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Western Pennsylvania Lingo, Dialect, and Accent

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Richland123, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    I was reading the Great Britain vs. United States language thread and thought I would forewarn anybody coming to western Pennsylvania for a gig or to visit as to the unique lingo, dialect, and accent they may encounter.

    Western Pennsylvania has a distinct dialect, sayings, lingo, and accent if you ever come here. People also love to run words together and shorten words to make new words. Here are just a few.

    Slippy - slippery
    Dupa - Butt
    Rift - Burp or Belch
    "See how you are?" - Telling somebody that they know they act a certain way or always do something.
    Crick - creek or stream
    Red up - to clean up or straighten up a room, table, etc.
    Jagger bush or Jaggerz - any type of bush with thorns
    "He ain't got all his commies" - He does not have much common sense or he is not very smart.
    "He ain't wrapped too tight" - He is crazy, he is short tempered, or he is not smart.
    "He is beside himself" - He is upset or stressed out. I always found this one to be funny. How can you physically be beside yourself?
    "He is not all there", or "He is not all together there" - He is crazy
    "Up the house" - At home. No matter where your house is located from where you are, it is always "up the house"
    "Whole nother" - Whole other as in "I got a whole nother one of dos up the house."
    Ahia or Ohia - Ohio
    Warshed, Wershed. Warsh, or Wersh - Washed or Wash
    Bethlum - Bethlehem
    Gumbands - Rubber bands
    Arn - Iron
    Quit jaggin around - quit fooling around
    Jaggoff - a goof off, a fool, a stupid person
    Yous guys, Youns, Younz, or Yins - All of you
    Hoagies - Submarine sandwiches
    Sammich - Sandwich
    Melk or malk - Milk
    Still mill - Steel mill
    Stillers - Steelers
    Picksburgh - Pittsburgh
    Dahntahn - Downtown
    Wit you - With you
    An nat - and that " we were goin' dahntahn an nat"
    Iggle - Eagle
    Ize - I was
    Dekkacards - Deck of cards
    Pensivanya = Pennsylvania
    Chipped ham - Sliced ham luncheon meat
    Ascared - Afraid
    Hisself - Himself
    Theirselves - Themselves
    Nebby or Nibby - nosey, wanting to know other people's business, a gossip person
    No use of "to be" - My car needs fixed at the garage.
    He drives truck - he is a truck driver
    Chit chat - talk to somebody
    Shoot the breeze - talk to somebody
    Upere - Up there
    Ligat or Likat - Like that
    Spicket - Spiggot
    Where yeatin - Where are you eating
    Goin' on the hill - going to the top of any mountain
    Gob - A snack cake with two round chocolate cakes with icing in the middle
    Choklit or Choglit - Chocolate
    "Rad" iator with a short "a" - Radiator with a long "a"
    Likis of Ligis - Like this
    Vetran - Veteran
    Vetrinarian - Veterinarian
    Intrest - Interest
    Cabnet - Cabinet
    Compny - Company
    Famly - Family
    Restrant - Restaurant
    Where you at - Where are you?
    Hot water heater - Hot water tank (why would you want to heat hot water?)
    Dint - Didn’t
    Wount - Wouldn’t
    Coulnt - Couldn’t
    Shoulnt -Shouldn’t
    Arnt - Aren’t
    Pitnic - Picnic
    Greazy - Greasy
    Punkin - Pumpkin
    Birfday - Birthday
    Winda - Window
    Pilla or Pella - Pillow
    Tomata - Tomato
    Potata - Potato
    People rarely uses the word "any". They use the double negatives for everything. "I don't have no (whatever it is they talking about)" "It won't do no good"
    Fil-em - Film
    Camras - Camera
    Icening - Frosting, Icing on a Cake
    Tagger - Tiger
    Meer or meera - mirror
    Ek-speshully - especially
    Trick - a work shift
    Turn - a work shift (he worked night turn)
    Exscape - Escape
    Thirpy - Therapy
    Takdat or Takat - Take That
    Vanalla - Vanilla
    Prostrate - Prostate
    Wound up - Ended up
    Wind up - End up
    Ornge - orange
    Turned Around - "I gave him some tomatoes from my garden, and he turned around and gave them to the neighbor!"
    Turn Around - "every time you turn around, something else goes wrong."
    Reglur - Regular
    Innerduce - Introduce
    Nother - Other
    Whicha - With you
    Didcha - Did you?
    Corter - Quarter
    Acourt - A quart
    Dem - Them
    Dos - Those
    Behint - Behind
    Hunnert - Hundred
    Woulda - Would have or would've
    Coulda - Could have or could've
    Shoulda - Should have or should've
    Didja - Did you
    Wouldja - Would you
    Couldja - Could you
    Shouldja - Should you
  2. WayneS


    Apr 9, 2007
    Sounds like typical American slang to me.
  3. Sounds more like the slang they use around Johnstown, PA. The rest of the state isn't that bad, unless you're really out there in the boonies.
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    All but about a dozen of those could just as easily be from the South or upper Midwest, just with different accents.
  5. Evolver


    Feb 13, 2007
    North Central PA
    Go Stillers!;)
  6. Rick Nicak

    Rick Nicak

    Dec 18, 2009
    Cincinnati OH
    I just moved away from Picksburgh (very happy about that). Yinzer's, anat, and the shortened names of the rivers are really the only local words that can really throw an out of towner off.
  7. shackled


    Jun 25, 2009
    Western NY
    It's the accent more than the actual words... lol.
    My dad's whole family is down there.
  8. WookieeForLife


    Sep 30, 2008
    Scranton/ Wilkesbarre is bad too.
  9. Meyatch

    Meyatch Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    I think most of that is pretty typical rural slang. I thought "warshed" was pretty local to near me though. People also go change the "earl" in their cars.

    Around here people say "ignert", supposed to be "ignorant" only they use it as a synonym for "rude" Never made sense to me, and believe me, the irony is lost on the people that use it....
  10. Stingray19


    Oct 23, 2009
    I live in the West Middlesex/Hermitage/Sharon area, and yes, I agree with this post.
  11. santucci218


    Jan 26, 2007
    i live in pittsburgh, and half of these are a farce.
  12. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    Move to my area half way between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg and you will hear these things everywhere you go.

    By the way, they use the word ignernt here too to mean rude.
  13. vinny


    Apr 3, 2006
    Las Vegas, NV.
    I grew up in Lebanon...Now that's something you ought'ta hear. About half'a those apply & then some.

    Vell nah ken ah get a dutchie, amen?
  14. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    Now THIS is an epic thread, seeing I can relate with all those. :D
  15. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Well, I grew up in Johnstown. And while the O/P clearly invested a lot of time in compiling the list, I don't see a whole lot of them that are accurate. I'll give you "yuns", "crick", "gum bands", "gob", and maybe a few more. But most of them sound like something that any person who is basically illiterate would say - regardless of geographic location.
  16. Mad Russian

    Mad Russian

    Aug 25, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    Funny - My wife is from there. I grew up just south of Pittsburgh. It not really the words, but just how people say them. Any time I talk to someone I can pick the dialect up really quick and identify they are from Western PA.
  17. Like people are saying, it's the accent as much as the colloquialisms. Like this:

    < grew up in Canonsburg.
  18. JimB52

    JimB52 User Supporting Member

    May 24, 2007
    East Coast
    A friend from the Reading area will occasionally say 'outen the light' when he wants you to turn off the overhead light fixture.
    Some of my older Quaker friends (Friends who are Friends) still say Thee and Thou. They also refer to the days of the week as First day, Second day, etc. and the months as First Month and so on.
  19. i'm from louisiana and a lot of these are used down there as well, although i'm sure the dialect is different. the southern LA accent is very distinctive.
  20. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    Awesome! I grew up in York, over closer to PennDutch country so we've got more of those sayings.

    just remember to outen the lights before you outen the house!