Tuesday, April 24, 2007

You Can Take the Girl Out of Pennsylvania . . .

But you can't take the Pennsylvania out of the girl! While we were in the Navy and roaming the eastern seaboard, I was often homesick for the land of my birth. I enjoyed living in other states, and I'm glad we had the opportunity to travel, but good old Pennsylvania always beckoned to me. We have some strange ways, to be sure, but doesn't every place? I guess it's just comfortable here because it's what I know - I'm glad I came home to roost.
A friend sent me this funny list of quirks from the Commonwealth, and I'm sharing it with you and sending it out to my friends who want to be in PA:

Once a Pennsylvanian, ALWAYS a Pennsylvanian! About Pennsylvanians:

  • You've never referred to Philadelphia as anything but "Philly" and New Jersey has always been " Jersey " And don't forget that you "go down the shore" when you want a little vacation by the ocean
  • You refer to Pennsylvania as "PA" (pronounced Pee-ay). How many other states do that?
  • "You guys" is a perfectly acceptable reference to a group of men and women
  • You know how to respond to the question "Djeetyet?" (Didyoueatyet?) You also know what to say when someone asks if "you comin' with?"
  • You learned to pronounce Bryn Mawr, Wilkes-Barre , Schuylkill , the Poconos, Tamaqua, Tunkannock, Bala Cynwyd, Duquesne and Monongahela. And we know Lancaster is pronounced LANK aster, not Lan KASTER. I think Rob finally says it the "right" way, but he'll never give up on Carlisle. In PA, we say CAR-lisle and apparently the rest of the world says car-LISLE.
  • You know what a "Mummer" is, and are disappointed if you can't catch at least highlights of the parade.
  • You know what " Punxsutawney Phil" is, and what it means if he sees his shadow.
  • The first day of buck and the first day of doe season are school holidays.
  • You know how to "redd up". And you also know what it means when something "is all"
  • You can use the phrase "fire hall wedding reception" and not even bat an eye. Some of the best people I know had fire hall weddings!
  • You can't go to a wedding without hearing the "Chicken Dance," at least one polka and a traditional Italian song.
  • At least five people on your block have electric "candles" in all or most their windows all year long. Rob loves the candles in the window!
  • You know what a "Hex sign" is.
  • 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.
  • You own only 4 condiments: salt, pepper, mustard and ketchup.
  • Words like "hoagie," "crick," "chipped ham," "dippy eggs","sticky buns," "shoo-fly pie," "lemon sponge pie", "pierogies" and "pockabook" actually mean something to you. Don't forget fastnachts!
  • You can eat cold pizza (even for breakfast) and know others who do the same. (Those from NY find this "barbaric.") Rob cannot believe that I take pizza straight from the fridge.
  • You not only have heard of Birch Beer, but you know it comes in several colors: Red, White, Brown, Gold.
  • You know several places to purchase or that serve Scrapple, Summer Sausage and Hot Bacon Dressing Mmmmmm . . . scrapple!
  • You can eat a cold soft pretzel from a street vendor without fear and enjoy it. It almost always comes with mustard. And the best ones come from the guy with the old shopping cart in the middle of the highway.
  • You know the difference between a cheese steak and a pizza steak sandwich, and know that you can't get a really good one out side PA, except Atlantic City on the boardwalk.
  • You live for summer, when street and county fairs signal the beginning of funnel cake season.
  • Customers ask the waitress for "dippy eggs" for breakfast.
  • You know that Blue Ball, Intercourse, Paradise ,Climax, Bird-in-Hand, Beaver, Moon, Virginville, Mars, and Slippery Rock are PA towns. (and the first three were consecutive stops on the Reading RR)
  • You know what a township, borough, and commonwealth is.
  • A traffic jam is 10 cars waiting to pass a horse-drawn carriage on the highway in Lancaster County . Except in the Lehigh Valley - our traffic jams are because of the perpetual construction on Rts. 22, 78, or 222
  • You know several people who have hit deer more than once.You carry jumper cables in your car and your female passengers know how to use them.
  • You still keep kitty litter, starting fluid, de-icer, or a snowbrush in your trunk, even if you now live in the south.
  • 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.
  • Your graduating class consisted of mostly Polish,German, and Italian names.
  • You know beer doesn't grow in a garden but you know where to find a beer garden.
  • You also know someone who lives "down the lane".
  • You actually understand any of this.


  1. uummmm. yea. very confusing, but very cool. ah, you funny yanks. :-)

  2. We had the fire hall wedding reception but managed to get away without the Chicken Dance or a polka!

    And I soooo miss funnel cake. We can only find that fried dough stuff in New England. Thanks for the fun list!!

  3. Can you believe this list actually made me tear up! YAY PA!
    Those are all things I miss so much and can't wait to get back to them!
    Thanks for posting those, dearheart. I may just have to 'borrow' that list for MY blog ;)

  4. i think i'll need more than one polka :D

  5. "You guys" is a perfectly acceptable reference to a group of men and women"

    LOL, I can never get used to that when I talk to relatives from Philly. My family is entirely from Philly, but I grew up in North Carolina, so I say "y'all". It cracks them up to hear me talk, and likewise for me too. Great blog btw!

  6. Anonymous8:07 PM

    So funny, but let's not forget that for some areas of PA some of this is more applicable than others. Tom and I have huge discussions on trivial things like what is actually considered upstate PA and the correct pronunciation of water and the little bugs we see in the summer that pinch.
    Thanks for the laughs!
    -Mirabella Mom

  7. I'm not from PeeAyy, but Iowa! I like your list and can relate to most of it - most. Love the town names in PA - Intercourse? Idaho has one called "Slick Poo". No kidding.

  8. My family is from Pa. That was my homebase when I was a child...my family was like military, always traveling overseas. My dad is from Philly and my mom is from Wassergas, near Hellertown, Pa. I miss it too. Now my folks live at the shore. Just stopping by from the Catholic Blogroll. :)

  9. I live in Bethlehem, Pa., and I do know where Wassergass is. You're right about the last names in our graduating classes and you're right about the traffic jams in the Lehigh Valley and Reading/Kutztown areas. Traffic jams up because of the never ending construction on Route 22, I-78 or Route 222


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