Slang dictionary

It’s a Jersey thing

[its uh jur-zee thing]

What does It’s a Jersey thing mean?

There is a strange, dark land along the Atlantic Ocean where the people have terrible fake tans and actually enjoy Bon Jovi. Why do they act this why? You wouldn’t understand: It’s a Jersey thing.

It’s a Jersey thing is a joke stereotyping, but also embraced by, the so-called Italian-American guido culture of New Jersey, among other residents of the duly proud state.

Related words

GTL, Jager bomb, ManBearPig, derp face

Where does It’s a Jersey thing come from?

We can find It’s a Jersey thing to justify the regional idiosyncrasies of New Jersey tastes and culture as early as the 1990s on internet Usenet groups. A 1994 post expressed undying fandom of the New Jersey Devils hockey team as It’s a Jersey thing while a 1997 post fawned over New Jersey native musician Bon Jovi as It’s a Jersey thing. Other states do this too (e.g., Cheese curds: It’s a Wisconsin thing), drawing on the common use of a thing for some cultural phenomenon.

It’s a Jersey thing was popularized as a punchline, though, thanks to a 2010 South Park episode appropriately called “It’s a Jersey Thing.” The episode ruthlessly mocks the guido culture of New Jersey that received mainstream attention in 2010 thanks to the hit MTV reality show, Jersey Shore. Think muscle-y, tough-guy bros with gelled hair, skin-tight clothes, and gold jewelry. Think Snooki.

In the episode, the character Kyle Broflovski learns he is from New Jersey and begins acting like characters from Jersey Shore once he discovers it. Throughout the episode, he, and others, justify their newly uncharacteristic and bizarre behavior, including acting like guidos and talking to imaginary reality TV confessional cameras, as something non-New Jersey residents wouldn’t understand because It’s a Jersey thing.

Though they may be the butt of many jokes, Jerseyites have thick skins and a good sense of humor. The episode was a hit with residents of the Garden State.

In fact, despite being depicted as a hideous goblin creature resembling the Jersey Devil, even self-styled guido Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi herself tweeted a positive reaction to the episode.

It’s a Jersey thing was embraced by some New Jersey residents as a phrase expressing pride in their state. The phrase has been printed on t-shirts. A restaurant has even named itself after the phrase.

Examples of It’s a Jersey thing
It's a Jersey thing although they've wussified most of the remaining Traffic Circles in New Jersey as seen in a previous thread by adding such nonesensical [sic] devices as stop and yield signs
Frank Curcio, misc.transport.road Usenet group, July, 2001
I’m curious I have wawas where I am but I wanna know if in PA your wawas have pork roll egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches in the morning? From what I know it’s a Jersey thing but since they have custom boxes for it I was wondering if they do sell them there
@zen_neary, August, 2018

Who uses It’s a Jersey thing?

It’s a Jersey thing still shows up occasionally in New Jersey memes, often with pictures of the cast of Jersey Shore.

Despite the episode now being approximately “800 Internet years old,” It’s a Jersey thing is still a proud declaration of sons and daughters of that lovably weird state. You do you, Jersey.

Just Added

sponge city, babygirl, Damp January, beekeeping age, mi amor


This is not meant to be a formal definition of It’s a Jersey thing like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of It’s a Jersey thing that will help our users expand their word mastery.