Archive for January 6th, 2007

06
Jan
07

In case you didn’t know where I’m from…

this sweatshirt (courtesy of Adrian) should clear up any uncertainty.

yinzer.JPG

That is, if you know that the plural form of “you” colloquially used in Pittsburgh is “yinz” (or “yunz” – a contraction of “you ones”). Thus, a person who says this word is a “yinzer”. I get the sense that some people may view this word as an insult, to describe someone who’s not well-educated and talks like a moron. However, I know that it’s worn as a badge of pride by many Pittsburgh expatriates who are proud of where they come from, since one of the most distinguishing and recongnizable aspects of Pittsburgh is its dialect. What many people refer to as “Pittsburghese” is part of a larger dialect region known to linguists as North Midland U.S. English. If you’re interested in a reasonably scholarly examination of speech in Pittsburgh, see this webpage, put together by a professor at Carnegie Mellon University.  If you’re interested in finding words that are characteristic of colloquial speech in Pittsburgh, google “Pittsburghese” – there are myriad websites cataloging the various particularities of Pittsburgh speech, at least some of which come from the Scots-Irish, who settled the region after the Revolutionary War.

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