Planning a trip to New York City? Don’t forget to pack this handy-dandy guide to NYC subway jargon. It’s a lifesaver — perhaps literally!
— hand shame (noun): the feeling one has after accidentally grabbing the pole where someone else was already grabbing it.
— kinky-pinky (verb): to deliberately grab the pole where someone else is already grabbing it.
— hangry birds (plural noun): hunger pangs activated by the smell of someone else’s fried chicken. See also: “Colonel knowledge” (knowing that someone on the train is carrying KFC but not being able to locate the source visually).
— instant grampification (noun): the shock one feels upon being offered a seat by someone one thought was one’s own age (feminine form: grammafication).
— doork (noun): dork who blocks the door without realizing it.
— joork (noun): jerk who knows he’s blocking the door but keeps standing there, watching people maneuver around him.
— bunwich (noun): the very tight space between two other commuters.
— snudge (noun): a real nudge pretending to be inadvertent.
— train traffic ahead (noun): bad news that one should brace oneself for. Example: “The boss called a special meeting for 3 o’clock today. Could be train traffic ahead.”
— nod squad (noun): two or more passengers napping on the same bench.
— warm shoulder (noun): the shoulder a stranger has fallen asleep on.
— grudge budge (noun): the grimace made by a person who must move over an inch to make room for someone else.
— grudge buddies (plural noun): two or more people who have made grudge budges and feel a bonding emotion.
— BBB (noun) — short for “baby bump blindness”: the ability not to notice a woman who is eight months pregnant and holding on to the strap in front of you while you sit playing “Candy Crush.”
— blobstacle (noun): escalator rider who stands on the left side, not moving, oblivious to teeming hordes behind him.
— ROTFL (noun): anything “rolling on the floor loudly,” e.g., an empty iced tea bottle.
— point and shoo (verb): to indicate a wet or sticky spot on the seat before someone sits down.
— new natives (plural noun): people who got on just one stop before you but act as if they own the seats.
— tooth squad (noun): a group of individuals dedicated to blacking out the teeth of smiling news teams on ads.
— bubbleheads (plural noun): individuals who add word and thought bubbles to posters — usually referencing the president, police or private parts.
— box shock (noun): the condition of being suddenly awakened by a boombox on board.
— family-dollar (verb): to give a single dollar to a subway performer on behalf of all the members of your family.
— Post-aboo (verb): to sneak a peek at your neighbor’s New York Post.
— peeka-News (verb): to sneak a peek at your neighbor’s Daily News.
— suspicious package (noun): male standing too close.
Lenore Skenazy is author of the book and blog “Free-Range Kids” and a keynote speaker at conferences, companies and schools. Her TV show, “World’s Worst Mom,” airs on Discovery Life.