Were New Yorkers Always Seen as Fast-Talking and Rude?

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Q. Is it true that New Yorkers were considered fast-talking and rude as far back as the 1700s?

A. “Of course it’s true!” said Michael Miscione, Manhattan’s borough historian.

“My favorite quote on the topic comes from that somewhat fussy Massachusetts statesman — and eventual president of the United States — John Adams,” Mr. Miscione said by e-mail. He referred to Adams’s entry in his diary for Tuesday, Aug. 23, 1774, not long before the Revolution:

“With all the opulence and splendor of this city, there is very little good breeding to be found. We have been treated with an assiduous respect but I have not seen one real gentleman, one well-bred man, since I came to town. At their entertainments there is no conversation that is agreeable; there is no modesty, no attention to one another. They talk very loud, very fast and altogether. If they ask you a question, before you can utter three words of your answer they will break out upon you again and talk away.”...

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