1. How to use the word “wicked.”
This is number one for a reason: it’s the most important. I’ve been told that some people outside of Massachusetts use this word, but it mainly belongs to the good ole massholes. And for those of you who don’t use this word: let me explain. The word “wicked” is an adverb. Not an adjective. You would never say the phrase “this is so wicked,” because that would be using it as an adjective. No — instead, you say “this is wicked awesome,” using it to describe an adjective. And there’s your grammar lesson for the day.
An aside: when you meet someone who asks why you say “wicked” so often, I guarantee you’ll respond with, “I don’t know, but it’s wicked hard to stop.”
2. You know how to pop a U-ey.
Consider this: you’re driving down a main road in your town at 11 p.m. It’s late, and you’re hungry. But damn, you just passed Dunkin’. Should you pull into a parking lot and turn around? No, that would be a waste of time. Instead, you simply make a left hand turn directly into the opposite lane, continue your drive going the complete opposite way, and without even thinking twice about how illegal it is.
3. You can jay-walk like no one’s business.
So you need to cross a street in the city; why wait for the signal? That would be a waste of time, and you know the cars aren’t going to hit you if you give them enough time to slow down. So you take (a little bit of) caution and start walking forward. Fingers crossed!
4. You know the differences between ice cream toppings.
Let’s get this completely straight: sprinkles are the rainbow ones, and jimmies are the chocolate ones. If I work at an ice cream shop and you request one, but really want the other, I’ll have no sympathy for you when you’re disappointed.
5. People make fun of the way you say absolutely everything.
Your New Jersey friends pronounce words wrong too, but no one ever calls them out on it. It’s just you. Poor old you. You little Massachusetts child, who was raised to speak this way. Everyone always makes fun of you. But always remember: you’re right, they’re wrong. They’ll all figure it out some day.
6. It’s called a bubbler.
Never in your life have you ever turned to a teacher and said, “May I get a drink from the water fountain?” Because if you had, they would have looked at you in disbelief for requesting permission to go to the local park to take a sip of water from a literal fountain.
7. You’ve never been to Cape Cod.
But every summer you pack up your favorite bathing suits and beach balls for a day or a week down by the Cape. It is the only way you know how to refer to it, and the only way to refer to it.
8. It’s Dunks. Or Dunkin’.
To put in all the effort to actually say the entire name “Dunkin Donuts” is absurd to you. And on a road trip, the first sign of reaching that “middle of nowhere” mark is when you can no longer see a Dunks in your horizon.
9. You know that not everyone in Massachusetts fails to pronounce their R’s.
People who were born and raised in Boston or the surrounding area have strong accents, but that doesn’t mean everyone does. And most of the time when people hear you’re from Massachusetts, they end up asking “Do you pahk ya cah in Havahd yahd?” No. Actually, I don’t…
10. You hate when people say they’re from Boston if they aren’t.
Just because you’re from Massachusetts doesn’t mean you’re from Boston — trust me. And there’s nothing worse than meeting a guy at a bar out of state and having him tell you he’s from Boston when you know he isn’t. “I’m from Boston. Yeah, I know it’s cool. I live like 40 minutes outside of the city.” Oh, okay, except that isn’t really Boston then, is it?