New Yorkers have a distinct identity that shapes the culture and attitude of America’s largest city. From iconic accents to fierce pride in their hometown sports teams, New York natives stand out in a crowd.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: People from New York are called New Yorkers.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the history behind the New Yorker nickname, famous personalities who embody the New York spirit, unique lingo and customs found only in the Big Apple, and more.

The Origins of the New Yorker Name

The term “New Yorker” has a long history that dates back to the early days of the American colonies. The name originated as a way to refer to the residents of what is now New York City, and it has since become synonymous with the city itself.

Early references date back to the 1700s

The earliest known references to the term “New Yorker” can be traced back to the 1700s. During this time, New York City was still a relatively small settlement, but it was already starting to gain prominence as a trading hub.

As more people flocked to the city in search of opportunities, the term “New Yorker” began to be used to describe the inhabitants.

However, it wasn’t until the 1800s that the term became more widely recognized and used.

How ‘New Yorker’ became widespread in the 1800s

In the 1800s, New York City experienced a significant population boom. Immigrants from all over the world flocked to the city, seeking a better life and economic opportunities. As the population grew, so did the use of the term “New Yorker.”

During this time, newspapers and other publications began using the term to refer to the residents of New York City. It quickly caught on and became the go-to term for describing someone from the city.

The term was further popularized by authors, poets, and playwrights who wrote about life in the bustling metropolis.

The New Yorker magazine, founded in 1925, also played a significant role in solidifying the term’s association with the city. The publication became known for its coverage of New York City culture, and its name further cemented the connection between the term “New Yorker” and the city itself.

Alternative nicknames used over time

While “New Yorker” is the most commonly used term to refer to someone from New York City, there have been alternative nicknames used over time. These include “Gothamite,” which originated from the fictional city of Gotham in the Batman comics, and “Big Apple,” a nickname that gained popularity in the 1920s.

However, “New Yorker” remains the most widely recognized and accepted term for describing someone from the city. It has become a source of pride for many residents and is synonymous with the vibrant and diverse culture of New York City.

For more information, you can visit The New Yorker website.

Traits and Stereotypes of New Yorkers

Brash, fast-talking personalities

New Yorkers are known for their brash and fast-talking personalities. They are often perceived as being direct, assertive, and confident in their speech. This trait is a reflection of the fast-paced and competitive environment that the city is known for.

New Yorkers are not afraid to speak their minds and can come across as blunt or even rude to outsiders. However, once you get to know them, you’ll find that their directness is often accompanied by a great sense of humor and a genuine desire to connect with others.

Passion for pizza, bagels, delis

One thing that New Yorkers are truly passionate about is their food. The city is famous for its pizza, bagels, and delis, and New Yorkers take their culinary delights very seriously. Whether it’s grabbing a slice of pizza on the go or enjoying a classic New York bagel with lox and cream cheese, food is an integral part of the New York experience.

The city’s diverse population has also contributed to a vibrant food scene, with cuisines from around the world readily available.

Obsession with the Yankees and street basketball

Sports play a significant role in the lives of New Yorkers, and two teams hold a special place in their hearts – the New York Yankees in baseball and street basketball. The Yankees, one of the most successful teams in Major League Baseball history, have a loyal and passionate fan base.

Attending a game at Yankee Stadium is an experience like no other, with fans cheering loudly and proudly donning their team colors. Street basketball is also a beloved pastime in New York City, with iconic courts like Rucker Park attracting the best players from around the world.

Fierce pride in their city

New Yorkers have an unmatched pride in their city. They fiercely defend and promote everything that makes New York unique – from its iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Central Park to its vibrant arts and culture scene.

New Yorkers are known to be resilient and have a strong sense of community, especially in times of crisis. The city’s diversity and energy are what make it truly special, and New Yorkers are proud to call it home.

New York Slang and Lingo

New York City is known for its unique slang and lingo that is distinct to the city and its inhabitants. From expressions like “fuhgeddaboudit” to the classic greeting “Yo!”, the language of New Yorkers is as diverse as the city itself.

Expressions like “fuhgeddaboudit”

One of the most iconic New York phrases is “fuhgeddaboudit,” which is a contraction of “forget about it.” This expression is often used to dismiss or disregard something. For example, if someone asks if you want to go to a fancy restaurant that you can’t afford, you might respond with “fuhgeddaboudit!”

Classic greeting: “Yo!”

In New York, the classic greeting is a simple and casual “Yo!” This friendly and informal salutation is commonly used among friends and acquaintances. It’s a way of saying hello and acknowledging someone’s presence.

City-centric terms like “the subway”

New York City has its own unique terms and phrases that are specific to the city. For instance, instead of referring to the underground train system as “the metro” or “the underground,” New Yorkers simply call it “the subway.”

This term is so ingrained in the city’s culture that it has become synonymous with public transportation in New York.

Unique accents and dialects

New York City is also known for its distinct accents and dialects. The most well-known is the New York City dialect, often associated with the Bronx and Brooklyn. This dialect is characterized by a distinctive pronunciation of certain words and phrases, such as “coffee” pronounced as “caw-fee” and “dog” pronounced as “dawg.”

According to a study conducted by the Linguistic Society of America, the New York City dialect is influenced by various immigrant groups, including Italian, Irish, and Jewish communities. This rich linguistic tapestry is what gives New York its unique and diverse language.

If you want to learn more about New York slang and lingo, there are several websites that provide comprehensive guides, such as Time Out New York and amNewYork. These resources can help you navigate the vibrant linguistic landscape of the Big Apple.

Famous New Yorkers Who Embody the Spirit

Entertainers: Woody Allen, Jennifer Lopez

New York is renowned for its vibrant entertainment industry, and it has produced some of the most talented entertainers in the world. Two individuals who perfectly embody the spirit of New York are Woody Allen and Jennifer Lopez.

Woody Allen, the legendary filmmaker and actor, has captured the essence of New York City in many of his movies. His unique storytelling and love for the city have made him an iconic figure in the film industry.

Jennifer Lopez, on the other hand, is a multi-talented artist who has conquered the worlds of music, film, and fashion. Born and raised in the Bronx, she has become a symbol of success and determination for many aspiring entertainers.

Athletes: Lou Gehrig, Carmelo Anthony

New York has a rich sports history and has been home to many legendary athletes. Lou Gehrig, also known as the “Iron Horse,” was a baseball player who spent his entire career with the New York Yankees. He was known for his incredible stamina and dedication to the game.

Carmelo Anthony, a basketball player who played for the New York Knicks, is another athlete who represents the spirit of New York. His passion for the game and his commitment to the community have made him a beloved figure among fans.

Politicians: Donald Trump, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

When it comes to politics, New York has been the birthplace of many influential figures. Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, started his career in real estate in New York City. His bold personality and business acumen have made him a polarizing figure in politics.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, represents a new generation of politicians in New York. Her progressive policies and passion for social justice have garnered her a significant following.

These individuals, among many others, have left an indelible mark on New York and have become symbols of the city’s spirit and resilience. Whether in the entertainment industry, sports, or politics, they have shown what it means to be a New Yorker – someone who is determined, talented, and unafraid to pursue their dreams.

The Lasting Cultural Impact of New York

New York City, often referred to as the “Big Apple,” is not only a bustling metropolis but also a cultural hub that has left an indelible mark on the world. From its iconic landmarks to its diverse population, New York’s cultural influence can be seen in various aspects of life.

Let’s explore some of the ways in which the city has made a lasting impact.

New York-style pizza and delis

When it comes to food, New York City is synonymous with delicious pizza and classic delis. The city’s pizza parlors serve up thin-crust slices that are often folded in half and devoured on the go. The distinct taste and texture of New York-style pizza have inspired countless imitations around the world.

Similarly, New York’s delis offer a wide array of sandwiches piled high with freshly sliced meats and toppings, providing a quintessential taste of the city’s culinary culture.

Setting for countless books, movies, and TV shows

New York City’s iconic skyline and vibrant neighborhoods have served as the backdrop for countless books, movies, and TV shows. From the romanticized streets of Manhattan in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” to the gritty portrayal of Brooklyn in “Goodfellas,” the city’s diverse and ever-changing landscape has provided a rich tapestry for storytellers.

Whether it’s a heartwarming tale of love or an action-packed crime drama, the Big Apple continues to captivate audiences around the globe.

Home of Broadway theater district and finance centers

New York City is home to the world-famous Broadway theater district, which showcases some of the most spectacular performances in the world. From timeless classics like “The Phantom of the Opera” to groundbreaking shows like “Hamilton,” Broadway has become synonymous with world-class theater.

Additionally, New York City is a global financial capital, housing the headquarters of major financial institutions and serving as a center for international trade and commerce.

For more information on the cultural impact of New York City, you can visit, the official tourism website for New York City, to discover all that the city has to offer.


For over 200 years, New Yorkers have taken fierce pride in their city and developed a distinct cultural identity. The ‘New Yorker’ nickname encapsulates a bold, fast-paced attitude that shapes entertainment, food, business, politics, and beyond.

So next time you meet someone from the Big Apple, you can confidently call them a New Yorker. Just don’t be surprised if they quickly remind you that there’s no place quite like their hometown!

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