Being at Howard has definitely been a culture shock to some. Here we will talk to some Howard freshman about their cities, customs and the culture shock they have experienced at their time at Howard.


Aham – Bronx, NY

Aham, who hails from the Bronx, talks about how the people in D.C. are more subtle than people in New York. Aham also tells of some of the slang used in New York, like the word “dub,” which means bad. Whereas in other areas, a dub is something that is good.  Other slang that is used in New York would be “U buggin” and the word “facts” (which he said 10 times in about a 1-minute span).

Regine – Memphis, TN

With a natural deep Southern drawl, Regine is straight from the South. A common theme I’ve heard from Southerners here, she says that the people here “aren’t nice” and they don’t know “how to speak.” As a Southerner, they believe in the reasoning behind the constant saying of “excuse me” and “thank you,” especially when passing others. There is also the crucial concept of saying “Good Morning” to the elderly when you see them.

Regine says she has been picking up a lot of slang from her Northern friends like the word “heard.” Some of the slang words that she says comes from Memphis are “mane,” “bussin”- when something is really good, i.e food, “on god,” “you flodgin,” which means you lyin and “you chopped,” which means nice/looks nice. She also talks of how many people have copied her accent, which is not something she would like.



Joelius – Columbus, Ohio

He says that the culture in Ohio is pretty much the same as D.C. However, an aspect of being at Howard that he likes is that more people are in tune with what they want to be in their life. Most of the slang that he says is used in Columbus is taken from other places, and they’re words I have heard being used before. Such as using the adjective “cold” to define someone attractive, “joint” for the word song, and using the word “dub” in a positive way.



Jaelynn- Cincinnati, Ohio

Jaelynn comments on how she feels the Midwest has a lot of the same values as the South, although slightly different. Jaelynn also repeats the sentiment that the people in D.C. are rude. Giving an example of the topic of “speaking,” she talks of how back home you acknowledge and someone or say hi, but being here she notices that people from the South will hug you (which isn’t something she is necessarily fond of) and people from the North will just walk by you. Some of the slang she says is used in Cincinnati includes, the word “slow” in replace of the word no. For example “Are you going to class today?” “Its slow” = “No, I’m not going to class.”


Chris – Adamsville, Alabama

I don’t think you can get deeper South than Alabama, and Chris gives his take on coming to D.C. He says that the people here are more fine-tuned with what they want to do with their lives, whereas people in the South want a more simple life. One of the things he likes about being up here is that people are more connected with the black diaspora. An example he gives is how people say “I’m Nigerian” or “I’m Jamaican,” in contrast to back home where everyone is “just black.” When it comes to slang Chris describes Alabama as “a whole dialect,” saying that we wouldn’t even be able to understand his grandmother when she speaks. In explaining this Southern drawl and the “stretching out of their words.”

Ahmari- Pittsburgh, PA

Last, but not least, we have Ahmari who is from Pittsburgh. In particular she is very passionate about the fact that the people here are rude. Despite being from Pittsburgh, which is considered very close to Northern culture. In contrast, she says she cannot understand people from the South. When it comes to slang in Pittsburgh she says “We just get everything from New York, just a lot later.”

Whether we believe that Northerners are rude, or find the Southern drawl difficult to understand, everyone should all take a moment to enjoy learning about different areas, slang, and cultures. Engaging in wars about “NY vs. ATL’,  who can and can’t endure the DC winter and who has the best slang are all fun ways to learn about various cultures within our own community. Let’s take it all in and soak up the chance to experience a once in a lifetime melting pot.



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