In New York, the locals have an extremely colorful array of slang words. If you’re not from the state, then you’ll hear something brand-new pretty much every time you talk to someone there.
Some will be things you’ve never heard elsewhere. Other things, though, will be more common, like the famous exclamation, “forget about it” that New Yorkers are known for.
Forget about it sounds like it should be straightforward. But it can actually be used in a variety of ways that make it a bit more confusing than you’d think.
That’s why we’ve written this quick post about the meaning of the New York slang phrase forget about it, and the various ways you can use it in conversation.
What Does Forget About It Mean in New York Slang?
In other words, if someone says something that seems unbelievable or unlikely, “forget about it” could be an acceptable answer.
Like we mentioned earlier, though, it has many other meanings. In the 1997 movie, Donnie Brasco, Donnie (played by Johnny Depp), explains the many meanings of forget about it. You can click the thumbnail below to hear his explanation.
Forget about it can be used to indicate agreement, disagreement, or even when something is really good.
Examples of How to Use Forget About It
To start with, the average New Yorker stereotypically pronounces the phrase like “fuhgeddaboutit.” You don’t hear the “or” sound in “forget” because it gets turned to an “uh” sound. You certainly don’t need to say it that way, though.
This is an extremely versatile phrase, so there are several different ways it can be used. We’ll cover a couple of the most common ways.
If someone were expressing disbelief or disagreement, you might hear it said this way:
Person 1: “Do you think I should ask her out?”
Person 2: “Forget about it! She’s way out of your league.”
If someone was saying something was really good, you might hear them say something like this:
“Tony makes the best pizza in New York. The sauce, the cheese, the crust – forget about it!”
Forget about it, although probably one of the most well-known phrases from New York, is just one example. There are countless other slang words and phrases coming from the state. If you’d like to see some more examples, try looking through our guide to New York slang words and meanings.