Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pennsylvania dialect.. or poor grammar? You decide

Okay, so today I came across a post on Facebook on a Catholic homeschooling blog. It was of course one I had to join in.  The question of the post was .... "  Question time! Consider this an opportunity to vent. Whether you have lived in an area all your life, are new to an area or are still seething from an area you once lived, we ALL know colloquialisms in use in particular areas that drive us insane (grammatically speaking). What bothers ME the most locally is the use of the word "left" in place of the word "let" as in, "She left it go." What is yours? Go!!"

Of course I had to jump in on that because , face it, people from Pennsylvania have a talk all of their own.  No where else can you go and hear the words yins, yinz, youns and you'uns. No where, because  from Pittsburgh up to the Northwest we speak Pittsburghese, or otherwise known as " Steeler Talk".   Though the dialect isn't as strong here as it is in Pittsburgh .It has somehow managed   to travel up our way.

  The Urban Dictionary defines Pittsburgese as :
The Pittsburgh English dialect, or "Pittsburghese," derives from influences from the Scotch-Irish, German, Central European and Eastern European immigrants. The dialect is somewhat similar in tone to other nearby regional dialects (ie, Philadelphia, Baltimore), but is noted for its somewhat staccato rhythms (a result of the Eastern European influence). The lexicon itself contains notable cognates borrowing from Croatian and other Slavic and European languages. Examples include babushka, pierogi, and halushky.
Emblematic of Pittsburghese is "yinz" as the plural of "you", with "yunz" as a variant. Locals who speak the Pittsburgh dialect are often referred to as "yinzers".

Speakers of the dialect also often compress the pronunciation of words and phrases. For example, "up there" becomes "up er." Speakers also often end a sentence with "and that", pronounced as, "n'at." For example, a local "yinzer" might say, "We went dahntahn to go get some beer n'at."

 Though we are not total yinzers we do use many of the words ,and little did we realize until today how many we do use in our daily language. Words that no one else really uses or very few ever do if you move outside of Pennsylvania. 

So let me know hit you in the head with some ( not all mind you) of the Pittsburghese we speak here.    I know my daughters got a kick out of hearing what I wrote (before I typed it on the blog here) and realized that we actually talk this way.  Here goes :

 We drink pop (soda). I didn't realize that was different until we were in Cincinnati , Ohio.  When I asked my daughter if she wanted some pop , someone said " I love it when I hear that."
  My girls own doll babies ( baby dolls ) that they love to walk around with in their buggies ( baby carriages) , we have dunky eggs( eggs over easy) in the morning , We love kelbassi , ( you'd better love kelbassa if your Polish like we are) with pierogi ( a large noodle stuffed with potato filling)  , and dippy( anything you can dip into) sauce to go along with it . Hoagies ( submarine subs) are a must in the summer time when its so muggy outside. Also nothing better than city chicken ( pork on a skewer and fried) when your funds are low . If you go on picnics don't forget the chipped chopped ham ( thin slices of ham). If its cold outside then don't forget to wear your babushka ( head scarf). If you decide to travel to the 'Burgh' ( Pittsburgh) you may encounter yous, yins, yinz , youns , you'uns ( which really can mean a whole lot of things) . When you get back from your trip and get home you may want to wash your car so you need to turn on the spicket ( outside faucet to the hose) and then go inside and yinz better redd up ( clean up) the room. If you send your child out to school , you are sending them to the el-e-men-tar-y  ( elementary)school. Which that is more of a dialect in our area rather than Pittsburgese.  We also worsh (wash) our clothes, and hopefully you get along with your neighbor because if he's not so nice he just maybe a jagg off.

 We are very guilty of using, whenever to much in our sentences 

 My sister, whenever she gets here, will come over soon.

And we use, anymore, way more than whenever. 
 It seems like I don't understand her anymore.
"I don't get my neighbor, to much , anymore.

 We're also guilty of taking the the g's off of INGs in our area. 
Ex: Talkin, Jumpin, Walkin .

 We have a tendency to forget to add the words such as , to be, and just use :  need , want and like ,
 The car needs washed,
The cat wants petted, babies liked cuddled" , yeah and we're also guilty of " the room needs vacuumed.

We also have different intonations to vowel sounds too. Its no wonder we all learn to read and speak up here. Of course you might not hear some of the other words used in Pittsburgese here like jimmies , gumband, jumbo and the other ( check this website out for more: So as you can see. After typing this all out , honestly we Pennsylvanians have a funny way of talking. 

If you want to know what word drives me totally nuts that people say? Ax, like in for instance " Can I ax (ask) you something?"   Drives me batty.. 
So what are some words that drive you batty or are part of your everyday speaking in your area?

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