Hoboken No Jokin`

8/17/2010:

Hoboken no Jokin’: phrase from an average movie

but has a longer history in Hoboken…

Many of you may have heard the phrase “Hoboken, No Jokin'” a bit more frequently as of late. Not sure where you’d hear it more – on the streets of Hoboken, or on the web, in social networks like Twitter or Facebook.

But you might want to know where this phrase comes from, right?

Well – you’re hearing it now more – especially if you were one of the people that saw Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. The 2008 movie, which starred Michael Cera and Kat Dennings – was targeted at a younger audience (one of those “high school” flicks). One scene in the beginning of the movie – where the lead characters Nick and Norah are getting to know each other and where they live in New Jersey – Nick confirms with Norah that she’s from “Englewood, up to no good,” and when he proclaims he’s from Hoboken, Norah responds “Hoboken, no jokin! Whaaaaa?”

However, this phrase “Hoboken, no jokin'” was actually used in the late 70’s, early 80’s – back when artists started flocking to the Mile Square (and not being threatened or kicked out).

One such artist was Paul Divone – who was known for his painted plywood sculptures that were attached high on telephone poles throughout town (see picture).

One such sign on the corner of Washington and Observer Highway had a few “bohemian” looking characters on them – and a speech bubble that said “Welcome to Hoboken, no jokin’.”

That sign along with most others have disintegrated and rotted away. You may still see remnants around if you look hard enough.

Anyway – here’s that scene from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist:

PS – if you’re wondering why that couple is in his car making out – it’s because he has a yellow Yugo, and everyone on the streets of NYC thought he was a cabbie…

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8 Comments on "Hoboken No Jokin`"

NotBornButRaised
Member
NotBornButRaised

I’ve lived in Hoboken for 25 of my 29 years. I was too young to appreciate the artistic side of Hoboken in the 80’s. The only thing I can really remember is a cool mural next to the old Shop Rite. But I’m not sure if that was done by an artist or a business.

Stevens also had a starring role in an episode of New York Undercover, a cop show on FOX in the mid-90’s. But I think it was billed as another school there as well.

Perhaps I fall into the age group of too young to remember Mr. Divone’s awesome sign and too old to be in this movie’s target audience, but I have never actually heard this phrase used in person. Is it really that popular? Have I been living in a shell?

Now if a character in a movie that claims to be from Hoboken says, “Smarten up, cump!”, I will be thoroughly impressed.

Litteredboken
Member
Litteredboken

What’s a “cump”? [quote comment=”196225″]I’ve lived in Hoboken for 25 of my 29 years. I was too young to appreciate the artistic side of Hoboken in the 80’s. The only thing I can really remember is a cool mural next to the old Shop Rite. But I’m not sure if that was done by an artist or a business.Stevens also had a starring role in an episode of New York Undercover, a cop show on FOX in the mid-90’s. But I think it was billed as another school there as well.Perhaps I fall into the age group of too young to remember Mr. Divone’s awesome sign and too old to be in this movie’s target audience, but I have never actually heard this phrase used in person. Is it really that popular? Have I been living in a shell?Now if a character in a movie that claims to be from Hoboken says, “Smarten up, cump!”, I will be thoroughly impressed.[/quote]

escaped68
Member

Its COMP,I have no idea how or when it evolved to cump. As far a I know it is short for compadre.[quote comment=”196231″]What’s a “cump”?

[/quote]

NotBornButRaised
Member
NotBornButRaised

It basically means friend, pal, dude, bro, etc. It’s usually only used when talking to someone directly and can also be used as cumpy. Correct: What’s up, cump? Incorrect: He is my cump. As far as I know, it is unique to Hoboken. Not sure of the origins, but I always thought it was short for compadre or compatriot, and spelled phonetically. If you’re a fan of Lost, think of Hurley and how he uses “dude”. That’s similar to how Hoboken people use cump or cumpy.[quote comment=”196231″]What’s a “cump”?

[/quote]

homeworld
Member

Even though he lives in Hoboken in that movie, wherever they shot it was really somewhere in suburbia.

Meanwhile in The Professional (Leon), the all-girls Spencer school is really Stevens Institute of Technology, which Natalie Portman’s character somehow takes the Roosevelt Island tram to get to.

Moving2TheBoken
Member
Moving2TheBoken

Yeah, the house they use for his house looks like something out of suburbia. Definitely not Hoboken (too much room between the houses).[quote comment=”196209″]Even though he lives in Hoboken in that movie, wherever they shot it was really somewhere in suburbia. Meanwhile in The Professional (Leon), the all-girls Spencer school is really Stevens Institute of Technology, which Natalie Portman’s character somehow takes the Roosevelt Island tram to get to.[/quote]

john14
Member
john14

Blast from the past for sure. Those 20-somethings probably don’t understand the artistic history of Hoboken. They just care about dollar drafts at Green Rock.

Litteredboken
Member
Litteredboken

A great idea would be a presentation of the artistic history of Hoboken along WITH dollar drafts. Awesome post, and makes me look forward to the next open house at the Monroe Arts Center.[quote comment=”196202″]Blast from the past for sure. Those 20-somethings probably don’t understand the artistic history of Hoboken. They just care about dollar drafts at Green Rock.[/quote]

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