20 votes

Pittsburgh smokers more inclined to say jagoff than yinz

17 comments

  1. [17]
    first-must-burn
    Link
    Got a laugh out of this one. As a transplant to Pittsburgh, I do not have this particular vernacular, but it has grown charming to me over the years, as has the city and its people. Other than an...

    Got a laugh out of this one. As a transplant to Pittsburgh, I do not have this particular vernacular, but it has grown charming to me over the years, as has the city and its people. Other than an abiding dislike of the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens (because they used to be the Browns), people are very kind.

    What are the unique things about the place you live? What is something weird about a place you moved to that you learned after you moved there?

    10 votes
    1. [8]
      ADwS
      Link Parent
      Kind of a reverse to your question, I used to use the word “cuss” instead of curse. I then moved out of a small town a couple of hours west of Philadelphia, and learned that it is not as common of...

      Kind of a reverse to your question, I used to use the word “cuss” instead of curse. I then moved out of a small town a couple of hours west of Philadelphia, and learned that it is not as common of a term as I thought it was. Other, more cultural things that I’d mention, such as going to local Amish markets, or getting stuck behind a horse drawn buggy for miles at a time, would also get me weird looks.

      Closer to the question you were actually asking, I’m (currently) in the Bible Belt, I find Baptist churches on just about every other corner of most streets. Someone once tried giving instructions by saying something along the lines of, “turn left on the street with the church,” while they were riding with me, and I had to have them clarify which of the three that were within eyesight they were referring to. Related: I once said, “you can’t throw a stick ten feet into the air without hitting a religious building down here,” and very few people in the group found it funny.

      11 votes
      1. first-must-burn
        Link Parent
        Haha, my wife has relatives out in that area of PA. I found it immensely satisfying that Intercourse and Blue Ball are so close to each other. Having grown up in the Bible Belt, I know what you...

        Haha, my wife has relatives out in that area of PA. I found it immensely satisfying that Intercourse and Blue Ball are so close to each other.

        Having grown up in the Bible Belt, I know what you mean. Gotta watch out for those Third and Fourth Baptists.

        I tell people that everything Jeff Foxworthy says in his "You might be a redneck if..." comedy bit is unironically true about my hometown.

        4 votes
      2. DefinitelyNotAFae
        Link Parent
        I grew up saying cuss in the Midwest! I never considered that one was localized slang.

        I grew up saying cuss in the Midwest! I never considered that one was localized slang.

        4 votes
      3. [5]
        sparksbet
        Link Parent
        I grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland (so not super far geographically) and I did my bachelor's in linguistics, and I still wasn't aware "cuss" was remotely regional. I'm curious, where did you...

        I grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland (so not super far geographically) and I did my bachelor's in linguistics, and I still wasn't aware "cuss" was remotely regional. I'm curious, where did you move that you realized it wasn't common outside the region?

        Another distinctively regional language feature (haven't read the article so idk if they bring it up there) is the classic "needs washed" construction. Does it sound normal to you to say "The dishes need washed"? It does for me and I didn't realize until I moved to Columbus for my linguistics degree that it's really only a little pocket around Cleveland and Pittsburgh where that's a normal thing to say.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. sparksbet
            Link Parent
            Ooh that's interesting! I've never heard of it spreading as far as Maryland, but it does pop up outside that pocket. The epicenter is definitely Pittsburgh, though. The area where "needs washed"...

            Ooh that's interesting! I've never heard of it spreading as far as Maryland, but it does pop up outside that pocket. The epicenter is definitely Pittsburgh, though.

            The area where "needs washed" is most common does overlap a ton with the highest Amish/Mennonite population (northeast Ohio also has a large population, largest outside PA I think) but most guesses about where it came from seem to think it might've come from Scots. The construction is also common over where that's spoken and there was a lot of immigration to that part of the country from Scotland and Northern Ireland. I don't know enough PA Dutch to know whether they've got a parallel expression though.

            1 vote
        2. [3]
          IarwainBenAdar
          Link Parent
          I'm from a more rural part of little pocket around Cleveland and Pittsburgh, what do people say instead of 'needs washed'? Its about time to wash/do the dishes? The dishes need done? Using cuss...

          I'm from a more rural part of little pocket around Cleveland and Pittsburgh, what do people say instead of 'needs washed'? Its about time to wash/do the dishes? The dishes need done?

          Using cuss for a generic cuss word was also done in the Fantastic Mr Fox movie by Wes Anderson, so it's not entirely regional.

          1. blink
            Link Parent
            "The dishes need to be washed" / "The dishes need to be done"

            "The dishes need to be washed" / "The dishes need to be done"

            5 votes
          2. sparksbet
            Link Parent
            The standard ways of saying it are "needs to be washed" or "needs washing". But I'd never say the former (who needs "to be" lol!) and the latter has different vibes to me.

            The standard ways of saying it are "needs to be washed" or "needs washing". But I'd never say the former (who needs "to be" lol!) and the latter has different vibes to me.

    2. [8]
      tanglisha
      Link Parent
      I noticed shortly after moving to the Pacific Northwest that locals don't use filler noises. I never hear things like, "umm" in the middle of a sentence unless I'm talking to a transplant. Another...

      I noticed shortly after moving to the Pacific Northwest that locals don't use filler noises. I never hear things like, "umm" in the middle of a sentence unless I'm talking to a transplant.

      Another one I didn't notice until I seriously confused a friend of mine was the, "Yeah, no," and "No, yeah," pattern I'd picked up.

      7 votes
      1. [4]
        first-must-burn
        Link Parent
        Interesting. I have picked up "yeah, no" but would use it (vs just "no") as a very firm disagreement. It seems to be used differently out west though. Haven't experience "no, yeah" at all.

        Interesting. I have picked up "yeah, no" but would use it (vs just "no") as a very firm disagreement. It seems to be used differently out west though. Haven't experience "no, yeah" at all.

        5 votes
        1. RheingoldRiver
          Link Parent
          I use both pretty frequently, "no, yeah" answers someone's surprise/skepticism/etc: Example usage: "I saw the Mean Girls remake and thought it was kinda bad" "I thought you liked musicals" "no,...

          I use both pretty frequently, "no, yeah" answers someone's surprise/skepticism/etc:

          Example usage:

          "I saw the Mean Girls remake and thought it was kinda bad" "I thought you liked musicals" "no, yeah, it's just that I loved the stage production so much that I kept comparing the movie to it at every moment, and the movie doesn't hold up"

          fwiw I live in the midwest but picked up a lot of my regional phrases in California, and agree with you about "Yeah, no"

          4 votes
        2. tanglisha
          Link Parent
          Whatever the last one said was, that's the one you mean! Yeah not obvious to someone who is far away and has never heard it before.

          Whatever the last one said was, that's the one you mean! Yeah not obvious to someone who is far away and has never heard it before.

          3 votes
        3. DefinitelyNotAFae
          Link Parent
          I use it to emphasize disagreement or sometimes to "agree" that I'm disagreeing. But not necessarily emphatic if that distinction makes sense.

          I use it to emphasize disagreement or sometimes to "agree" that I'm disagreeing. But not necessarily emphatic if that distinction makes sense.

          1 vote
      2. AnEarlyMartyr
        Link Parent
        That’s interesting as I would consider myself a PNW native and definitely use umm. Though maybe more in between sentences? It’s difficult to be sure but it’s definitely in my vocabulary. Though...

        That’s interesting as I would consider myself a PNW native and definitely use umm. Though maybe more in between sentences? It’s difficult to be sure but it’s definitely in my vocabulary. Though possible I picked it up living somewhere else, I guess. The “Yeah, no”, “No, Yeah” one is absolutely deeply embedded though.

        1 vote