A Language All Our Own

First this morning, everyone could tell I was already in the weekend mode. Take a look at the cufflinks I was wearing:

Yes, that is martini glass ( with an olive inside ) and a martini shaker. Amazing what you can find on sale at Macy’s.

Now onto today’s entry and for a state that seems to be part of middle America, we are really a very different and unique place. I was reminded of that by Tina, a reader of my blog who sent me a story about our special way of speaking entitled: “Talking Pennsylvanian”. I don’t know who originally wrote it, but I’m sure you will agree when you read on that it hits home:

Talking Pennsylvanian:

 You’ve never referred to Philadelphia as anything but ‘Philly’ and New Jersey has always been ‘ Jersey ‘

You refer to Pennsylvania as ‘PA’ (pronounced Pee-ay). How many other states do that?

‘You guys’ is a perfectly acceptable reference to a group of men and women

You know how to respond to the question ‘Djeetyet?’ (Did you eat yet?)

You learned to pronounce Bryn Mawr, Wilkes-Barre , Schuylkill, the Pocono’s, Tamaqua, Tunkannock, Bala Cynwyd, Duquesne and Monongahela.

And we know Lancaster is pronounced Lank aster, not Lan kaster.

You know what ‘Punxsutawney Phil’ is, and what it means if he sees his shadow.

At least five people on your block have electric ‘candles’ in all or most of their windows all year long.

You know what a ‘State Store’ is, and your out-of-state friends find it incredulous that you can’t purchase liquor at the mini-mart.

Words like ‘hoagie,’ ‘crick,’ ‘chipped ham,’ ‘dippy eggs’, ‘sticky buns’, ‘shoo-fly pie,’ ‘lemon sponge pie’, ‘pierogies’ and ‘pocketbook’ actually mean something to you. Pocketbook is PA slang for purse!

You can eat cold pizza (even for breakfast) and know others who do the same. Those from NY find this ‘barbaric.’

You not only have heard of Birch Beer, but you know it comes in several colors.

You know the difference between a cheese steak and a pizza steak sandwich, and know that you can’t get a really good one outside PA, except Atlantic City on the boardwalk.

You live for summer, when street and county fairs signal the beginning of funnel cake season.

You know what a township, borough, and commonwealth is.

Driving is always better in winter because the potholes are filled with snow.

You know beer doesn’t grow in a garden but you know where to find a beer garden.

That’s Talking Pennsylvanian.

Quite the list.

More than once during this political campaign our state has been referred to as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with “Alabama: in the middle. The truth is that while this state is wide and diverse … and very big .. it shares one common trait: it’s language. Strange, sometimes hard to understand and definitely unique. It’s singularily Pennsylvania … and we are proud of it … n’ at!

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