If you live in New Jersey, there are certain terms that everyone seems to learn from the first time they talk.  Yet if you use these terms with people outside our state, they look at you like you're speaking a different language.  I guess they're correct.  New Jersey has a language all our own.

Shoobie:  This is an invasive breed of humans that tends to migrate to the Jersey Shore each summer.  They can usually be identified by the oversized umbrellas or tents they construct along the shoreline.

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Beach Badges:  Outside New Jersey, people don't know what a beach badge is.  My first weekend after I moved to Wilmington North Carolina, I went to Wrightsville Beach, and I asked a cop where I could buy a beach badge.  I think he was as surprised that we charge to use the beach, as I was that they don't charge.

Bob Kugel via Facebook
Bob Kugel via Facebook


Disco Fries:  Looking back at my dietary choices during my younger years, it's pretty impressive I'm still around.  For instance, after an evening of romancing at the local dance club, we'd head over to the diner and order a big plate of disco fries.  You'll find this delicacy that consists of steak fries smothered in cheese and gravy only in the Garden State.


Jersey:  When people ask where we're from, we inevitably say, "I'm from Jersey."  When they ask where in Jersey, that's usually followed by North, South or Central, and if pushed harder we add a Turnpike exit, or we say, I'm from the Jersey Shore.  Think about it, do people from New York say, "I'm from York?"

Traffic Circles:  While a lot of states have roundabouts, New Jersey has traffic circles.  Ask 5 people from New Jersey the rules for navigating these circles and you'll get 5 different answers.  According to NJ39:4-90 "The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right of way to a vehicle which has entered the intersection." (This should not be construed as legal advice.  I'm a DJ!)

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Deli Meats:  We've come up with a host of names for traditional deli meats that are different than anywhere else.  For instance, most of the world refers to a type of ham as Capicola.  We call that same meat "gabagool."  That white cheese we put on pizza is called mozzarella in most places.  We call it "mootzarell."  and prosciutto is known as "proshoot."  Ask for proshoot in North Carolina, and you're likely to get a blank stare.

Jug handle: Think about it.  The easiest way to explain a jug handle to someone out of state, is it's the right turn you have to make in order to go left. Only in New Jersey!

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Down the Shore:  That's where the "shoobies" go during the hot summer months.  BUT, once they are "down the shore", they go to the beach.

Youse:  This is the Jersey version of the south's y'all.  Youse is the plural of you and is usually used when talking to friends.

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