Thursday, February 28, 2008

Worth forwarding

An old college buddy of mine forwarded this to me today. I laughed so hard I almost embarassed myself at work. If you know any Chicagoans - pass this along!

1. Grachki (grach'-key): Chicagoese for 'garage key' as in, 'Yo, Theresa, waja do wit da grachki? Howmy supposta cut da grass if I don't git intada grach?'

2. Sammich: Chicagoese for sandwich. When made with sausage, it's a sassage sammich; when made with shredded beef, it's an Italian Beef sammich, a local delicacy consisting of piles of spicy meat in a perilously soggy bun.

3. Da: This article is a key part of Chicago speech, as in 'Da Bears' or 'Da Mare' -- the latter denoting Richard M. Daley, or Richie, as he's often called.

4. Jewels: Not family heirlooms or a tender body region, but a popular name for one of the region's dominant grocery store chains. 'I'm goin' to the Jewels to pick up some sassage.'

5. Field's: Marshall Field, a prominent Chicago department store. (Sadly, now swallowed by New York intruder Macy's) Also Carson Pirie Scott, another major department store chain, is simply called 'Carson's.'

6. Tree: The number between two and four. 'We were lucky dat we only got tree inches of snow da udder night.'

7. Over by dere: Translates to 'over by there,' a way of emphasizing a site presumed familiar to the listener. As in, 'I got the sassage at the Jewels down on Kedzie, over by dere.'

8. Kaminski Park : The mispronounced name of the ballpark where the Chicago White Sox (da Sox) play baseball. Comiskey Park was renamed U.S. Cellular Field (da Cell)

9. Frunchroom: As in, 'Get outta da frunchroom wit dose muddy shoes.' It's not the 'parlor.' It's not the 'living room.' In the land of the bungalow, it's the 'frunchroom,' a name derived, linguists believe, from 'front room.'

10. Use: Not the verb, but the plural pronoun 'you!' 'Where use goin'?'

11. Downtown: Anywhere near The Lake, south of The Zoo (Lincoln Park Zoo) and north of Soldier Field.

12. The Lake: Lake Michigan (What other lake is there?) It's often used by local weathermen, 'cooler by The Lake.'

14. Braht: Short for Bratwurst. 'Gimme a braht wit kraut.'

15. Goes: Past or present tense of the verb 'say.' For example, 'Den he goes, 'I like this place'!'

16. Guys: Used when addressing two or more people, regardless of each individual's gender.

17. Pop: A soft drink. Don't say 'soda' in this town. 'Do ya wanna canna pop?'

18. Sliders: Nickname for hamburgers from White Castle, a popular Midwestern burger chain. 'Dose sliders I had last night gave me da runs.'

19. The Taste: The Taste of Chicago Festival, a huge extravaganza in Grant Park featuring samples of Chicagoland cuisine which takes place each year around the Fourth of July holiday.

20. 'Jeetyet?': Translates to, 'Did you eat yet?'

21. Winter and Construction: Punch line to the joke, 'What are the two seasons in Chicago?'

22. Cuppa Too-Tree: is Chicagoese for 'a couple, two, three' which really means 'a few.' For example, 'Hey Mike, dere any beerz left in da cooler over by dere?'
'Yeh, a cuppa too-tree.'

23. 588-2300: Everyone in Chicago knows this commercial jingle and the carpet company you'll get if you call that number -- Empire!

24. Junk Dror: You will usually find the 'junk drawer' in the kitchen filled to the brim with miscellaneous, but very important, junk.

25. Southern Illinois : Anything south of I-80. This is where 'smothers' is from.

26. Expressways: The Interstates in the immediate Chicagoland area are usually known just by their 'name' and not their Interstate number: the Dan Ryan ('da Ryan'), the Stevenson, the Kennedy (da 'Kennedy'), the Eisenhower (da 'Ike'), and the Edens (just 'Edens' but Da Edens' is acceptable).
27. Gym Shoes: The rest of the country may refer to them as sneakers or running shoes but Chicagoans will always call them gym shoes!

This is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about Chicago:
If your local Dairy Queen is closed from September through May, you live in Chicago.
If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you live in Chicago.
If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you live in Chicago.
If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you live in Chicago.
If 'Vacation' means going anywhere south of I-80 for the weekend, you live in Chicago.
If you measure distance in hours, you live in Chicago.
If you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C' in the same day and back again, you live in Chicago
If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in Chicago
If you carry jumpers in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you live in Chicago.
If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you live in Chicago.
I f the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph -- you're going 80 and everybody is passing you, you live in Chicago.
If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you live in Chicago
If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction, you live in Chicago .
If you have more miles on your snow blower than your car, you live in Chicago.
If you find 10 degrees 'a little chilly', you live in Chicago .


Johann The Dog said...

How fun was that! Really enjoyed it! Even though we are only 3.5 hours away, we say soda, can you believe it?

Also, I have to tell you a secret - back in about 1963 when Mum was a wee girl just barely able to talk. Some guys came to her house and asked her parents wanted to be a test house for cable TV. Mum lived in a town of 7000 people in rural Indiana. Sure! And yes it was the same cable we have now, but instead of putting the cable through the wall, it came through the window, :).

On that cable, Mum got to watch a little channel from Chicago called WGN (I think that's right). After watching this channel for about a week or so, Mum would go around the house singing, 588-2300, Empire! Drove GrandMum nuts, she tells me.

Always a good memory for my Mum! Thanks for making Mum smile today!

Woofs, Johann

Betsy said...

Okay, #5 makes me cry. Can I say again that I hate New York? On 9/11 I don't but that's it. ;-)

By the way, #10 and #16 go together. It's "use guys"! LOL! I do say "you guys". Of course, when I lived in Houston, "ya'll" came pretty easily off my lips.

#17 is hilarious. When we moved to St. Louis (GO CARDS!) from Chicago when I was a kid I could not figure out what "soda" was.

I have never tried a slider but know what they are. NO THANKS! ;-)

Thanks for the Expressway reference Hope. Thought of me, I know. My PET PEEVE is that no one seems to know the Interstate numbers and trying to guide someone from out of town is a headache when they get their directions by name and not number.

I never knew "gym shoes" is typical of Chicago. Wow!

A few things unique to Chicago that are not on the list also include:

1. SAAHsage. Chicago term for sausage, as in the BEST pizza in the U.S. is Chicago deep-dish or stuffed pizza. Having lived in other towns, it's the best here.

2. Punchkies (sp?). Those Bismark-style donuts that are eaten on Fat Tuesday. I was confused as heck listening to Bob Collins talk about these things on the radio. I kept picturing a typewriter device. These are UNIQUE to Chicago.