the MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands Sports Complex. As a result, the term "The 'Big Game'" has become a popular phrase used by New Jersey residents when discussing this highly anticipated sporting event.

Sports play a significant role in New Jersey's culture, and these slang phrases reflect the enthusiasm and deep-rooted love for sports in the state. Whether it's discussing the superstitions surrounding the "Jersey Jinx," the excitement of events at "The Meadowlands," or the anticipation of "The 'Big Game'," these phrases capture the spirit of New Jersey's sports scene.

Everyday Expressions

In addition to its unique vocabulary, New Jersey is known for its colorful everyday expressions. These phrases reflect the vibrant culture and spirit of the state. Here are three commonly used New Jersey expressions that you should know:


The phrase "fuggedaboutit" is a quintessential New Jersey expression that has gained popularity across the country. It is often used to dismiss or indicate that something should be forgotten or not taken seriously. It can also imply that a situation is beyond repair or not worth the effort. This expression showcases the direct and straightforward nature of New Jerseyans.

"Down the Shore"

In New Jersey, going "down the shore" refers to heading to the beach or coastal areas for relaxation and leisure. With its beautiful coastline and numerous beach towns, New Jersey residents often embark on trips "down the shore" during the summertime. It's a phrase that captures the excitement and love New Jerseyans have for their coastal destinations.


The way New Jerseyans pronounce "coffee" is distinct and has become an iconic part of the state's linguistic identity. The pronunciation of "coffee" as "cawfee" is a reflection of the region's rich cultural heritage, influenced by various immigrant communities. The unique accent and pronunciation add charm and character to everyday conversations in New Jersey.

These everyday expressions are just a small taste of the linguistic richness found in New Jersey. They reflect the state's unique history, culture, and sense of community. Whether it's using phrases like "fuggedaboutit" to shrug off a minor inconvenience or planning a trip "down the shore" for some beach relaxation, these expressions contribute to the vibrant tapestry of New Jersey life.

Historical References

New Jersey is a state rich in history and culture, and this is reflected in some of the unique phrases that have emerged over time. Here are three historical references that are commonly used in New Jersey:

"The Garden State"

New Jersey is often referred to as "The Garden State". This phrase originated in the late 19th century when Abraham Browning, a lawyer and horticulturist, referred to New Jersey as an "agricultural garden." The term stuck and has since become a popular nickname for the state. Despite its dense population and urban areas, New Jersey is known for its beautiful landscapes, farms, and gardens. The nickname reflects the state's commitment to preserving its natural beauty and agricultural heritage.

"The Jersey Devil"

One of the most intriguing legends in New Jersey is that of "The Jersey Devil". According to folklore, the Jersey Devil is a creature with hooves, wings, and a horse-like head. It is said to inhabit the Pine Barrens, a vast forested area in southern New Jersey. The legend dates back to the 18th century and has become deeply ingrained in the state's culture. The Jersey Devil is often depicted as a mysterious and fearsome creature, and its story has been passed down through generations. References to the Jersey Devil can be found in various forms of New Jersey media, including books, movies, and even sports teams.

"The Jersey Shore"

When people mention "The Jersey Shore", they are referring to the 130 miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean in New Jersey. The Jersey Shore is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant boardwalks, and lively summer atmosphere. It has been a popular vacation destination for both locals and tourists for many years. The phrase "going down the shore" is often used by New Jersey residents to describe their trips to the beaches and coastal towns. The Jersey Shore has also gained recognition through the reality TV show of the same name, which showcased the lives and experiences of individuals living and vacationing in the area.

These historical references add depth to the linguistic fabric of New Jersey. They provide a glimpse into the state's past, its natural beauty, and the unique folklore that has shaped its culture. Understanding these phrases allows individuals to appreciate the historical significance and local pride associated with them.

Fun and Quirky Phrases

New Jersey is known for its unique and colorful slang. Here are three fun and quirky phrases that you might come across in the Garden State:

"You'se Guys"

When you hear someone in New Jersey say "you'se guys," they are simply using a local variation of the phrase "you guys" or "y'all." It's a casual way of addressing a group of people, similar to "you all" in the southern United States. This phrase is commonly used in everyday conversations and can be heard in various social settings, from casual get-togethers to family gatherings.

"Wawa Run"

In New Jersey, a "Wawa run" refers to a trip to Wawa, a popular convenience store chain in the region. Wawa is known for its wide selection of food and beverages, making it a go-to spot for grabbing a quick snack, a cup of coffee, or even a full meal. Whether you're in need of a late-night snack or a morning pick-me-up, a "Wawa run" is a common phrase used to describe a quick trip to satisfy your cravings.

"Pork Roll or Taylor Ham?"

A debate that has divided New Jerseyans for decades is whether to call a popular breakfast meat "pork roll" or "Taylor ham." This processed meat product, usually served in a round shape, is a staple of many New Jersey breakfast sandwiches. The name you use for this meat depends on where in the state you're from. In the northern parts of New Jersey, it's often referred to as "Taylor ham," while in the southern parts, it's commonly known as "pork roll." This culinary dispute is a lighthearted way for locals to express their regional pride and playfully banter over their preferred name for the beloved breakfast meat.

Understanding these fun and quirky phrases adds another layer of immersion into the unique linguistic landscape of New Jersey. So the next time you hear someone say "you'se guys," mention a "Wawa run," or partake in the "pork roll or Taylor ham" debate, you'll be able to engage in the local lingo.

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