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Talking Pennsylvanian

For those who think we Pennsylvanians 'talk funny' or use 'big words', here's why ...

Once a Pennsylvanian, ALWAYS a Pennsylvanian!I remember when I first left Coaldale and relocated in Pottstown. People would always tell me I had a "coal region" accent. It drove me crazy. I didn't think I had an accent. I thought everyone else who wasn't from the coal regions had an accent.For instanceWe call it lunch meat, used as a noun. Almost everywhere else it's called "cold cuts".More about Pennsylvanians and coal region people in particular: You've never referred to Philadelphia asanything but 'Philly' and New Jersey has always been ' Jersey .'We don't go to the beach we go 'down the shore.'You refer to Pennsylvania as 'PA' (pronounced Pee-Ay).How many other states do that?'You guys' (or even 'youze guys', in some places) is a perfectlyacceptable referenceto a group of men and women.You know how to respond to the question 'Djeetyet?'(Did you eat yet?)You know that the Iggles play football and so do the Stillers.You learned to pronounce Bryn Mawr, Wilkes-Barre, Schuylkill, thePoconos, Tamaqua,Kutztown, Tunkahannock, Bala Cynwyd, Kishacoquillas,Duquesne and Monongahela, also Conshohocken.And we know Lancaster is pronounced Lank-ister, notLan-kaster.Youknow what a 'Mummer' is, and are disappointed if you can't catch at least highlights of theparade.Atleast 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.Wordslike 'hoagie,' 'crick,' 'chipped ham,' 'dippy eggs', 'sticky buns,' 'shoo-fly pie,' 'lemon sponge pie', 'pierogies' and 'pocketbook' actually mean something to you. (By the way, that last one's PA slang for a purse!)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 you know that you also can't get a really good one anywhere outside of the Philly area. (Except maybein Atlantic City on the boardwalk.)You proudly tell people you live near the nation's oldest brewery (Yuengling in Pottsville) and that it's more than 180 years old. How do you know? You read the label while you were drinking one.You know that Blue Ball, Intercourse, Paradise, Climax, Bird-in-Hand, Beaver, Moon, Virginville, Mars, Bethlehem, Hershey, Indiana, Sinking Spring, Jersey Shore, State College, Washington Crossing, Jim Thorpe, King of Prussia, Wind Gap, and Slippery Rock are all PA towns ... and the first three were consecutive stops on the old Reading RR! (PS That's pronounced Redd-ing.)You can identify drivers from New York, New Jersey, Maryland or other neighboring states by their unique and irritating driving habits.A traffic jam in Lancaster County is 10 cars waiting to pass a horse-drawn carriage on the highway. (And remember ... that's Lank-ister!)You know several people who have hit deer more than once.Driving is always better in winter because the potholes are filled with snow.As a kid you built snow forts and leaf piles that were taller than you were.You know beer doesn't grow in a garden, but you know where to find a beer garden.You actually understand all this. If that's the case, that means you grew up not far from where you're reading this.