Only in York County

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Cleaning out the inbox: Random thoughts on Yorkisms

Last week, I shared some odds and ends of notes about York County food traditions I found while sorting out my email.

This week, I’d like to ask you to sit a spell as I do the same with some thoughts on Yorkisms – those not “only” in York County, but prevalent locally, phrases we have such fun with!

From Rory: “I’ve been meaning to send this one to you for some time now. It may not be ‘Only in York’ but a Central PA thing is definitely the use of ‘a while’ to mean ‘now’ instead ‘for a brief period.’ I always chuckle at servers who will bring me my drink a while, but the latest incident was overhearing a guard at ZooAmerica tell a family from New York that she needed to look in their bags a while. They were clearly mystified.”

From Bill Schmeer: (Referring to this post) “I’m with your boss. It curdles my milk when I hear, or more correctly, when I don’t hear the verb, to be, in its proper order. Can you imagine the problem Bill Shakespeare would have had writing Hamlet’s monologue without it? Forsooth and gadzooks.”

From Sue Frederiksen: “For some Yorkisms, how ’bout ‘read off the table’ or ‘I’ve got to read up’?” I have written about these before, though the spelling I’d found was more often redd, and you can read more about that here!

From Bob Kirkpatrick: “Back when I was a kid, a number of York boys went to summer camp in Vermont, along with other boys from all over the country. While there, people would know we were from the York area because we asked ‘Yorkian questions.’ Those totally superfluous questions would come after someone said he was going out in a canoe… ‘Are ya?’… or after someone played baseball… ‘Didge ya?'” (By the way, Bob and I are talking about a way to share some more Yorkers-at-camp memories; he went to and later was involved as an adult with the Keewaydin camp, and I know there are many more that drew and still draw lots of York County residents!)

From Maxine Kuntz: (Referring to this post) “‘Skunned’ is Pa. Dutch for skinned. About 50 years ago, I moved to York County & a new neighbor told me she had to go home to ‘skun’ a chicken. When I asked her what it was, her Father (about 80) said I was the dumbest woman he ever met!”

From Gwen: (Referring to this post) “You are not alone. I’m 53 and was told I said [yesterday night] when I was a little girl living in New York. I was in Va. visiting my grown kids and my grandson from Fredrick, Md., said ‘yesterday night.’ I knew exactly what he meant and had to call my mom who lives in York, Pa. and told her history is repeating itself. Yesterday night is exactly what it is. Yesterday… night.” Thank you, Gwen!!

From Steve S: “We fix something to eat. (As if it were broken.) And as for the ‘dippy eggs,’ I’ve driven truck for the last 14 years, and the first time I ordered them at a truckstop down south, I got the oddest look from the waitress.”

From Rick Moul, also on traveling for work: “As a salesperson who travels ‘once’ is the worst Yorkism for me to carry with me. It often draws a look from my customers as if I am only willing to do something one time.”

From Steve Early: “Joan, I was cracking up when I read the crazy grammar from York County! I grew up in Spring Grove 40 Years ago and now live in Dallas Texas. Let me say that with the crazy expressions here, I still am considered the hick! LOL.”

Thanks to all y’all, youse, yins, you guys and so on for sharing these with me!

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