Learn How to Speak Wicked Tuna

An Interactive Audio Glossary With Captain Paul

Wicked Pissah

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. So we recruited Captain Paul Hebert to help you learn the salty talk of a real New England fisherman.


wick·ed

adj [wi-kəd]
Definition: Of exceptional quality, very, super
Example: "Tuna fishing is wicked hard."

piss·er

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

sleigh ride

noun [slā- rīd]
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 [snə-gəl]
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 [chəm]
Definition: Chopped fish thrown overboard to attract other fish
Example: "These fish are all up in the chum!"

sea rats

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

goo·gans

noun pl [güg-əns]
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 [nəm-bərz]
Definition: GPS coordinates where a fishing boat strategically anchors
Example: "That goddamn googan is sitting on my numbers!"

drag·ger

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

keep·er

noun [kē-pər]
Definition: A fish that qualifies under the fishing quotas
Example: "If the fish is big enough, he's a keeper."

squeak·er

noun [skwē-kər]
Definition: A fish that just barely qualifies under the fishing quotas
Example: "Seventy-four inches? That's a squeaker!"

bleed·er

noun [blē-dər]
Definition: A fish that bleeds
Example: "We got a bleeder!"

sink·er

noun [sing-kər]
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!"
0

Learn How to Speak Wicked Tuna

We recruited Captain Paul Hebert to teach us the salty talk of a real New England fisherman.

Advertisement

Nat Geo TV App

The Nat Geo TV App

Watch your favorite National Geographic Channel shows the day after they air.

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play