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August 20, 2018

First-year teachers get schooled on Philly slang in new student-authored handbook

Put out by the school district, this new guide is meant to get rookie teachers acquainted with local colloquialisms

Lifestyle Slang
Stock_Carroll - The School District of Philadelphia Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all state schools to close for two weeks to prevent spread of coronavirus. But Philly officials did not want to shut down the School District of Philadelphia.

High school students from Philly public schools' Student Leadership Internship Program are introducing first-year teachers to real student life by guiding them through learning-positive perception...and Philly slang. 

Distributed by The School District of Philadelphia, The First Year Teacher Handbook goes through everything a teacher may need to know in their first year. With chapters like “Keep an Open Mind” to “Recognize the Positive," these high school students spent a lot of time writing and developing this heartfelt handbook for their new educators. 

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Inside this guide is a section called "Learn Our City,” which takes the reader through two and half pages worth of  Philly slang. The slang starts off pretty simple, with words that are typical to the Philadelphia lexicon, such as "cheesesteak," "whiz," "yous," "down the shore" – you name it. But the guide takes a pretty sharp turn into some newer terms that perhaps we could all brush up on.  

Heard of “drawlin'?" It means "Acting out of character/Doing something that others don’t approve of." An example from the handbook is, "If you don’t come out tonight, you’re drawlin’." 

Another one is “boul," which is "a word to describe a person." Example: "The boul over there has on fresh kicks." Tight.

Nobody likes a fake person, so don't be "ocky" or " fake or not authentic." Example: "Ayo ya timbs ocky." (Slang bonus: "timbs" means Timberlands boots.)

If you're going somewhere, then you're "finna," which means "to go or going to." Example: "I was finna go but naw." 

And apparently "wack" has made a full-fledged comeback from its overuse in the late '90s and early '00s, meaning "corny" or "dumb." An example of this word is: "Man, that's wack."

If you want to be hip and relevant and not "sawty" (a/k/a "being wrong") with your slang, then check out this "jawn" (a/k/a the handbook) for a full list of relevant, popular Philly slang words and phrases in 2018. 


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