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Pittsburghese – Become a Yinzer

 

When you visit Pittsburgh, you may hear some people speak a strange language called Pittsburghese.  Pittsburghese is a unique blend of words, grammar and intonations borrowed from languages of the many immigrant nationalities that have settled here over time.  Pittsburghese is quite complex – and people speaking Pittsburghese are often called Yinzers.  So, here, I have only listed some words and phrases you may hear.  Click on the picture below or here to get to a website that can teach you all about the language.

 

Here are some examples:

  • ahr = hour
  • aht = out
  • bawdle = bottle
  • blinkers = turn signal
  • buggy = shopping cart
  • chipped-chopped ham = very thinly sliced ham made from pieces, trimmings, and spices (see here for #7 in Pittsburgh Food)
  • cole = cold
  • court = quart
  • crik = creek
  • dahntahn = downtown, the Golden Triangle
  • fahrworks = fireworks
  • forgetting “to be” as in “this car needs cleaned”
  • gumband = rubber band
  • haht = hot
  • haus = the house you live in
  • hoagie = big sandwich
  • icebox = refrigerator
  • jagoff = jerk
  • jeet jet = Did you eat yet?
  • jumbo = bologna lunch meat
  • lunch-head = idiot
  • n’at = “and that” meaning “et cetera” or “whatever”
  • naht = not
  • nebby = nosy
  • Pixburgh = Pittsburgh
  • pop = soft drink
  • raht = route
  • redd up = clean, tidy up
  • ruff = roof
  • sammitch = sandwich
  • slippy = slippery
  • soap powder = laundry detergent
  • spicket = spigot
  • Stillers = Steelers
  • sweeper = vacuum
  • wills = wheels
  • winner = winter
  • yinz = you all

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Drawing of "Pittsburgh - hell with the lid taken off."

Source: “Pittsburghese”; digital artwork by Ron Magnes

 

 

The following names are not Pittsburghese, but you can feel like a pro when you pronounce them correctly:

Allegheny – alle-ghe-ni (/ˌæləˈɡeɪni/)

Duquesne – doo-cane (/duːˈkeɪn/)

Monongahela – mo-nongaheela (/mə-NONG-gə-HEE-lə, /)

Zelienople – zi-li-anoupel (/ˌziːliəˈnoʊpəl/)

Pin these for later:

Pittsburgh Travel Guide showing the Point State Park Fountain
Pittsburgh Travel Guide showing the Roberto Clemente Bridge over the Allegheny River
Pittsburgh Travel Guide showing an aerial view of the Golden Triangle
Pittsburgh Travel Guide showing Randyland

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