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Good news for white folks who want to watch The Wire but are afraid that they might not be able to follow the complex argot of the show's duskier characters: Noted ethnographer Jake Weisberg is here to help.

There is also the challenge of following the localized black dialect that the program tries to represent as faithfully as it does its other details. In the Baltimore ghetto, yo is both a salutation and the third-person singular pronoun; "feel me," means "listen to what I'm telling you"; and the ubiquitous use of bitch has mostly replaced the N-word.

Just to make sure you've fully contextualized that information, Weisberg ends the piece by using one of those difficult phrases in a sentence that also reveals his deep knowledge of the inner city:

This refusal to give up in the face of defeat is the reality of ghetto life as well. Feel me: It's what The Wire is all about.

We feel you, Jake. In fact, it makes us wanna holler.

The Wire on Fire [Slate]