Only in York County

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A (suite?) victory

Remember my challenge on how to say certain words if you’re a Yorker?

Things like suite, milk, irons, wash, clothes, water, roof and Roots (the auction/flea market in Lancaster County) all take on a different tone if you’re from around here.

Even our grocery store – Weis – has a debate about its pronunciation. (Wee-s? Why-s? The inexplicable need to drop a T on the end and make it Whys-t?) Oh, and what about Utz chips? (Uuutz or Uhtz?)

Well, once again, Jo came through for me, proving that I’m not crazy and we really are different.

And, commenter Bonnie weighed in with her thoughts … another hole-in-one!

First, from Jo:

She says, growing up, that when her family elders wnat to buy new bedroom furniture, it was a bedroom suite – like “suit!” (Yep, that’s what I was looking for!)

She also got “warsh” right for wash. There’s some debate about iron… She mentioned “urn,” which I definitely hear a lot of, but I also hear it said as “airn,” and I had a friend’s grandmother once who loved to say she had a lot of “airns in the fair” (irons in the fire.)

Now, what about clothes? I know some local families that say “clothe” without the last S. In fact, the Family Clothes Tree, a secondhand store on Bull Road in Dover Township, is often called the family “clothe” tree.

Jo says her grandmother would say “wooter” (as in wood-er) for water. That’s a big one for me. And she says “ruuf” for roof. (I’ve heard ruuf, ruff, all manner of things, though I usually stick to roof.)

Jo says she’s never been to Roots – what a shame!! – but says she hears it pronounced as if it rhymes with “boots.” She mentioned the “tangly plant parts under ground” would be roots as in Utz. Of course, since I didn’t get her pronunciation for Utz, I still can’t tell which “roots” those are!!

Meanwhile, I put “milk” in there as a challenge question. Jo says she’s curious how else anyone says “milk.” You wouldn’t think there’d be a lot of wiggle room on that one, would you?

Well, let’s hear from Bonnie:

You might be a York countian, if you buy a bedroom suite known elsewhere as a bedroom suit. And if you pour “melk” on your cereal instead of milk, you could call York your home. While other people do laundry on Monday, we do the wash and on Tuesdays we “airn” the wrinkles out of the “close” we washed on Monday. On a hot day in York county, a tall glass of ice “warter” hits the spot! If the shingles on your “ruf” look a bit shabby, it’s time to call a roofer. You’re deeply rooted in York if you drive over Lancaster way to “Rutz” market.

Yes!!! In our family… it’s “melk.” Listen to yourself say it once. See if you catch it. And, Bonnie, I loved “over Lancaster way.” That’s perfect!

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