When the Oxford University Dictionary (O.E.D.) published their ‘F’ and ‘G’ words in 1900, they most likely never expected a favorite Brooklyn colloquialism to join the esteemed ranks. But a lot has changed in 116 years.
Last Monday, the O.E.D. released a new list of words they have added to their comprehensive English language dictionary — and “Fuhgeddaboudit” is one of them.
According to the entry, the term means:
“In representations of regional speech (associated especially with New York and New Jersey): ‘forget about it’, used to indicate that a suggested scenario is unlikely or undesirable.”
The well-known elision of “forget about it” has grown in stature and familiarity because of its usage on the big screen, as well as on our borough’s highway signs.
Former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz famously worked with the Department of Transportation to add our unique phrasings and terminology.
“You might say that our accents were pretty unmistakable,” Markowitz told the Brooklyn Eagle. “Today it’s different, but back then it wasn’t. Words like ‘fuhgeddaboudit’ became quite commonplace.”
But the accents and sounds are not necessarily tethered to Brooklyn, or even New York City.
In an interview with NPR, filmmaker Heather Quinlan discussed the research process for her movie If These Knishes Could Talk: The Story of the New York Accent.
“What differentiates the accents is not geographic so much, especially nowadays, because people don’t stay put in one neighborhood their whole lives,” she said. “It’s ethnic.”
‘Fuhgeddaboudit’ joins the O.E.D. along with some amusing company during this release, including YOLO, an acronym for “You only live once” (thanks, Drake), biatch, bracketology, moobs (man-boobs), and squee.
We recommend checking the others out. Think about it as fantastic clickbait for your day.