“Tawking” Like a New Yorker

February 20th, 2009 by Melina

Lesson 1, Part 2

So after I posted the first lesson about how to tawk like a New Yawker, I knew I’d forgotten something. It’s been bugging me. Now I remember.   

Here’s step 5:

Add the word “why” and answer your own question. For example: 

“Somebody get the gun and just shoot me already. Uch. I’m SO annoyed. Why? It’s not working, my computer.”

As an added bonus, here are some sample mini dialogues:


Melina: [busting through the doors of her school, her black coat now white with snow, coffee spilling all over the cuffs of her coat] “Good morning.”

Colleague: “What’s wrong?”

Melina: “I’m late. Why? It was barely moving, the Q Train. Therefore, I am now calling it ‘The Little Engine That Couldn’t.'”


Colleague: “Oh good, you’re here. I wanted to talk to you. Why? I need to borrow a laptop.”

Melina: [striving to be helpful, as always] “Help yourself!” 


Friend: “What’s wrong.”

Melina: “Don’t ask. I have a headache. Why? He was barking in his sleep, my dog.”

(Notice here that I said, “don’t ask?” Well, not only did I ask, I actually answered my own question. This city is rubbing off on me.)

As always, you are welcome, and encouraged, to leave your own examples in the comments! Why? I’ll tell you why. Because you’re brilliant.

Now, as some of you may know, I love, okay, I mean I have an obsession with, “The Moth.” It’s fabulous, this episode. Why? He knows from “tawking,” that Ritchie DiSalvo. Enjoy!

I’ll be back soon with Lesson 2 — When Harry Met Mary.

Posted in Mel In Manhattan, Tawking New York

5 Responses

  1. Pam

    Hooray! I wanted more Tawk Like A New Yawker posts. I need to go watch some Sopranos episodes to loosen up. :-)

  2. admin

    Glad you like my little lessons!

    My uncle and I “tawk” New York all the time. It’s schtick. Anyway, he complained that I’m planning to serve the same chicken dish for both Passover seders, to which I replied, “What? You want I should make two different main courses?”

    And then I wondered where that sentence construction came from, and I now have an idea for Lesson # 3 – “You want I should. . .” and “I know (or don’t know) from. . .”

    So stay tuned!

  3. Caryn Caldwell

    These lessons are hilarious! I hadn’t noticed any of these quirks before you mentioned them, but now I remember lots of examples of them!

  4. Susan Hatler

    OMG, that was SO hilarious. I’ve heard people do that. Too funny.

  5. admin

    Hi Susan! Great to “meet” you. I’m off to check out your blog! :-)

    Caryn, feel free to share those examples! Now that I’ve lived here for a while, I sometimes don’t notice either. But sometimes my mom points out how the “tawk” has rubbed off on my own speech (usually after a long day at work). Gotta watch it!

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