New Jersey Lingo Quiz


By: Ashley Palkovics

6 Min Quiz

Image: Mary A. Brown/Moment/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Have you ever made a trip to the renowned and infamous Jersey Shore? Whether you've made your way to Trenton, Far Hills or walked along the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, there's a lot to pick up on during a visit. For instance, the lingo! Sometimes the slang in this Northeastern state is a bit much to keep up with. Some may even consider it a language of its own. However, with practice and background information, anyone can become a true Jerseyan and get by just fine.

Before "Jersey Shore," "Real Housewives," and the other TV outlets that have put a spotlight on this state, there was plenty of culture being cultivated on the Shore. We want to test to see if you know your stuff on New Jersey terminology. From the slang of AC to the old sayings of the Barrens, there is a plethora of language to be learned from this state of the Union. We warn you, comparing the Garden State to the Big Apple will prove to be a big no-no in this quiz. Though Jerseyans do have several phrases to identify their neighbors in New York, many of their words are unique to them alone. Get ready to dive into the depths of Jersey and test your skills!

Where are you going when you say you're visiting "The City"?

NYC is not too far from Jersey at all, and is frequented by residents of NJ. If you hear someone talking about their latest visit to "The City," then odds are they took a trip to the Big Apple!


This is considered very dangerous. What is the "Jersey Swoop"?

Have you ever been on the road and realized your exit was coming up quickly, but you're in the far left lane? That quick motion to cut across the highway is actually called the Jersey Swoop. That's not surprising if you've ever seen people in NJ drive.


This Jersey food is VERY similar to regular pizza, save a few ingredients. What is it called?

The simple difference between pizza & tomato pie all lies within the sauce. It's a major hit in NJ, and throughout the Northeast. New Jersey grows a LOT of tomatoes, so they have to use them in something!


This phrase is used in some restaurants, but is considered completely commonplace in Jersey. What is a "Hoagie"?

Some other states use the phrase "hoagie" to refer to their sub sandwiches, but New Jersey is the most prevalent in using it. You can get some of the best hoagies at your local Wawa!


As traffic has nicknames, so do ways to avoid it. What is a "Shunpike" according to a NJ resident?

Since most if not all of the roads in New Jersey have tolls, the unofficial "Shunpikes" are used to avoid them and either run near or parallel to the turnpike roads. Beware, as they can be backed up very badly!


This can only be experienced in two states as of 2019. Where would you say "fill it regular" in Jersey?

Oregon and New Jersey are the only states in the Union to have laws against pumping your own gas. This law, however, is slowly starting to fall out of favor and will likely be overturned in the next few years.


Every state has a food that they consider "their food." For NJ, it would be Disco Fries. What are they made out of?

If you haven't tried putting gravy on your french fries then you're definitely missing out. New Jerseyans absolutely LOVE some good ole disco fries. You might confuse these with poutine, but you'll be straightened out quickly.


What would someone from New Jersey refer to as "water ice"?

It's appropriate that the Italian-influenced NJ should also have its language inspired by their foods. Italian Ice is incredibly popular in the Northeast, and has spread across the rest of the United States.


Did you know that residents even have nicknames for other residents? Where is a "Piney" from?

This derogatory term is mainly used in reference to residents of this Southern Jersey area. It is known for its massive amount of growing pine trees and legends of strange goings-on.


What does a "Jitney" refer to in the great state of NJ?

If you find yourself in Atlantic City anytime soon without a car, you may need to take a jitney. It is one of the largest non-subsidized transmit companies in America.


If you're heading to get ice cream in NJ, what is another word for "sprinkles"?

There's not much explanation for this strange terminology, but it sounds really cute! "You shimmy some jimmies." Whatever the origin, no proper dish of ice cream is finished without some!


Everyone needs some of this in their lives during the Christmas season. Which food name was coined in a New Jersey publication in the late 1700s?

In March 1788, a librarian at Yale University coined the term "egg nog" in a piece published in the state newspapers, although it's not completely clear the drink being referred to was eggnog as we know it.


You can find these at carts located across the Jersey Shore. What kind of food is a "Ripper"?

Imagine a hot dog, but deep-fried and full of calories. That would be what Jersey residents call a "ripper." You'll definitely let it rip after eating this one. For the true ripper experience, get yours done until it chars and splits open.


The majority of New Jersey is shoreline, so of course, you'd need your own lingo for it. What phrase is used to say let's go "to the beach"?

New Jersey sits upon the East Coast, overlooking the beautiful yet dangerous Atlantic Ocean. Everyone knows the lingo as far as how to get the gang to the beach!


This influential artist is beloved in NJ moreso than anywhere else in the world. In Jersey, who is "The Boss"?

Bruce is actually from New Jersey, which is where his legacy thrives even today. He is known as a music and entertainment icon in American culture. The town of Asbury Park claims him as a native son.


Jersey has a very well-known food truck culture, with one specific meal being particularly popular. What is it called?

Imagine a sandwich with every possible meat, vegetable and condiment you could possibly conceive stuffed inside. That would be the fat sandwich, because you'll definitely gain a ton of weight from eating just a few of these.


You can find these just about everywhere but they originated in the state of New Jersey. What is a "Jersey Barrier"?

If you've ever been driving and noticed a large concrete barrier between you and the other side of the road, you've seen a Jersey Barrier.


Nicknames for towns are typical things of every state. Where is "Brick City" located in Jersey?

It's theorized that this nickname derives from a large number of brick buildings located in Newark. There's even a reality show that aired titled "Brick City" which is based on NJ!


This type of person can be characterized by the cast of "Jersey Shore." What is a "Guido"?

If you've ever met a man from Jersey with slicked-back black hair, built exterior and a bit of a bad attitude, you've met a Guido. They oftentimes have that signature Jersey accent, and their moms tend to cook them authentic Italian meals regularly.


How do you determine where someone lives when asking for specifics?

Considering most of NJ is roads (and tolls for that matter), residents normally deduce where a person lives based on the exit ramp number given to them.


After living somewhere awhile, you eventually settle on abbreviated versions of the name to save time. Where is "AC", according to a New Jerseyan?

Atlantic City is the place to be when you live in NJ. From bar crawls to concerts to bachelorette parties, this is the place for celebration in this state. There's some debate over whether the casinos opening there was a good or bad thing.


What is the name of the mythical beast that allegedly terrorizes South Jersey?

As simple as the name may sound, the myths of this creature terrorizing South Jersey are old and well told. Any resident of the Barrens will be able to tell you about this crazy monster and the legend he holds in NJ.


What is the go-to convenience store/gas station in the Jersey area?

Wawa is a national chain of gas stations with a rocking fast food counter, free ATM withdrawals and typically cheap gas. Originally started in Pennsylvania, it is a major aspect of Jersey life.


Any beach you go to has one of these, but they're always so different. What is another word for the Atlantic City Boardwalk?

Why would you say the full name for something when you could just chop it in half? The Boards is the Jersey way of referring to their Boardwalk.


We may think of it as a name, but this has much more context up in Jersey. What is a "Benny"?

Some New Jerseyans find the influx of neighborly visitors in the summer to be an annoying thing, especially as far as crowd control goes. They love the money the New Yorkers spend, though!


If you're not from Jersey, you've likely never heard this in your entire life. Who is a "shoobie"?

This nickname was given as many tourists would come to NJ with shoeboxes to use for their lunch, allegedly. This is a generally negative term, but most visitors of NJ don't seem to mind (or notice) much.


Many people have these, but not all do. We're not sure if that's helpful, but what are you "bubbies" according to a New Jerseyan?

Apparently the term "boobies" was just too much for the residents of NJ. This term was characterized in more recent years by the show "The Real Housewives of New Jersey."


Consider this one less of an insult. What kind of female is a "Meatball" often in reference to?

Women who are short and enjoy a good time are considered "Meatballs" for whatever reason in Jersey. They're often the women in the nightclubs having the best time and craning their neck to talk to people as well.


Jerseyans are often known for their hot-blooded, Italian tempers that come with an array of judgment-induced nicknames. What is a "Grenade"?

This phrase was popularized by the infamous show "Jersey Shore," which follows several Jersey residents as they cohabit a space together. The men of this show used the term "grenade" as a way to refer to ugly women who were unappealing to them. Weird, considering that a "bombshell" means the exact opposite.


You can find this concoction of food items in many diners across the state. What is the nickname for the "Jersey Breakfast"?

This eclectic collection of foods is an absolute must for anyone living in Jersey. This food is made from Taylor ham, eggs and cheese all wrapped into a sandwich. The nickname refers to what you might need if you eat one too often.


What's another word for being physically intimate with someone in Jersey?

Another term popularized by the various television outlets chronicling the New Jersey area, the phrase "to smush" is simply another word for bedroom activities.


What do Jerseyan's call it when your buddy steals the affection of the person you're interested in?

Stealing the affections of someone you're into, AKA robbery, is a big no-no in New Jersey. Avoid doing so at all costs so as to not cause drama between you and your Jerseyan friends.


It's always good to know how to compliment someone. Which is a very popular phrase for looking good in New Jersey?

You may not smell nice in death, but you feel fresh at least, right? There's not much of an explanation for this phrase, but it's very common to consider yourself "Fresh to Death" when you're looking your best in the Jersey Shore.


Every state has a code word for a Stage 5 clinger. What do you call a person who is being clingy in Jersey?

Instead of having a heavy laptop and textbooks on your back, you've got a very clingy human on you. Hence the name "Backpack" to refer to those who just can't cut the cord with you.


No one likes these, but they're everywhere. What the Jersey phrase for a "traffic circle"?

Again, we aren't sure about the origin of this slang, but we can confirm that there are no actual jugs involved. Hopefully, you can "handle" the traffic circle.


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