Learn Nantucket lingo (a guide for ‘Off Islanders’)

Although this island is a part of Massachusetts, its isolation means it has developed a few things uniquely cool and local, including the language.

Jocelyn Pride pulls on her reds (chinos) and learns some Nantucket lingo.


Nantucketers have their own nuances and expressions…

1. Nantucket Island is only ever called Nantucket.

2. The village of Siasconset is always pronounced ‘scon-sit’.

3. Gam means social visit.

4. Nantucketers are born on the island.

5. Locals went to school here and washashores made the sea change.

6. Residents only talk in terms of being ‘on island’ or ‘off island’. Off island is the rest of the world.

7. America is seen as a separate country.

8. The ‘grey lady’ isn’t a person, it’s the fog that often rolls in.

9. ‘All squared away’ means shipshape.

10. ‘Douse the glim’ is to turn out the lights.

11. Neighbouring island Martha’s Vineyard is always whispered, rather than spoken.



See why Nantucket might just be the USA’s cutest town

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This article appeared in issue 27

Featuring: • Our popular annual list of the top reasons to travel (a record number of 57!) • The hottest trends for 2017 • Wardrobe essentials to make travelling easier