My Fulbright Story: Wicked

One of the best things I love about taking an Uber is getting to know the drivers who drive them. 

During these trips, I’ve been fortunate to meet both locals and international drivers ranging from Algeria, Lebanon, India, China to Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Brazil. 

Sometimes we’d exchange fun facts about each other’s culture, food, and music. Other times, I’d ask about their favourite restaurant and what the most common phrase in Boston is. 


That’s right. Wicked has become ubiquitous as the go-to word to describe anything that is good (wicked cool, wicked amazing, wicked awesome) or bad (wicked boring, wicked bad). 

It’s meant to be a dead giveaway that you’re a Boston (and possibly Maine) local if you use it in a sentence. 

The other fascinating fact I learnt from one of the first Uber drivers I met in Boston was that locals would silence the letter ‘r’ in words. Funnily enough, we realised this when he recommended that I should have a ‘Fenway frank and a bear’. 

The exchange went a bit like this: ‘Bear?’, I asked. ‘What’s a bear?…[10 seconds later] Oh! You mean beer?!’. We both had a good laugh. 

It wasn’t until I stumbled into Gifted, a quirky gifting boutique in South End and found a book called A Wicked Smaaht Guide To All Things Boston that I realised the phonetic pronunciation is more akin to replacing the letter ‘r’ with the letter ‘h’. 

Of course, there are dozens of other US vs Oz words like elevator (instead of lift), green pepper (instead of capsicum – something I learned from the lovely Subway lady who was making my sandwich order!) and Mickey D’s (instead of Macca’s). But now you know to replace your r’s if you’re ever in Boston! 

What’s the most interesting word you’ve heard used in the U.S.? Let me know in the comments below!

This post is not sponsored. All views are my own.

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