13 Yinzer Phrases only Pittsburghers Really Understand

Pittsburghese.   Say that outside of the burgh, and not many know what yinz is talkin’ about.   But those who do… well, we consider them friends.  Here are 13 “Yinzer Phrases” only true Pittsburghers understand.

1.  Mum used the sweeper to sweep up them crumbs.

Now most of the world would consider that someone probably ate some toast on the caatch (couch)…  and, well, you know the rest.  But here in Pittsburgh… crumbs can be anything left on the floor.  Pizza crust, crackers, cookies, staples, paper clips, fuzz from a dog toy, your old shoes… yeah… you get it.

2.  I see your gutcheez… you better pull up yer pants.

Underwear, undergarments, boxers and a variety of other words to describe what mom and grandma wanted to make sure were clean when you left the house, and that no one could see them… except that here in the burgh… they’re called gutcheez.  And we have no freakin’ idea why.

3.  I’ll take some jumbo on that hoagie.

Nope.  You’re not asking to “Super Size” or “Biggie Size” your hoagie.   And it’s not some sort of magical sauce, hot sauce, special sauce, or anything like that.  It’s bolony… or bologna, or balonie, or bolonie… or… oh heck…  just put some jumbo on my hoagie.

4.  Time to red up yer room.

Don’t worry…  mum doesn’t want you to paint over that beautiful purple, or green, or black and gold… she wants you to clean it up, straighten it out, live civilized.  Now go do it.

5.  Did mum worsh the clothes?

This one is pretty simple.  Did she (or dad) do the laundry?

6.  Come mere!

Get the hell over here.  Now.

7.  Yinz’ll need a gum band to hold that together.

You don’t chew this one up.  You use it to hold a stack of cards, some pens, a piece of your dashboard, or a bunch more of them all together in a big ball.  Rubber bands, in case you haven’t, you know… figured it out.

8.  Worsh up with that face rag on the sink.

We went over “worsh” earlier.  It’s a wash cloth.  Um… sorry, a Worshcloth.

9.  Who needs a ham sammitch?  How about chip-chopped?

This one covers 2, so maybe our list should be “14 blah blah blah….” Whatever.   Sammitch (or sammich – the debate rages on) is something between to slices of bread.  Like turkey.  Or ham.  It has to be meat… unless it’s PB&J…  anyway… chip-chopped refers to a magical mixture of sliced or shaved ham cooked with either Heinz Ketchup (nothing else, mind you) or barbecue sauce.

10.  It was too slippy dahn them stairs.

If you don’t want to fall down and crack yer head, don’t go down the icy stairs.  Get it?

11.  Did yinz catch some crawfish dahn the crick?

Crawfish and crick.   Crayfish and creek.  Say the latter, well, a real Pittsburgher will correct you before answering.  And yes.  We did.  Then we boiled ’em.

12.  Did you turn off the spicket?

If you didn’t, dad will be pretty mad when you get home because the kitchen floor will be covered with water.   Then you’ll have to red it up.

13.  Yinz goin’ dahn souside?

This should be easy.  Just in case though, we’re happy to tell you later.   Are you going down to the South Side tonight?

Here’s some more Pittsburghese.

And some more.

And some more.

Yinz gettin’ it?

30 thoughts on “13 Yinzer Phrases only Pittsburghers Really Understand”

  1. Mr. Ne v Pittsburghu

    Number 2: ga?e (pronounced gah-chay) or ???? (also pronounced gah-chay) means “underpants” in Croatian and Serbian respectively. Now you know why. You’re welcome.

  2. I don’t know if this is considered Pittsburgh slang but one of my mom’s favorite sayings was:
    What’s this offa too.
    ( what’s this off of or too )
    and my Dad butchered East Liberty with ( Easliberty )

  3. Ne v Pittsburghu

    Ga?e is Croatian for underpants. ???? is Serbian for underpants. Both are pronounced like “gah-chay” so that’s where the word came from.

  4. It’s chipped (the cut- never sliced) chopped ham (the type) from Islays (an Ohio company by the way)

    1. Love chipped ham, La. calls it SHAVED . My bad when I asked for chipped while I was there for 7 months! Also it still irks me to hear people from here say New Orleans , ( New Orleens) it is pronounced N’awlins ! Or New Orlins ! . , love their language Y’all !

    2. I grew up within walking distance of the Isaly’s plant. And June Isaly was a family friend. (she was the wife of the last remaining Isaly brother)They were Pittsurgh all the way

  5. Dane S. Claussen

    There are many places around the USA where wash is pronounced as “worsh.” My mother pronounces it that way and spent all but 14 of her 85+ years in Oregon. Her mother also was born in Oregon, and her father grew up in Oregon; they both lived their entire lives there. I think it came from her maternal grandparents who had lived in Wisconsin, but I’m not sure.

  6. Nobody says “chipped chopped ham”. It’s just chipped ham. It may be chopped ham that is chipped, but it is never said that way except by outsiders trying to write a Pittsburghese book.

  7. Another word for you is “desir” pronounced ‘dis eer ‘.
    When talking about someone you can’t remember the name of.

    What about the foods:
    White House ice cream (islys)
    Snowballs (blue bonnet bakery or the one that used to be on Main Street Bradik (Braddock).

    1. I’ve never heard of it used as “you.” It is usually for “this here.”. Dis’ere (gas cap) goes ta the lawn mower. Its also common other places in casual conversation.

  8. Amanda DiPietro

    I have lived all over the country. As soon as I order my ham chipped they ask if I am from Pittsburgh. Also learned a lesson about ordering baloney. It is minced baloney or Jumbo. Never order just sliced ham heaven knows what you will get.

  9. I still live in Pennsylvania but I’m now east instead of west. It is amazing the difference in language and pronunciation from one side of the mountains to the other. I’ve lost most of my Pittsburghese but I will never give up “gum bands”. It is more fun to say than “rubbber bands”.

    1. Barbara Levine

      Yep, I`m from the burgh, and whenever I still say gum bands, I get some pretty questionable looks!

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