Skip to comments.HOW TO TALK RIGHT WHEN YOU VISIT CHICAGO
Posted on 02/16/2006 3:41:58 PM PST by Chi-townChief
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 Jewels to pick up some sassage.
5. Field's: Marshall Field, a prominent Chicago department store. 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 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 recently 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 named 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. Da 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.
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! The other number everyone knows is NAtional 2-9000 but no one knows who it connects you to.
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.
26. Expressways: The Interstates in the immediate Chicago land 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!
28. And, finally, Chicago's most famous address is, of course, 3535 N. Ashland Avenue "and that, my friends, is Bert Weinman Ford."
We always said State Street was the Mason Dixon line.
Dudderday: "So I sees dis guy dudderday, and I sez to him, I sez. . . ."
Or, "I'm goin' to da Jool. . . ."
Akshilly, da REAL Mare Daley is not da kid, Richie, but de old man, Hizzoner Da Mare, Richard J. Daley.
Or just simply, "a beef," as in, "Hey, I'm goin' over to Portillo's to get me a beef. Y'want anyting?"
The Italian beef sandwich, along with the deep-dish pizza, is one of Chicago's two greatest contributions to the civilized world. I think a good Chicago hot dog, nestled in a steamed poppy seed bun and buried under a mountain of "stuff," would be the third.
Thanks for the thread and the ping...I have been gone from Chicago since 1978, but still so readily identify with so much on this list...
#4. Jewels...my mom would never shop anywhere but at the Jewel...havent seen one of them since I left Chicago...
5. Fields...by far the best and most wonderful dept store in the world...from the basement specials to the expensive specialty shops, one can find almost anything there...their toy floor is the best...at Christmas Time, my mom always took me and my brother to Fields to see Santa, aunt Holly, and Uncle Mistletoe in Cozy Cloud Cottage...the best santa ever...I continued that tradition with my own two boys...I sure love Marshall Fields...
#11....Downtown...I loved going Downtown, shopping all day long..what a treat...
12...the Lake...of course, we always called Lake Michigan the 'Lake'...spent my childhood days at North ave Beach...as a teen went onto the 'rocks' swimming(that grand concrete slab between North Ave and Oak Street beaches)...in the early spring we went smelt fishing out on the pier off of North Ave Beach...
17...Pop..Coke, Pepsi, 7-up, RC, Mountain Dew, Dads Rootbeer, they are all 'pop'
24.Junk dror...where I keep all the junk, and odd and ends that fit nowhere else...still call it the junk dror to this day...
25...Southern Ill...My brother went to college way down south in southern Illinois...went to Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois...down there they cook southern, they talk with a southern accent, they think southern, if there is such a thing...
26...Expressway...had lots of trouble when we moved, as I always called anything that looked like the Kennedy, or the
Dan Ryan(or as my dad called it, the Dan Lubinski), an expressway..found out that no one else called it that...they said 'freeway'...In North carolina, where we first moved it was a 'freeway'...here in Washington State, its still the 'freeway'...tho I have been gone from Chicago for all these years, old habits die hard, and I find my self every so often slipping, and still calling it the 'expressway'
27...gym shoes..dang straight..no matter what anyone else wants to call them, 'running shoes', or 'sneakers', or whatever other name they want to put to them, they are nothing but gym shoes...appropriately called as such, because we have to change from our street shoes, to our 'gym shoes', when we went to the 'gymnasium'(hence the name gym shoes), for PE, or 'gym', as we always called it...
Thanks for these great memories...I have been gone from Chicago for so long, and have returned only once...hopefully, now that me and the hubby are both retired, we will come back to Chicago for a lengthy visit...
The only Italian Beef sammich we get since we left Chicago, is the one I make at home...had to resort to that, because no one in North Carolina, knew what I was talking about...
When we moved to Washington state we actually did find a little take out joint up in Tacoma Washington that sold Vienna red hots, and Italian Beef Sammiches made just right...we used to go up there every other week...it figures that they knew how to make those things right, the owner, and the workers were all from Chicago...unfortunately they closed down...
So now I am back to making my own Italian Beef Sammiches at home...
And I have not had a decent Pizza since I left Chicago...
Pittsburgh language and the Mon-Valley dialect isn't so far off from Chicago talk.
We call pop, pop around here, not soda. A soda is pop with ice cream in it.
Younse is a common term meaning "you guys" or everyone present.
The Steelers are the "Stillers".
Downtown is Dahntahn.
Indeed..I have not heard the word 'gangway' used since I left Chicago...now we used to call that little sidewalk between houses a 'gangway'...we called the big old thing in back of the houses an 'alley'..
Gads, you guys are stirring up memories of long ago...
Thanks for all the memories.
Let me add one to the list: 16 inch softball - w/o gloves. It is a sport exclusive to Chicago.
Several years ago, the City 16 inch champs challenged the White Sox to a game of 16 ", and the Sox took a pass. They knew they'd get beat.
I'll "be back in Chi" this August for my 40th reunion.
5727 South Ashland Avenue...at Ferrel-Hicks, at Ferrel-HICKS!
Aligning the antenna on da roof to get WFLD 32-UHF, circa 1973...FOUR CHANNELS! Woo Hoo!!
I haven't lived in Chicago since I was about 10, but I'll always remember the Empire Carpets jingle.
And my bent fingers, jammed by many a line drive, will attest to that.
Gloves are for girls.
You forgot, "How ya doin."
The one I remember especially, from the time when we still had word prefixes, was HUdson 3-2700, the number for Boushelle Carpet Cleaners.
Thank you, thank you..more and more memories, coming back..
The alley is the alley and a gangway ain't the alley. You play ball in de alley and you go tru da gangway to get to da yard.
As in: "Gitcher bike outta da gangway and put it in da graj."
And I don't go Downtown, I take de "L" to da Loop.
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