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308 voters

Slang You Would Need To Survive Among The Gangs Of New York City

Updated May 8, 2019 1.6k votes 308 voters 19.9k views27 items

List RulesEx-NYC gang members, NYC law enforcement, and Martin Scorsese only: Vote up the terms you've actually used or heard used on the street.

Belonging to a New York City gang is no joke. Membership requires a fierce initiation and repeated proof that you can live by their rules. To be in one of the many NYC gangs, members also must wear the proper colors, learn hand signs, and even speak the right gang slang.

Some terms used by NYC gangs are proprietary, others are more universally applied. Either way, members of the Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings, and numerous other groups use NYC gang code words on a daily basis.  

Former members, law enforcement officials, and other experts have documented some of the language used by NYC street crews; however, even if you've never been involved in NYC's turf conflicts, you may have heard some of these phrases without even knowing their meaning. Any of this gang slang look familiar?

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    Xap Sam

    Definition: Xap sam is a poker game enjoyed by Chinese gangsters. The game is often played in the backrooms of gang-controlled businesses.

    Sentence: They played xap sam at the massage parlor until 3 a.m. 

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    Drinking Milk

    Definition: Drinking milk refers to the ongoing process by which Crips prove themselves - generally by eliminating Bloods or other rival members.

    Sentence: After initiation, Crips have to keep drinking milk to maintain credibility.