If you've ever wondered what some
) Chicagoans sound like, here's a little rundown of what you might expect to hear while strolling the streets of the Windy City. Enjoy! (And, no
, I don't sound like this (one of my brothers-in-law definitely does), but I do say some
of these things. If I say them, I've put a star next to them. Heh...)
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. Uptadaendada (up-ta-da-en'-dada): Chicagoese for "up to the end of the" as in, "Joey, you kin ride yur bike uptadaendada alley but not acrost the street or I'll bust yur butt."
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.
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.
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 da Jewels to pick up some sassage."
Marshall Field, a prominent Chicago department store. Also Carson Pirie Scott, another major department store chain, is simply called "Carson's."
The number between two and four. "We were lucky dat we only got tree inches of snow da udder night."
A vacant lot, especially one on which weeds are growing.
9. 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 da Jewels down on Kedzie, over by dere."
10. Kaminski Park:
The mispronounced name of the ballpark where the Chicago White Sox (da Sox) play baseball. Comiskey Park was recently renamed U.S. Cellular Field (yuck!).
As in, "Getottada 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 named derived, linguists believe, from "front room."
Not the verb, but the plural pronoun "you." "Where's use goin'?"
Anywhere near The Lake, south of The Zoo (Lincoln Park Zoo) and north of Soldier Field.
14. *The Lake:
Lake Michigan. (What other lake is there?) It's often used by local weathermen, "cooler by The Lake."
A section on Halsted between Belmont and Addison which is lined with gay bars both sides of the street. "Didn't I see use in BoysTown in front of da Manhole?"
Short for Bratwurst. "Gimme a braht wit kraut..."
Traffic reporter slang for tollbooths. "Dere's a delay at da cashbox on da Skyway."
Past or present tense of the verb "say." For example, "Then he goes, 'I like this place'!"
Used when addressing two or more people, regardless of each individual's gender.
A soft drink. Don't say "soda" in this town. "Do ya wanna canna pop?"
Nickname for hamburgers from White Castle, a popular Midwestern burger chain. "Dose
sliders I had last night gave me da runs."
22. *The Taste:
The Taste of Chicago Festival, a huge extravaganza in Grant Park featuring samples of Chicago land cuisine which takes place each year around the Fourth of July holiday.
Translates to, "Did you eat yet?"
24. Winter and Construction:
Punch line to the joke, "What are the two seasons in Chicago?"
25. Cuppa Too-Tree:
Chicagoese for "a couple, two, or 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."
Everyone in Chicago knows this commercial jingle and the carpet company you'll get if you call that number -- Empire!
27. Junk Djor:
You will usually find the 'junk drawer' in the kitchen filled to the brim with miscellaneous, but very important, junk.
28. Southern Illinois:
Anything south of I-80.
The Interstates in the immediate Chicagoland area are usually known just by their 'name' and not their Interstate number: The Dan Ryan ("the Ryan"), the Stevenson, the Kennedy, the Eisenhower (the "Ike"), and the Edens.
30. *Gym Shoes:
The rest of the country may refer to them as sneakers or running shoes but Chicagoans will always call them gym shoes!