I'm sure you're all wondering what the heck the word "wicked" means. You've probably been somewhere on vacation or near someone at some point where you overheard them say "wicked" during a conversation. If you're lucky enough, you might've heard a northern accent to compliment the use of the word, and before you know it, you whip your head around to find the person who said it.
As a New Englander, I am guilty of having this slang term engrained in my vocabulary. It's second nature. I say it without even realizing it. I am constantly surrounded by "wicked." I hear it on a daily basis. It's wicked cold outside. I have a wicked headache. She's wicked smart. This pizza is wicked good. You name it.
Growing up in my New England bubble, I never realized that this term is foreign to people outside of New England. It wasn't until the summer after 8th grade at camp when I said something about it being wicked hot outside to one of my friends who was from New York. She interrupted me and asked me to repeat what I had just said because she had never heard someone use the word "wicked" before.
I was shocked to find out that people didn't know of this word.
So, let's get down to the meaning of "wicked." The term has evolved over the years and is most commonly used by people from Boston, like myself, who use it to describe or emphasize anything and everything. It's used in place of words like "really," "very," or "extremely" for extra emphasis. It's used to show aggravation, frustration, how great something, exaggerate a point, describe the weather, and a person. The most common phrases you'll hear the word "wicked" in include:
This is the term most tourists become exposed to when they come to Boston for the first time. Every T-shirt that you'll see at pushcarts outside of touristy places has this phrase printed in big letters on it. Personally, I've never heard anyone say "wicked pissah" and I wasn't totally sure what it meant until my friend from Virginia came to visit me last summer and asked me. It's basically just another way of saying something is "really awesome."
"It's wicked hot/cold"
I'm a big advocator for this one. This phrase is one that comes up in everyday conversation. Being from New England, I'm used to cold winters, but when it gets really cold… like 10 degrees below zero and you can't walk outside without your wet hair or snot in your nose freezing, that's when you say "man, it's wicked cold outside today!"
Or, on the contrary, sometimes we get a few days in a row of 90 degrees heat in the summer, which is not very common up in New England. If you're not used to this type of drastic change in weather when you're used to it being cooler, you'll hear people say, "It's wicked hot, I need some Dunkies to cool down" (referring to Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee).
If you know anyone who goes to an Ivy League or top school, odds are they're top of their class and are ridiculously smart. With Harvard, MIT, Yale, Tufts, Dartmouth, and Brown just around the corner, New Englanders would say that students at these schools are "wicked smart."
With this bit of wicked good information and examples of when to use "wicked" in everyday conversation, you'll soon have the term engrained in your brain too!