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I remember my freshman year of college (Fall 2008). It was first semester and every freshman was required to take a public speaking course entitled "GCOM". Being in a new state, far from home, not yet acclimated to college life, I was extremely nervous to speak in front of my peers. The first assignment was to write a casual speech about something that you strongly believe in and in turn, persuade the class to believe what you are saying.
As the homesick little freshman that I was, surrounded by cowboy boots, southern frat boys, country music and people confusing Pittsburgh with Philadelphia (there's a BIG difference!!!!), the only thing that came to mind at that point was that I believed in Pittsburgh, my home. I then turned the speech into persuading the class to never forget the city that they grew up in because it is in part of who each person is today.
Long story short, the speech was a success. I remember it being one of my first A's. The reason I bring this up is because in any public speaking course from middle school and beyond, you first learn that they key to addressing any public is to create an "attention getter". In middle school I remember lots of classmates would use songs to start out and then as we got older and wiser, quotes, statistics and stories were employed.
yinzer". For those unfamiliar with Pittsburgh, there is a certain dialect in southwestern Pennsylvania where it is common to hear "you's guys" and "yinz" (similar to a southerner's "y'all"). Funny enough, I ended up sounding like I had a bad southern accent... but it still worked... Here's an excerpt of my intro (said with an accent):
I am unfortunately and fortunately not a yinzer. Most suburban-dwelling Pittsburgher's don't have an accent, but for some people it is thick (if you are interested, YouTube (yes, I use that as a verb) "Myron Cope" and you will get a heavy dose of the accent). Here is a brief lesson on how to be a yinzer (words that I may actually use):
"I'm from a place where three rivers meet. The Ohio, the Mon, and the Allegheny. I shop at Giant Eagle for chipped ham, pop and jimmies for my ice cream. My favorite food is Primanti’s “sammiches” and my grandma's Sunday night “sketti n'at”. As far as I’m concerned there is only one football team and that is my beloved “Stillers”; six time Superbowl champs. To this day, I still wish the “Bus” would come back and play just one more game. On Saturday mornings, I go to the “strip” and on Saturday nights, I go “dahn” to the “sauth side” to drink some “ahrn city buhrs”. My favorite musicians include Donnie Iris, The Clarks and Wiz Kalifa. During the summer, when it finally passes 50 degrees and all of the “slippy" ice has melted, I head to Kennywood for the Potato Patch fries and to Idlewild for company picnics. I tie my hair back with a “gumban” and my favorite “kellers” are black and gold. I may be “nebby’ but I am definitely not a jagoff like the city of Cleveland. On Sundays, I grew up to the voice of Myron Cope on the radio, cheering the “Stillers” to victory."
Buggy: A shopping cart
Dippy Eggs: Sunnyside up
Kennywood's Open: your fly is down
Nebby: Nosey (my mom always tells me to stop "nebbing around" around the presents during Christmas)
Sweeper: vacuum cleaner
N'at: (I use this one jokingly) "and that".. "Let's get some hoagies n'at"
Babushka: Scarf worn atop a woman's head
Blinkers: car's turn signals
Clicker: Television remote
Rag: wash cloth
Hankering: a craving "I've got a hankering for Primanti's"
Sherbert: Sherbet (ex. orange sherbet)
Living Daylights: "You scared the living daylights out of me!"
The T: subway/metro/train
Buccos: The Pittsburgh Pirates, "let's go bucs"
Press: to iron clothing
Yak: to talk a lot "she was yakking away"
Do you have any sayings or words that you use that may sound unfamiliar to people in other regions? I am always curious as to what words differ by geographic location! Have a fabulous day!