Previous Next

Photo: B Rosen

Welcome to Massachusetts. There’s more than one reason why they call us Massholes, and we’re actually proud of most of them: grit, loyalty, strength, pride, saying it like it is, and knowing it all. As for the others, well, maybe that side of us would never have to come out if folks didn’t do a bunch of stuff to piss us off. Such as:

Say we’re bad or unfriendly drivers.

Because (A) we drive wicked good, and (B) we’re only unfriendly when you drive shitty, so ponder that.

Don’t complain about our roads, either. The one-ways and loop-de-loops date back to colonial times, and the reason our highways can’t resemble California’s is because we have winters and frost heaves. If you roll in here all spaced out and relying on your Australian-voiced GPS, you’re liable to get killed, so you should thank us for swearing at you.

Pretend not to like the word “wicked.”

Elsewhere, people have meaningless slang like “eh” and “hella,” so no one’s gotta single out “wicked.” That’s like going out of your way to visit P-town (Provincetown is at the tip of Cape Cod, if you didn’t know), then whining that it’s too damn gay.

Complain that the weather sucks, that things are boring, and that the people are uptight.
  1. Toughen up.
  2. Bring the party.
  3. Not true.

PS: Go f#$%& yourself.

Comment that “East Coast radio sucks” because you hear 92.5 – The River playing too much Pearl Jam for your taste.

Who’s got a problem with Pearl Jam?

Call this iconic sports and concert venue anything other than what it is.

That’d be The Garden.

Wear Yankees paraphernalia and talk a game you can’t back up.

Take a look around you, bud. You’re in Red Sox nation, not a Jay-Z video.

Become a MLB/NBA/NFL/NHL star, swear allegiance to New England, bring home championships for your team, elevate yourself to god status, then sell out for a few mill more to NY.

We’ll keep your victories, but once you leave Boston for New York, you’re pretty much dead to us in all other respects.

Trundle around Faneuil Hall or Fenway Park in your fanny pack shouting “Pahhhk the cahhh in Hahhhvahhhd Yahhhd.”

First of all, not all of us have that accent. Second, those of us who do don’t sound or look so foolish.

Base your preconceived notions of our state on pop culture references.


  • The Town, in which Blake Lively’s impression of the New England inflection makes her sound more like a transexual Latino.
  • The “my boy’s wicked smaht” and “how do you like them apples” scene out of Good Will Hunting, the main flaw being that nobody at Harvard is as good looking as that uppity douchebag with a golden ponytail.
  • The Social Network, for reasons named immediately above.
  • Jay Leno and his behavior over the past five years.
Show up demanding alcohol on Sunday or a holiday, and upon finding none on sale, whine, “Back in [lesser state], we can get alcohol anywhere, 24/7!”

Since before the witch trials, there’s been no booze sold on the Sabbath or on holidays. We’re not always happy about it, either, but if you haven’t learned the ropes after about four centuries of law and tradition, you’re pretty much hopeless no matter what you drink.

Talk smack about the Kennedys.

The Kennedys are/were saints and public servants, and have sufficiently paid their dues through personal tragedies and public embarrassments. Back off.

Glorify the Kennedys.

They rose to the elite on a foundation of illegal booze sales during Prohibition, and we all know Teddy left a girl in a ditch to drown after he drunk-flipped his car into it. Not to speak ill of the recently departed…

Scorn the Irish for no good reason.

Even the people who aren’t Irish around here are still a little bit Irish, so have some respect and kindness. We’re gonna get raucous and emotional in our pubs, drink our beers, and play our U2 and wear green and be superstitious and have residual Catholic guilt even when atheist and call our homeboys Sully (but only if his last name is actually Sullivan, so don’t be that idiot calling any guy “Sully” out on the streets).

Try to construct some Food Network-fueled argument against either of these two statements.
  1. Boston’s Chinatown has the best Chinese food.
  2. The North End of Boston has the best Italian.
Diss a certain franchise by the name of Dunkin’ Donuts.

Sorry it’s not your Starbucks or gourmet donut joint, but next time you gotta get going at 4 in the morning and keep going ‘til midnight, do you see any other place open? Didn’t think so.

Badmouth any town in the area defined as the North Shore.

Southie goes without saying.

Say the surf is weak.

Short summer waves are apparently nature’s way of keeping barrel-fiending, showboating adrenaline junkies off the Cape when it goes off in winter.

Place a terrorist who bombed the Boston Marathon on the cover of a once-respected rock music magazine that a lot of us were almost beginning to respect as a potential source of decent long-form journalism.

And then get one of our most popular bloggers / journalists to do the ultimate bitchwork of “explaining” these actions with the rationale that the New York Times used the same exact photo on its front page, and that it was therefore totally fine to crop the photo and embed it in the totally different context of mainstreamly alternative pop culture.

Yes, we’re talking about the Tsarnev thing, and no, we’re not beating a dead horse; the horse is alive, and its wounds as fresh as those on the bodies and minds of those who suffered the incident.

But you can bet your ass we’ll stay strong through this and so much other BS.

About The Author

Jia H. Jung

Jia H. Jung is a proud Massachusetts native and Cal Bear (UC Berkeley grad) who has been so lucky as to travel, live, and/or work in South Korea, Canada, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Mexico, France, Italy, Switzerland, the U.K., the Marshall Islands, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Peru, and Sweden. Currently, the majority of her day as a going-on four-year New Yorker is spent working as a comptroller in order to fulfill her basic ambition of self sustenance. She doesn't hate it, either. During the rest of her hours, she gladly loses sleep in order to define (or un-define) herself further as a writer/editor, storyteller, open water swimmer, mountaineer, and traveler, whether in fantasy or reality.

More By This Author

view all →
  • Barry O’Leary

    Piss of a Masshole? I love that title…great post Jia.

  • Some Guy

    Booze is sold on Sundays in MA, when was the last time you were here? Been like this for years. I could do without the pearljam, but other than that you are right on.

  • bigyaz

    Let’s see, you went to college in California traveled and lived in 10 different countries and have lived in New York for the past four years?

    Yeah, you should definitely speak for us. What a phony.

    • Max

      You got a problem with a point she made, or just the fact that she recieved an education?

      • bigyaz

        My problem is with someone who left Massachusetts as soon as she turned 18 — and hasn’t returned — pretending she knows it and can speak for us.

        • Max

          If she’d spent her entire life here, she wouldn’t have anything to compare it to. Ignorance isn’t a credential.

        • Tom

          She’s native to Massachusetts! Any person, like myself, who reads this article and was born and raised in Mass should feel some kind of emotional connection to what she wrote. Putting her down for leaving the state to see and experience the rest of the world is terrible thing to do. It may have only strengthened her love for Mass given what she wrote. Also given her picture, she looks pretty young, who’s to say she won’t return someday? Born a Masshole, always a Masshole.

  • mscate

    ‘then whining that it’s too damn gay’
    -excuse me?

    • gjwhite

      Beyond the natural politically-correct-offense seemingly taken, I beg you to find a day when you won’t find a tourist walking around P-Town who doesn’t comment on how many GBL residents there are. It’s not a critique of their lifestyle, it’s the fact that so many people seem to not realize that people who aren’t hetero are allowed to be out in public. Oh, the humanity

  • YuckBoston

    This makes me hate Boston so much.

  • Ian Formerly of RI

    You forgot to mention calling us out for our unpolitically correct ubiquitous use of “retahded” and “queeuh,” both to indicate stupid.

  • Bob Lowball

    The Garden was torn down years ago. The place you’re referring to will always be the Fleet Center.

    • Itsthegarden

      Call it what you want its still the garden

    • Matt

      Td garden home dog


    How to piss off a Masshole 101: Come to Boston from out of town and say ANYTHING slightly against it. BOOM! OR pronounce it cope-lee square (Copley Square)

  • Lou

    I like it but it’s not The Garden – The Garden was demolished

    • Sean

      it’s named TD garden now bud. has been for years

  • Matt

    All you ppl sayin the gardens demolished yes but it’s not fleet center anymore its td garden

  • Benny

    You can buy booze in Boston on Sunday,,,have been able to for a long time.

It doesn't usually take much to enrage a French person; we are a hot-blooded people.
Don’t call us prudish or standoffish when you clearly suffer from a personality defect.
You might not know this, but we once ruled the world.
Our pride ensures we do NOT tolerate comments like this.
To stay on the sweet side of Scots and avoid a "Glasgow Kiss," heed this advice.
I can tell you exactly what'll make your flight attendant a lot more unpleasant.
For the record, once you’re older than about 8, Disney is something akin to hell.
Toronto: We'll just be over here quietly living longer and being happier, yeah?
Telling a Pearl Jam fan to stop singing is like telling Michael Phelps to stop swimming.
Pardon my Asian, but what’s your fucking point?