Scarborough is infamous for its slang words and phrases. Most of these have Patois roots; however, the slang is constantly evolving into another distinct form of speech.
In a way, Scarborough slang is somewhat a modified version of Patois itself. I explained this briefly in another article:
What is often acknowledged as an exclusive product of Torontonian creativity is actually an authentic Jamaican invention that also represents the very crux of West Indian heritage. There’s no denying the tremendous impact of the Jamaican population on Toronto – since their arrival in the 1960s, they have weaved their fascinating culture and traditions into the colourful fabric of the city. This includes their unique West Indian lexicon, which was eventually adopted and modified by Torontonians.
That being said, the gradual assimilation of the slang into one’s vocabulary is almost an inevitable circumstance when you live in Scarborough. While the language is used throughout the GTA nowadays, some claim that its origins could still be traced back to the distinguished district (though, this is highly debatable).
I grew up in Scarborough and there are some slang words that I’m still clueless about. I am in no way a Scarborough slang expert, but here are some of words and phrases characteristic to “Scarberian” informal speech that I’ve encountered over the years. Listing down the words alone definitely doesn’t do them justice (since it’s the vocal delivery that really makes them impactful) but you may still recognize some of them:
“Styll” is essentially a synonym for “though”. It is always used at the end of a sentence to add emphasis to a statement.
“I’ve ate like 3 patties I needa go to the gym styll”
“Ahlie” is used to replace the expression “right?”. It is used for confirmatory purposes, or to express skepticism/call out potential lies.
Person 1: “Truss, no one’s tryna go to Townaz loc on a Tuesday tho”
3. Link up
“Link up” means to meet or to get together.
Person 1: “You tryna reach Woodside after school?”
Person 2: Aye I’ll link up wit u later then”
“Tru” is used to affirm that something makes sense. Add more u’s for further emphasis.
Person 1: “Let’s go to Mcd’s I got that 2 can dine coupon”
Person 2: “Truuuuuuuuu”
“Fom” is a modified form of the descriptor “fam”, which is derived from the word “family”. It is used on friends to express closeness.
“Yo what u saying fom? Down to run ball at Goodlad?”
“Mandem” is a descriptor used to refer to a group of males or male friends.
“Come thru to All Star the mandem’s finna be there”
7. Dun Kno
“Dun kno” is a confirmatory statement and represents another way of saying “of course” or “I know”.
Person 1: “Wow ur eyebrows be fleeky as hell today”
Person 2: “Dun kno girl!!!!”
“Live” is used to describe a situation or circumstance that is exciting or highly entertaining.
“Aw u shoulda came to Parts last night it was live”
9. Reach / Come thru
“Reach” or “come thru” are both synonyms for “come by” or “attend”.
“Come thru wit dat Twix boi”
10. From time
“From time” is another way to say ” from a long time ago”.
“Scarborough ting from time G”
“Szeen” is a confirmatory statement to express that something is or has been understood.
Person 1: “K yo meet me at Fairview in an hour”
Person 2: “iight szeen”
“Arms” is an adjective that describes an action or statement that is mean or offensive.
“U straight? that guy was mad arms jus now”
13. Waste yute
“Waste yute” is an adjective used to describe someone as “useless”.
“Stop mall ratting ya waste yute!!”
14. Don’t cheese me
“Don’t cheese me” is another way of saying “don’t get on my nerves“.
“Drake Hotel is at full capacity forreal? Yo don’t cheeeeese me dawg I knew we shoulda left earlier”
“Snake” is used to characterize a traitor or a breach of loyalty.
“This guy got Burrito Boyz without me?? Whatta snaaaaake”
“Sus” is used to describe something as “shady” or lame.
“Yo guy I’m sitting alone in the food court and I look mad sus hurry up fam”
“Mossin’” is another term for “hanging out” or “relaxing”.
Person 1: “Wah u sayin?”
Person 2: “Just mossin at Menchies hbu?”
“Top left” is used to meaningfully swear by something as truth.
“Topleft, ur manicure on point. Told u Hip Hop Nails is sick”
“Cut” is another verb for “leave” or “depart”.
“PMall too crowded man let’s cut”
“Sweetermans” is a descriptor for males with sweet personalities and good looks.
“Swear to God Drake is a sweeterman still”
21. Cyattie / cyat / ratchet
“Cyattie”, “cyat” or “ratchet” are all terms to describe a female who is characteristically loud, obnoxious and attention seeking.
“Cyatties be all up in Military Trail”
22. In a minute
“In a minute” is another way to say you haven’t done something in a really long time. The word “quick” can be added before the word “minute” for further emphasis.
“Abel hasn’t been back to the 6 in a quick minute fom”
“Bill” is essentially slang for $100.
“I’m mad cheesed I dropped a bill and a half on these J’s and dey ain’t even real”
“Ting”, in the Patois sense, is simply a modification of the word “thing”. It is also commonly used to describe an event or someone you are casually seeing.
“All the tings are at Caribana fom you down?”
25. Say word
“Say word” is a phrase used to express being surprised or shocked at something.
“Say woooord u went to Libermann. That school’s waste”
“Soft” is used to describe something or someone as easy or weak.
Person 1: “Are u sure? That area is kind of sketch..”
Person 2: “Soft I grew up in flemo”
“Marved” is a synonym for the word “hungry”.
“Let’s go to Markham Station mans are marved”
“Bare” is a descriptor of quantity and refers to something that is plentiful or in excess.
“Every time I go to McGregor Park I see bare sweeties. Like that Stef gyal”
“Lowkey” is used to to emphasize something as secret or relatively classified.
“I know I’m on a diet but lowkey I want shawarma right now”
30. Are u dumb
“Are u dumb” is pretty self-explanatory I think.
“I’m not tryna go to that all ages event like are u dumb??”
“Scrap” is a synonym for the word “fight”.
“Wanna go to Malvern Mall after school? I heard there’s gonna be a scrap lol worldstar”
“Extra” is used to describe one’s behaviour as excessive or overly dramatic
“I know dis one gyal who went to MT, she’s mad extra like damn”
33. Nize it
“Nize it” is another way of saying “shut up”.
Person 1: “Girl u baconator wit a side of onion rings on dat ass fried”
Person 2: “NIZE it”
“Dimepiece” is used to describe an incredibly attractive female. It is derived from the word “dime”, which symbolically means 10/10.
“You know that girl from UofT? Ye she’s a dimepiece I’d hit it”
“Regulate” is a verb for holding one’s own when faced with someone who is attempting to instigate a fight.
“U at le spot? I’ll come thru and regulate u”
36. Bout it
“Bout it” is used to affirm that you agree to be involved in something.
“Gonna grab bubble tea. Is u bout it bout it?”
37. Tun up
“Tun up” is used to describe something as hype or to get hype.
“Yo come tun up at this house jam it’s at Neilson and Tapscott.”
“Greezy” is used to describe something that is awesome or cool. Extra e’s can be added for further emphasis.
“The sashimi at Matsuda’s is greezy.”
“Lit” is used to describe something as extremely exciting or a state or situation of complete bliss.
“We reached Perfect Chinese Restaurant after the club and the dim sum was so lit”
“Sav” is a shortened version of the word “savage”.
“My uber driver just ran a red light, yung savvv.”
Alright, so some of these examples are super exaggerated. Forgive me. I’m definitely not good at this whole slang business. What other slang words from Scarborough or Toronto are there?