The slang used in New York can get pretty colorful. There are words for just about anything, many of which have negative connotations.
If you’re visiting the state – especially the city – you might hear a couple angry insults being tossed around every day. What do they mean?
In this guide to New York insults, we’ll cover some of the most common slang insults you’ll hear in the state. We’ll also provide examples of how to use them properly in case you’d like to try a few of them out.
New York Insults
- (Noun): A baba treesh is just another word for a promiscuous woman. This one’s been around for a couple years, and it’s considered fairly offensive.
- Example: “She baba treesh. Don’t waste your time with her.”
Read Also: New York Slang Baba Meaning
- (Noun): If you have beef with someone, you’ve got a grudge against them, or you want to pick a fight with them. It’s not necessarily an insult, but you’ll hear it used in reference to insulting someone often.
- Example: “She called my girl a baba treesh, so I’ve got beef with her.”
- (Noun): Bird can be used in multiple ways, but you’ll most likely hear someone say “bird” when they’re referring to the act of giving someone the middle finger. For those outside of the US, showing someone your middle finger is an insulting gesture that basically means “screw you.”
- Example: “It’s common for angry taxi drivers in NYC to give pedestrians the bird.”
- (Verb): When someone is buggin,’ they’re freaking out or having a tantrum.
- Example: “If you don’t stop buggin’ right now, you’re gonna catch these hands.”
Catch these Hands
- (Expression): A threat. Basically, it means you’re going to smack someone.
- Example: “Shut up, or you’ll catch these hands.”
Chill Out Scrap
- (Expression): You might shout this at a friend who’s been insulting you or getting too upset. It’s another way of telling someone to calm down.
- Person 1: “You baba treesh! My boyfriend cheated on me with you!”
- Person 2: “Chill out scrap! Let me explain what happened.”
- (Noun): A combination of the words “classy” and “ratchet.” This is an insulting term for a trashy woman who tries to look classier than she actually is.
- Example: “That clachet tries to hide her trashiness by getting her nails done regularly.”
- (Adjective): If someone is crusty, they’re smelly, dirty, or otherwise unhygienic.
- Example: “Her husband is so crusty. I don’t know how she stays married to him.”
- (Noun): A person who isn’t really close to you. You know them on a casual basis. Not really an insult again, but you might call someone this negatively if you wished you were closer to them.
- Example: “Ever since he moved away, he’s been dayroom. I never hear from him anymore.”
- (Noun): Any event or get-together that’s unpleasant, whether it’s boring, tortuous, or just not your scene.
- Example: “Her party was a complete dub.”
Related Article: New York Slang A Dub Meaning
Go See Where You Gotta Go
- (Expression): An older New York insulting phrase that you might not hear as often nowadays. You say this to someone when they’re bothering you and you want them to go away.
- Example: “Go see where you gotta go. I’ve got more important things to do right now.”
- (Adjective): A way to describe a backstabber. An untrustworthy individual.
- Example: “My boyfriend is a grimey…I think he’ll be my ex real soon.”
- (Adjective): When someone thinks too highly of themselves and doesn’t have time for their old friends and family anymore.
- Example: “Ever since he got that new job, he’s been so Hollywood.”
- (Noun): A junky, low-quality car. A rust bucket.
- Example: “I don’t mess with guys who drive hoopties like yours.”
Want to learn more car-related slang? Read our guide to slang words for car for a whole list of slang terms.
- (Verb): If someone is moving funny, they’re behaving suspiciously to the point where you don’t know if they’re trustworthy.
- Example: “She didn’t know if she could trust her best friend because he was moving funny.”
- (Noun): An extremely insulting term that refers to a trashy woman.
- Example: “Should I be insulted that he called me a ratchet?”
- (Adjective): Someone who is short-tempered, snappy, mean, or inconsiderate is described as rude. This isn’t an insult specific to New York slang, but people in NYC have a reputation for being rude unnecessarily even if isn’t true. We included it on this list because you’ll insult someone from the city if you insist people there are always rude.
- Person 1: “Aren’t all people in NYC rude?”
- Person 2: “Go see where you gotta go.”
- (Noun): A promiscuous woman. A woman that sleeps around or plays with a large number of people’s hearts insincerely.
- Example: “He always calls his girlfriend a skank for no reason, so I wasn’t surprised when she left him.”
- (Adjective): Anyone who sleeps around with a lot of people or can’t be trusted.
- Example: “He’s a sleazy guy who cheats his boss out of money all the time.”
- (Noun): See Skank.
- (Adjective): An abbreviated version of the word “suspicious.”
- (Noun): A person, usually a man, who’s desperate for sexual interaction or romance with someone.
- Example: “If you stopped being a thirstbucket for just a couple seconds, you’d probably realize she’s not into guys.”
- (Noun): An individual who moved somewhere from another locale. In New York (especially NYC), being from the area is often a point of pride. While the world transplant isn’t specific to NY slang, calling someone a transplant and insulting their history in the state or city will definitely sting a bit.
- Example: “No matter how long you live here, you’ll always just be a transplant.”
- (Verb): See Buggin.’
- (Adjective): Something that isn’t right. This word describes when something or someone is unbelievable, off-kilter, or messed up in some way.
- Example: “His apartment is completely whack. I had to get into it using the fire escape.”
- (Verb): Also See Buggin.’
New York slang has some of the most interesting and colorful slang we’ve ever come across – that’s why we can’t help coming back to it. Because it has so many unique words, it has its share of insults.
Insults aren’t all the NY-centric slang there is, though. Check out our list of New York City nicknames to learn slang and phrases related to the big city and where those terms came from.