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'Fuhgeddaboudit' Gets Added to the Oxford English Dictionary

By Nicole Levy | September 16, 2016 4:53pm | Updated on September 16, 2016 5:11pm
A "Leaving Brooklyn" sign featuring the newly recognized word, fuhgeddaboudit
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Flickr/Kai Brinker

Former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz must be working for the Oxford English Dictionary now.

Immortalized in a "Leaving Brooklyn" sign Markowitz posted at the entrance to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in 2004, "fuhgeddaboudit" was one of more than 500 words, phrases and definitions added to the latest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary this week.

The elision of "forget about it" is a regionalism that gained popularity in New York and New Jersey. Fuhgeddaboudit is "used indicate that a suggested scenario is unlikely or undesirable," the word's new dictionary entry reads.

In an interview with the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Markowitz said he chose the word for his signage because mid-century Brooklynites often spoke it in their distinctive accent: “You might say that our accents were pretty unmistakable,” he said. “Today it’s different, but back then it wasn’t. Words like ‘fuggedaboutit’ became quite commonplace.”

“I decided that the Brooklyn we all knew, as far as I’m concerned, was a separate city,” he continued. “I wanted to let everyone know coming into Brooklyn or leaving that they were in a special place or leaving a special place." 

Was there actually any risk of outsiders overlooking the borough?

Now that "Brooklyn" is synonymous with "cool," fuhgeddaboudit.