Monday, January 24, 2011


In honor of the Steelers making the Super Bowl once again, and my hometown of Pittsburgh PA … I’m going to spend a couple days this week telling Pittsburgh stories.

Today, I’m going to start a multiple-part series on the idea of Pittsburghese.

If you are not from Pittsburgh, or have never been to Pittsburgh, you may be thinking, what the heck is Pittsburghese?

Well, Pittsburghese is the language used by the natives of Pittsburgh. Now you’re thinking to yourself … what?? Don’t these people speak English like the rest of us? Yes, yes they do … but they have their own special twist on the English language.

Today I’m going to highlight a few Nouns of the Pittsburghese vernacular. And tomorrow I’ll take a look at some verbs and key phrases!

My list will show how it’s pronounced, and then the actual word/definition.

Arn: Iron. Pittsburghers usually pump or drink theirs.
Babushka: Scarf worn on head to keep out the chill.
Beyoura: Bureau (chest of drawers, dresser).
Bitzle: A piece of dirt on the floor.
Blinkers: Turn signals.
Buggy: Shopping Cart.
Burm: Side of the road, shoulder.
Canipshun: To have a fit or get upset.
Cellar: Basement.
Church key: Bottle Opener.
Clodhoppers: Work boots.
Cubbord: Cupboard.
Cut: Slice of Pizza.
Dahntahn: Downtown, the Golden Triangle.
Davenport: Sofa or couch.
Dinggy: Small boat or dinghy.
Doohickey: Object you can’t name at the present time.
Dupa: Your back side.
Face Rag: Wash cloth.
Fridgedare: Refrigerator.
Galumbki: Stuffed Cabbages.
Gumband: Rubber bands.
Hankerin: Need or want.
Hanky: Handkerchief.
Haus Kote: House coat or short robe.
Hizzy: Extreme emotional outbreak.
Hoagie: A big sandwich.
Icebox: Refrigerator.
Igl: Eagle.
Imp ‘n Arn: Iron City beer and a shot of Imperial Whiskey.
Jumbo: Bologna.
Kranz: Crayons.
Lickin’: Spanking.
Meer/Mirra: Mirror.
Minced Ham: Bologna.
Monongehela Highball: Glass of tap water. (Yuck … don’t drink … ever! Haha)
Mum: Mom.
Mush Ball: Softball.
Oleo: Margarine.
Pahr: Power.
Picksburgh: Pittsburgh.
Pie-anna: Piano.
Pigs in a blanket: Stuffed cabbage.
Potata: Potato.
Progie: Pierogi, a case of dough filled with a savory filling (as of meat, cheese, or vegetables) and cooked by boiling and then panfrying.
Spiket: Water tap.
Still Mills: Steel Mills.
Stoop: Concrete steps in front of your Northside house where a porch should be.
Stree Car: Street Car/Trolley.
Tahl: Towel.
Tahr: Tire.
Windas: Windows.
Worsh Rag: Wash cloth.
Yinzer: A Pittsburgh native who talks right.

Okay ... I could go on forever with this ... but there is a taste of some of the Pittsburghese nouns!
Until tomorrow ...


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