Thursday, February 18, 2010

Spicking Picksburgese

Prior to moving to the Frozen North, I assumed all yankees spoke with the same sharp accent, except of course for New Englanders, who are a group unto themselves, ye-yah.

I was wrong.

We have had the good fortune to sample the unique peculiarities of speech that define central New York and western Pennsylvania.  Let me give you a simple example:

First person plural pronoun:  Texan = y'all, New Yorkan = youse guys,  Pennsylvanian  = y'uns.

The first New Yorkan "youse guys" I ever heard was from the tooth challenged lips of a subway motorman.  My first experience with the Pennsylvanian version was from a waitress in a restaurant.  It took me a little bit to understand what the waitress was talking about.  

Pennsylvania has both Texas and New York beat when it comes to renaming the days of the week:

1.  Stillerday -- any day the Picksburg Stillers are playing football.  This day is distinguished from the others by the wearing of special clothing with numbers and names of Hawaiian people on the back and the menacing waving of yellow and black bath towels.

2.  Walmartday -- also accompanied by ceremonial garb, usually involving sweatpants.

3.   Roadconstructionday -- can be up to 3 months long in the summer--and you thought Alaska had the longest days!

4.   Turkeyday (not to be confused with Turkey Day in November or Turkey season in the fall).



5.  Deerday


6.  Snowday -- which has seemed to come around in rapid succession this winter. Snowdays dictate a two hour delay to the start of school or, on rare occasions, actual school and business closings.


under the limit
(road in front of Iron Acres one recent snowday)

7.  Hoe-icicleday.  Hoe-icicleday is extremely important if you own a business and have minimal liability coverage.  Temperature fluctuations can create some incredibly long and jagged spears on roof edges, the stuff of Stephen King's dreams.


Down the road a little way from our neck of western Pennsylvania is the metropolis of Picksburg.  Picksburg has a vocabulary all its own.

For example:  I went donton (downtown) tuh (to) watch thuh (the) Stillers (Steelers) game.
or -- I wuz (was) expectin' (expecting) company so I went don cellur (down into the basement) to red up (make the basement ready) thuh (the) place.

I could go on, but I think you get the pitcher.