9 Words You’ll Only Understand If You’re a Rhode Islander


For a state so small, Rhode Island certainly has a large, unique vocabulary. Though often intertwined with the Massachusetts accent, we really do have our own flare when it comes to twisting and turning words to fit how we’re used to talking.


The freeway connecting route from Route 6 to Route 10. Often taken to get as quickly as possible to some late night food, or more likely, the place you sit in traffic waiting to get to work every weekday.


The delicious stew filled with potatoes, onions, and of course clams. Don’t you dare order it red – we prefer it white or clear – and we’ll get it from Iggy’s, Chelo’s or George’s of Galilee.


Involved in a not so serious car accident? Maybe you got just a little dent or bump – well around these parts, it’s called a fendah bendah.


Don’t even bother explaining to an out-of-stater that the Roger Williams Park and the Roger Williams Park Zoo are two different places…even though they’re in the same spot. Just go, enjoy feeding the ducks, riding the swan boats then seeing the elephants.


When you were in school, there was no water fountain. So where did we all get a nice refreshing sip of water? In the hallway – at the bubblah of course.


You might think this is a word used to make fun of someone, but no. This is how you would appropriately call your friend – who in most other states would be called “Mark.”


It’s not a sandwich, folks, it’s a grinda. Not a hero. Not a submarine sandwich. It’s a grindah.


Leave it to the Cardi Brothers (Rhode Island’s Furniture Kings) to come up with a word all to themselves. It’s short for their names, Nick, Ron and Pete – and apparently, it means low prices!


Sure, we’re bad drivers here in Rhode Island – but those people from Massachusetts? Their even worse. Even though we love our neighbors to the north, don’t catch us in a bad mood – because we’re happy to call you a Masshole.

Most people realize that scrod is not an actual fish – but that doesn’t stop every restaurant in Rhode Island from picking any random white fish (usually cod or haddock) and slapping the name scrod on it. Add some butter and breadcrumbs and it’s a RI diet special!



Big thank you to Quahog.org for the inspiration behind this article. Click here to view their complete Rhode Island Dictionary, including more of our favorite words including “packy,” “jeet” and plenty of other uniquely RI language.


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