Coming into the fall of university living, it can be hard to spot a true Bostonian in their natural habitat. With the invasion of thousands of out-of-staters taking over the city, our in-state Terriers can be hard to spot… unless you know the tell-tale signs. This is your official guide to identifying those who have the credentials to tell you how bad your rendition of “pahk the cah” really is.
5.) Street Smahts:
You may be new to Boston, but the natives of the city are the ones who know how to get around. You’ve seen the person who passes you, walking at the speed of light while still looking casual. They also know how to cross the street. Yes, you might be very good at waiting for the little white walking stick figure to cross the street, but sometimes the red hand can and will be ignored.
A true Bostonian can weave between oncoming Massholes and cyclists with the bravery of a soldier and little change in pace, but a true sign you are watching a Bostonian comes on the T. Are they looking at maps or do they simply know they’re getting on the Green Line? Are they startled when it moves, clinging to the poles for dear life? Or do they look like a nap is coming on? Pro tip for new riders: the area between cars rotates, so please don’t scream — you’re just giving yourself away.
4.) Wicked Weather Wits:
It’s only been a week, but for Californians, it’s already cold. Get ready — snow in October is not outrageous, and it will happen before you order a pair of boots. Save your sweaters and coats for when it actually drops below the 70s; the OG city folk are still making use of their shorts and tank tops! As for the rain drizzles, have you noticed people who simply have a hood up? Or even more, don’t even seem to notice the rain?
If you’re an umbrella person… it must as well say out-of-state right on it. When you’re walking on a thin sidewalk next to hundreds of other people, no one needs to get their eye gouged by your polka dot Kate Spade umbrella. Invest in a hood, for everyone’s sake.
3.) Sports Stability:
Now, this is not to say Boston sports are stable, but the native inhabitants of New England are stable in their undying loyalty. Winning or losing, Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics are huge figures in the city. Even for those less avid sports watchers, you’re either a Sox fan or awaiting exile for treason against the greatest team in baseball.
It’s such a huge part of the Boston identity that many businesses throughout Massachusetts offer deals and promotions based on sports outcomes! Kids eat free at the 99 when the Sox win, and you might even get free furniture from Jordan’s. If you’re wearing a Yankees cap around campus, this close to Fenway… good luck.
2.) Dunk Dedication:
There may be more Starbucks on campus, but know this: Whether or not America runs on Dunkin, New England sure as heck does. It’s more than a coffee shop, it’s a lifestyle. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s called Dunks here. Why are you still saying DunkINs? Just stop. Stop in to spot a native Bostonian in line and order a small, medium, or large; no ventis or grandes here. You don’t win points for a complicated order, so be quick and efficient if you want to look like you’ve lived here longer than a week.
Surely you’ve by now noticed the New England accent, and while it may not be as prominent as it is in the Good Will Hunting, it is there. When a native gets fired up, watch their r’s — or should we say “ahhs” disappear wicked fast. Perhaps the most important aspect of how the Boston dialect is the use of the word “wicked.” No, this is not reserved for the Wicked Witch of the West. You’re now in the Northeast, so it’s stuck in every sentence. Isn’t that wicked awesome? Also, please don’t sound like a GPS— learn to say the names of New England streets and cities. It’s AHlington, not ARRRRlington. Worcester is WOOstAH, not warchester. Gloucester is Glostah, not GlOWchester. Also, pissah = great (for some reason) and packie = liquor store. You’re welcome.
Now, you are thoroughly prepared to go out and observe Bostonians in their natural habitats. Spot them among the many who still say clam chowdER, and use this as your guide to being a true Bostonian, like for Halloween or something.
Want to write for The Black Sheep at BU? Apply here!
And for those about to bid, we salute you.