Joe.My.God posted a VIDEO this week about the different accents of NYC's five boroughs. This reminded me of the accent I grew up with - which language scholars call "Pennsylvania German English" or the "Susquehanna Dialect". It is represented by the small #12 on the map of U.S. dialects (above).
When I went to college, many of my friends thought I had a Southern accent. Personally, I could tell the difference between a Pittsburgh accent and a Philadelphia accent, but I didn't think us country folks from South Central PA even HAD an accent...
But when I moved to New York City and started visiting PA less often, I recognized how different we sounded. Our dialect is influenced by both the Western PA/Pittsburgh and the Philadelphia accents - but more importantly our speech patterns have been influenced by the Germans who settled in Pennsylvania. These people are commonly referred to as the "Pennsylvania Dutch"...
Here are some examples of the weird things we say in Central Pennsylvania ...
Red up - to straighten up, (I red up the house yesterday.)
Macadam - asphalt, (Jason scraped his knee on the macadam.).
Dippy eggs - fried eggs/eggs over-easy. The runny egg yolk is referred to as the "dippy".
..awhile - "in the meantime" - used at the end of a sentence, (Can I get you a glass of tea, awhile?)
Outen the lights - turning the lights off, (You need to outen the lights, John.)
It's all - it is all gone, (The pie is all.)
...yet - still, (The pie is all, but there's cake yet)
Slippy - slippery, (The snow on the road makes it really slippy.)
Now that I've lived in NYC for over 15 years, I can hear myself adopting more of a Noo Yawk accent. It is especially noticeable, for some reason, when I say the words "hot dog" or "coffee". Fuggedaboutit.
What kind of funny things do people say where YOU live or grew up? Go ahead, leave a comment awhile...