Many people, when they think of New York, completely forget that it’s a whole state outside of the famous New York City. Although New York City is the largest population center in the state, there are still numerous other cities farther north with their own individual cultures and atmospheres.
Buffalo may be one of the best examples. This famous city, located in western New York, currently boasts a population of around a quarter million people. In this post, we’ll take a look at Buffalo, NY slang words and phrases you might hear when you’re visiting the Nickel City.
Buffalo NY Slang Words (in Alphabetical Order)
- (Numerical): 716 is the area code used most frequently in Buffalo. If you’ve grown up there, you probably have a phone number beginning with these digits.
- (Noun): A suburb of Buffalo. At this point in time, around 120,000 people call Amherst their home.
- Example: “Amherst is sometimes called one of the safest places to live.”
- (Noun): One of Buffalo’s many nicknames. This one is more derogatory in nature, and Buffalonians might not appreciate you using it.
- Example: “Did he say he’s from Barfalo?”
- (Adjective): If someone or something is beat in Buffalo, it’s broken-down or ugly. This is generally used in reference to someone’s appearance.
- Example: “My cousin tried to set me up with this woman on a blind date, but I walked out when I saw how beat she looked.”
- (Noun): Labatt Blue is a kind of beer that’s popular in Buffalo. You can shorten the name and just order a Blue at the bar – the bartender will know what you’re talking about.
- Example: “Dad always orders a Blue whenever he stops at the bar.”
- (Adjective): Brick is an extremely common NY slang term. It means freezing cold.
- Example: “It’s too brick outside to even snow today. Stay inside.”
- (Noun): A sillier nickname for the city of Buffalo.
- (Noun): You can probably guess what this one is. It’s another nickname for the city in general.
- (Expression): Buffalonians love to combine the word “Buffalo” with many other words. Buffalove is just one example, and it’s popularly used in hashtags for when you’re showing your appreciation for the city.
- (Noun): A gender-neutral term for someone who’s talking to a lot of people at once with romantic intent. Sort of like a skank, only it can be used for men or women.
- Example: “You can always tell who’s a busser because they’ll never tell you who they’re texting.”
City of Good Neighbors
- (Noun): Another nickname for the city of Buffalo.
- (Noun): If it’s a small body of water, like a stream, Buffalonians will likely call it a crick. That’s just their way of pronouncing the word “creek.”
- Example: “Mom says we shouldn’t play in the crick.”
- (Expression): A texting acronym that stands for “cracking the f*ck up.” Use this when you’re laughing really hard or find something funny.
- Person 1: “Did you see the video I tagged you in?”
- Person 2: “Yeah, I’m ctfu right now.”
- (Adjective): Extremely common New York slang term that means you’re serious or that something really happened.
- Person 1: “My mom used to be in a huge band when she was younger. She says she met Prince once.”
- Person 2: “Deadass?”
- Person 1: “Deadass.”
- (Adjective): Deep is a word of many meanings. It can refer to a group of people, like saying a “deep crowd.” It can also mean something is far away.
- Example: “She lives an hour north of here. That’s deep.”
- (Verb): If you’re draggin’ it, you’re lying about something. It means you’re full of crap.
- Person 1: “Word to my mom, this party is lit, bro.”
- Person 2: “You must be draggin’ it, because someone else just told me you’re the only person there.”
- (Noun): There are actually a couple different East coast slang words to describe a simple water fountain. In Buffalo, they’ll usually say it’s a drinking fountain.
- Example: “If you get thirsty, don’t forget to hydrate yourself at the drinking fountain.”
- (Adjective): Fire can be used to describe something as awesome or someone as attractive. If someone calls you fire, be happy – they’ve just given you a great compliment.
- Example: “That shorty over there is fire.”
- (Noun): Many people will refer to money as bread or guap. In Buffalo, though, it’s not uncommon to hear someone call it Fred as a way of rhyming with bread.
- Example: “I got no Fred on me right now. Ask someone else for money.”
- (Adjective): If someone is funny-acting, they’re weird.
- Example: “My girlfriend has been funny-acting lately, and she won’t tell me why.”
- (Noun): If you’re in Buffalo and you see a garbage plate on the menu somewhere, don’t worry – it’s not actually a plate full of garbage. It’s a mixture of foods including various meats, fries, and usually a lot of ketchup.
- Example: “When I’m drunk, there’s nothing quite as tasty as a garbage plate.”
- (Adjective): Being gassy in Buffalo doesn’t mean you have to fart. It means that you’ve gotten high, usually from smoking marijuana.
- Example: “Maybe if he stopped spending all his time getting gassy, he’d be able to get a better job.”
- (Expression): If someone says something so funny, you literally cry from laughing so hard, you might say, “I’m dead.” It doesn’t mean you’re actually dead – just that you laughed extremely hard.
- Person 1: “What did you think of the picture I sent you earlier?”
- Person 2: “I’m dead, bro.”
- (Noun): Buffalonians everywhere are familiar with the Lake Effect: a meteorological phenomenon that causes wild weather patterns like massive blizzards.
- Example: “Because of the lake effect, a foot of snow got dumped on Buffalo overnight.”
- (Noun): An outdoor festival or event. Kind of like a county fair or something similar.
- Example: “Want to go to the lawn fete with me later?”
- (Verb): To meet up with someone and hang out.
- Example: “Let’s link up tonight and get some Blues at the bar.”
- (Adjective): When something is exciting, fun, or awesome.
- Example: “The party last night was lit.”
- (Adjective): You use this word to exaggerate another word. It’s just like saying something is “very” something else.
- Example: “This music is mad lit!”
- (Noun): A shortened way of saying Mighty Taco, a fast food chain you can find around Buffalo.
- Example: “Let’s get some Mighty for lunch today.”
- (Noun): You may hear this all over the state, but mook is popular in Buffalo. You can use it to refer to someone who’s an idiot or a criminal.
- Example: “Stop being a mook and use your head.”
Related Article: New York Insults
- (Noun): Buffalo has a lot of nicknames. This is another one of them.
- (Noun): If you live in a suburb on the north end of Buffalo, you’re a Northtowner.
- Example: “She said her home is in Amherst, so she’s a Northtowner.”
- (Noun): What the proper term for a carbonated drink is varies all over the country. Many people in Buffalo call soda “pop,” though.
- Example: “If we grab some mighty for lunch, I’ll need to get some pop to wash it down with.”
- (Noun): Another nickname for the city of Buffalo.
- (Noun): In general, Buffalonians refer to highways by their number. The exception is Scajaquada, possibly because of how fun this highway’s name is to say. You pronounce it like ska-jack-qua-dah, for your reference.
- Example: “Honestly, I love driving on the Scajaquada, if only to have an excuse to think of the name.”
- (Noun): The opposite of a Northtowner. You’re a Southtowner if you live in a suburb on the southern side of Buffalo.
- (Noun): State University of New York. It’s a public university in Buffalo, and Buffalonians call it SUNY (pronounced like soo-nee) for short.
- Example: “John goes to school at SUNY.”
- (Expression): Buffalonians commonly refer to various highways by their number with “the” in front of them. It’s not necessarily a slang term, but this is a particular way of speaking that’s unique to Buffalo.
- Example: “Take the 290 to reach the office.”
- (Noun): A stadium. Nowadays, it’s actually called the New Era Field, but people in Buffalo still like to call it the Ralph, after its old name, which was Ralph Wilson Stadium.
- Example: “Are you going to game at the Ralph this weekend?”
- (Noun): Upstate New York. Where the boundary between upstate and downstate New York is drawn depends on who you ask. Buffalonians, however, will insist that they’re in western New York, not upstate New York.
Related Article: Upstate New York Slang Words
- (Noun): A special sandwich popular in Buffalo. Generally, you’ll hear it said as “beef on weck,” because it consists of roast beef on a kummelweck roll.
- Example: “Her favorite dinner was a beef on weck.”
Western New York
- (Noun): The western side of New York State. Buffalonians will say the city is in western New York, and not in upstate New York.
- (Noun): Craving some Buffalo wings? You don’t need to say “Buffalo wings” to get what you want – just ask for wings, and they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about.
- Example: “The two friends split an order of wings at the bar.”
- (Noun): If you live in Buffalo, this is an annoying phrase you’ll hear often in regard to the weather. Wintry mix is wet or slushy snow.
- Example: “This weekend, expect to receive a wintry mix…”
- (Noun): The Buffalonian equivalent of “ya’ll.” You use this to refer to a group of people you’re talking to.
- Example: “Do youse want to get some wings for dinner? I don’t feel like cooking.”
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that New York’s mix of culture comes purely from the infamous NYC. There are many towns and cities farther north in the state that each contribute their own cultural influence, and Buffalo is one of them.