How to Speak Wicked Tuna

Video highlights from Wicked Tuna

We’re all familiar with basic Bostonese—you know, “wicked ah-some” or "I'm pah-kin' the cah"—but for the fishermen of Wicked Tuna, they’ve developed a vernacular all their own. From "squeaker" (pronounced: "squeakah") to "googans" (pronounced with disdain), we figured you might need a glossary to get you through this show.

Wicked Glossary

We’re all familiar with basic Bostonese—you know, “wicked ah-some” or "I'm pah-kin' the cah"—but for the fishermen of Wicked Tuna, they’ve developed a vernacular all their own. From "squeaker" (pronounced: "squeakah") to "googans" (pronounced with disdain), we figured you might need a glossary to get you through this show.

wick•ed
adj [wi-k?d]
Definition: Of exceptional quality, very, super
Example: "Tuna fishing is wicked hard."

piss•er
adj [pi-s?]
Definition: Either very good or very bad
Example: "Did you see that? Wicked pisser!"

sleigh ride
noun [sla- rid]
Definition: The event of being dragged by another boat after becoming entangled
Example: "That boat's about to go on the Nantucket sleigh ride."

snug•gle
transitive verb [sn?-g?l]
Definition: To anchor one's boat in close proximity to another (successful) boat
Example: "Let's just snuggle up next to Dave."

chum
noun or verb [ch?m]
Definition: Chopped fish thrown overboard to attract other fish
Example: "These fish are all up in the chum!"

sea rats
noun pl [se-rats]
Definition: Sea birds
Example: "Goddamn sea rats are eating all our chum."

goo•gans
noun pl [güg-?ns]
Definition: Fishermen who are not professional; aka weekend warriors; part-timers; tourists
Example: "Goddamn googans, they're all over the place this weekend."

num•bers
noun pl [n?m-b?rz]
Definition: GPS coordinates where a fishing boat strategically anchors
Example: "That goddamn googan is sitting on my numbers!"

drag•ger
noun [dra-g?r]
Definition: A fishing boat that uses a trawl or dragnet
Example: "What the hell is that dragger doing getting so close?"

keep•er
noun [ke-p?r]
Definition: A fish that qualifies under the fishing quotas
Example: "If the fish is big enough, he's a keeper."

squeak•er
noun [skwe-k?r]
Definition: A fish that just barely qualifies under the fishing quotas
Example: "Seventy-four inches? That's a squeaker!"

bleed•er
noun [ble-d?r]
Definition: A fish that bleeds
Example: "We got a bleeder!"

sink•er
noun [sing-k?r]
Definition: A weight used on the end of a fishing line
Example: "I need a 20-ounce sinker!"

cow
noun [kaü]
Definition: A really big fish
Example: "Holy s***, that's a cow!
 

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