City Dictionary - The Dictionary with Local Flavor
Search In: Boston Entire Site


Add to Favorites
Add Website
Word Categories: Words & Expressions, Food & Drink
Related Words: (Add)
8 Definitions
  1. I remember an Italian variety store and sandwich shop next to the Green Shoe factory. The workers used to come over, point out a small to medium loaf of Italian bread and then ask for ham and cheese, Italian or American, and then the maker would ask the customer, "How much?" and the customer would say, 50 cents, or 75 cents or even a dollar (This was 1950 or so) and that would determine how much meat and cheese or other cold cuts were put in the sandwich. We never called submarine spuckies unless they were made this way. That was in Roxbury, MA. I don't know how long ago
    this thing of ours was going on before that but it was not long after that that "submarine" replaced spuckie. By that time, you got what they gave you in sub shops because that was the beginning of the end for owner operated sub shops and the industry came out with a standard. But spuckie will always mean an Italian sandwich made to order to me. That was really having it your way.
    Now, can anyone tell me where the word "hoobie" to describe a certain size of rock you threw at someone came from? Posted by: Anonymous on Nov 01, 2009 (1) (0)
  2. A spuckie is a word used to describe a submarine (sub) sandwich. It comes from the Italian word "spucadella" which is an italian sandwich roll. It most likely came from the Italians in the North End and elsewhere, but most definitely did NOT come out of Southie! When we were growing up in Revere (1950s), my Aunt Theresa always used to ask us to pick her up a spuckie if we were coming over to visit. Posted by: Anonymous on May 24, 2009 (2) (1)
  3. Growing up in Southie and Dorchester as a kid in the 1960s a spucky was a meatball sub, usually with pickles and tomatoes (most other places served meatball subs only with cheese and sauce). When I started working at the Boston post office circa 1980 I found that people from the Malden/Revere/Everett area also used the term, although it was definitely dying out. My recollection is quite clear on this because my family, despite having moved to the South Shore in 1966, still used the term into the 1990s. Posted by: Anonymous on Aug 20, 2016 (0) (0)
  4. Ok so the word spuckie came from a Italian guy who lived in Southie and had family in Roxbury, Everett, Revere, Malden , and the West End and now lives on down the cape. Posted by: mlong2752 on Sep 06, 2013 (0) (0)
  5. My dad used to talk of Spukies in Everett / Malden when I was a kid. 1950s. You can get them now in Falmouth and other places if you go to the real "italian" stores. A great little bit of real Boston / Eastern MA history and real tasty too. Posted by: Anonymous on Jun 06, 2012 (0) (0)
  6. The Italian Dictionary doesn't list spacato or the verb spacare, from which it presumably was taken (spacato sounds to me very much like a past participle).

    However, it does list spaccare and its past participle spaccato, which is translated as "to break into pieces, i.e. to smash" and "broken or smashed," respectively. It seems likely that the use of spacato to mean split was either in the context of one of the dozens of Italian dialects in Italian-American neighborhoods around Boston or was improperly used.

    JP Caruso, PhD, Italian Chef of Repute, Biomedical Scientist Posted by: Anonymous on Dec 03, 2010 (0) (0)
  7. A spuckie is a sub (sandwich).
    The word comes from Southie.
    (South Boston) Posted by: QQgreenIZ on Dec 20, 2008 (1) (2)
  8. Actually, if you all must know the truth, spuckie comes from the Italian word meaning split, spacato...not sure if that's how you spell it. In the old days, these sub rolls had a slash or split down the middle. I lived in the West End of Boston and that's what we called them. Posted by: Anonymous on Aug 13, 2009 (0) (2)
Add Photo

What makes a good definition?

  • Share your valuable knowledge and experience. We want you to add definitions that add local flavor to your city's dictionary. Feel free to define the term by adding your personal perspective and opinion.
  • Be courteous. Please be respectful in your definitions.
  • Be clear. It’s so important that visitors know exactly what you mean, in your definitions please use clear, descriptive language.

The following is NOT allowed:

  • Hate speech. Please refrain from using hateful language that will offend fellow citizens.
  • Insults and obscenities. When you add a definition, you are posting to the public domain. Avoid insulting fellow citizens, especially with vulgar language or sexually explicit references.
  • Factual inaccuracies. Please make sure that information in your entries is accurate.
  • Violation of law. Do not violate any city, state, or federal law. Do not post copyrighted material. Do not threaten other citizens or invade their privacy in any way.
Boston Tagline
"Beantown 617" Edit | History