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picksburghese n’at

One of my professors has a really interesting research area: Pittsburgh Speech or Pittsburghese as we call it. Last year, she asked me to help her with some podcasts that she was doing for her website.

Being a native Pittsburgher, I’m rather fluent in Pittsburghese, but the teachers that I had as a child made a point of encouraging us to be aware of our speech and not to slip into the dialect. I generally speak (or try to, anyway) in a relatively neutral tone of voice, but can turn Pittsburghese “on” when I want to.

Or when I’m drunk.

In any case, you can hear me on the podcasts for “nebby” and “dahntahn.” Check it aht.

6 comments to picksburghese n’at

  • My mum is a speech therapist, so I was thoroughly bitchslapped (figuratively) if I tried using most Pittsburghese…and now in Belgium it is entirely obsolete…I’ll just get thoroughly bitchslapped if I pick up a West Flanders dialect :P.

  • rachelraven

    I grew up in Southwestern PA, but I’ve never been mistaken for it. I get mistaken for Canadian a lot, though… NO idea why. I’ve never spoken in “Pittsburghese” in terms of pronunciation, only in terms of specific odd words.

    Like nebby.

    I broke my dad from saying, “Where’s it AT?” something I think that SW PA folk are notorious for saying.

  • Ed

    Ahh, yes, me forebears from the auld sod, unable to abide the lack of a second person plural pronoun, but getting on brilliantly for centuries with no words for “yes” or “no”.

    It’d be hard to do a site like this for Jersey because there are so many regional accents. “Dis ain’t nuttin. Yiz shoulda heard me whu’my accent was rilly fukkin tick!”

  • My father is straight out of Ben Avon and my mother is representing Philly. which is why I have never uttered the words Pop or Yinz. I have heard my father say such awful things as, redd up, warsh, crick and a place called Islay’s, but my mom had the good sense to speak gangster Philly speak to me.

    I cringe every time I hear my neighbor say, “Yinz guys”. I feel my skin crawl.

  • It’s every bit as hard to get the Bawlamer out of the boy. Every so often my greetings come out “Hayaduin?” and I still add “hon” after everything, though I’ve never gone “downy ayshin, hon”. Travolta was off in a couple of places but he didn’t do a bad job with it in Hairspray. And yeah, that song “Good Morning, Baltimore” still bring a tear to my eye. How ’bout them Eh-Oh’s, hon.

  • Mary

    Boyfriend is not from Pittsburgh (he hails from the Latrobe area) but I am so all about his hilarious accent. His most egregious pronunciation is that “window” comes out as “winder.” I think it’s really cute. :)

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