27 August 2003

some li'l rhody slang....
don't know exactly who wrote this little dictionary of rhode island-ese, but here goes:

The Adult Correctional Institute. It's located in Cveaanstin. People are
always either being remanded to it or escaping from it.

Antnee, Bvenda, Richit, Shevl
Names for children in Rhode Island's Italian-American neighborhoods.

An alcoholic beverage.

Drinking fountain. The word is apparently also used in parts of the upper
Midwest and Australia. We've read in a couple of places that the usage may
be related to the Wisconsin-based manufacturer, Kohler, which marketed a
fountain under the Bubbler name around 1914.

A drink made from milk, flavored syrup, and ice cream. In other parts of
the country it's called a milk shake or a frappe. A liberal interpretation
of the entry for cabinet in the Oxford English Dictionary might suggest
that the term originated from the English Newcastle or cabinet pudding, "a

pudding made of bread or cake, dried fruit, eggs and milk, usually served
hot with a sauce." Or it might not.

A member of the holy muscle car trinity, along with the Firebird and the
Iroc. Popular with mullet-headed men who have girlfriends named Shevl and
who wear black t-shirts with the sleeves cut off.

A district made up of the towns of Charlestown, Richmond, and Hopkinton.

Pronounced shuh-reese. A smoked Portuguese sausage that is dense and
spicy. There's also Linguica (leeng-gwee-sa), which is less spicy, as it's
made with less chili pepper.

The municipality south of Providence and north of Warrik.

De boatayuz
More than one, less than three.

De klenzaz
The local dry-cleaning establishment.

Where you keep that treadmill that you used for about a week back in '93.

Eas' (or Wes') Grennich
Witches may live there, but they're not pronounced.


Literally "forget about it," this phrase can mean anything from "yes" to
"no" and everything in between, depending upon context and inflection.
Donnie Brasco (as played by Johnny Depp), in the film by the same name,
explains some of the subtleties:

"Forget about it" is like if you agree with someone, you know, like
"Raquel Welsh is one great piece of ass, forget about it." But then, if
you disagree, like, "A Lincoln is better than a Cadillac? Forget about
it!" you know? But then, it's also like if something's the greatest thing
in the world, like Mingrio's Peppers, "forget about it." But it's also
like saying "Go to hell!" too. Like, you know, like, "Hey Paulie, you got
a one inch pecker?" and Paulie says, "Forget about it!" Sometimes it just
means forget about it.
Otherwise known as a destroyer, bellybuster, or hot weiner. A small hot
dog with a natural casing, slathered in mustard, meat sauce, chopped
onions, and celery salt, and served in a steamed bun.


v. 1. To protect from harm; watch over. 2. To watch over to prevent
escape. 3. To keep watch at (a door or gate). 4. To take precautions: god
against infection. --n. 1. One that gods. 2. Watchful care: under close
god. 3. Defensive posture or stance. 4. Football. One of the two players
on either side of the center. 5. Basketball. Either of the two players
stationed near the middle of the court. 6. A device that prevents injury,
damage, or loss. (American Heritage Dictionary, sort of)

In most places, you would get whiplash trying to get a good look at the
person you overheard asking for more gravy for their paster. In Rhode
island they're just asking for more tomato sauce. According to Bartlett's
Dictionary of Americanisms, it has also been used to denote the filling in
a pie.

Otherwise known as a hoagie, po' boy, or sub. It's a sangwidge.

The thing in your chest that pumps blood and keeps you alive.


All those dropped Rs have to go somewhere. They end up tacked onto the
ends of words ending in "A," like idear, bananner, paster, and vaniller.

Have you eaten yet? The appropriate response (assuming you haven't eaten)
is "No, joo?"

A liberal sprinkling of these can brighten up a dull, dreary ice cream
cone. We hear they're also called Ants in the Woonsocket area.

Don't break it or they'll put you in the ACI.

Usually heard as part of the phrase, "NiRoPe Pricing," the word comes from
the names of the three Cardi Brothers, Nick, Ron, and Pete, whose
furniture store commercials are ubiquitous on Southern New England
television and radio stations.

No school Fosta-Glosta
A catchphrase (much like "Whatchootalkin'boutWillis?"), uttered by
much-beloved media personality Salty Brine during winter snow-day reports.
Foster and Glocester are two abutting communities in the northwest of the

state that are completely snowbound during months containing an "r." Salty
always lumped the two together when making no-school announcements; most
Rhode Islanders believe there's a town out there called Fosta-Glosta.

Salty's been gone from the radio for a few years now, but the phrase
refuses to die. A sure way to find out if someone is lying about having
spent time in the state (as though one would), is to challenge him with
the phrase "No school..." A real Rhode Islander knows the rest.

No suh!
I believe you are pulling my leg, my friend.

On Special
On sale.

Short for package store, which is what they call liquor stores around
here. In Rhode Island, they're not open on Sundays.

This is not a plea for more porridge, but a polite way of saying, "What
the hell did you just say?"

A celebration.

What you hang earrings from. Think about it.

The municipality north of Providence and south of Attleboro.


A kind of ocean clam, or bivalve mollusk, found in the waters of the North
Atlantic. They come in two varieties: Arctica islandica, the ocean quahog;
and Mercenaria mercenaria, the bay quahog. They make handy ashtrays.

The common name, poquaûhock, is taken from the languages of the
Narragansett and Wampanoag Indians, and it's thought that today's
pronunciation can be traced to those origins. The Narragansetts, from the
west side of Narragansett Bay, probably pronounced the word "po-kwa-hok."
Today's western Rhode Islanders thus pronounce it "kwa-hog." The
Wampanoags of the East Bay called it "po-ko-hok," and today, eastern Rhode
Islanders likewise say "ko-hog."

Rhode Island handshake
A little extra gratuity for services rendered.

A meal served between two pieces of bread. Also Sammich.

A particular brand of hot dog, made with natural casings, that cuts loose
with a distinctive "snap" when bitten into.

Side by each

You'll hear this one mainly around Woonsocket. It comes from the French
"côté par chacun" and would be translated by most people as "side by
side." Other Woonsocketisms include the use of double pronouns, as in,
"I'm going to the supermarket, me," and the misplacement of phrases or
modifiers, as in, "Throw me down the stairs my bag," or "Drive slow your

South County
A mythical area that roughly includes Washington and Kent Counties.

Clam stuffing baked in a clam shell. Also known as a stuffed clam.

David Steinbrick, a producer at Cox Communications, sent us this tidbit:
"Over the years, I have heard the best way to describe a 'stuffie' to an
outsider. A stuffie is 'a clam meatloaf in an ashtray.' Succinct and to
the point. Except the non-native may wonder why we cook food in ashtrays."

An intensifier that's interchangeable with "very," as in, "We was drivin'
wikkit fast." Also used to mean "extremely good" or "spectacular," as in,

"Them forttajuly fyahworks was wikkit!"

The municipality south of Cveaanstin and north of Eas' Grennich.

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