14 Words You'll Understand If You're From Delaware
Stuck in between Philadelphia and east of the Mason-Dixon line (yes, east), Delawareans have quite a mashup of northern and southern slang and pronunciations. It kind of reminds us of the Osmond song, “A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock ‘N Roll.” And, while we’re not sure Delaware is big enough to warrant its own vocabulary, or that these are unique only to Delaware, here are some words, phrases and terms that we’ve heard around the state that we’re hoping you/you guys/y’all will understand. Do any of these Delaware words surprise you? How many, if any, did you hear growing up?
We know there are other words that are used throughout the state, mostly said by grandmothers, grandfathers and great aunts and uncles. What are your favorites?
More to Explore
What are some fun Delaware sayings everyone should know before they visit?
Looking for some fun Delaware sayings you ought to know before you head over to our cute little state? You can sound like a local by saying things like “I was baggin’ up at that cat video I saw the other day.” As you can likely tell by context clues, baggin’ up, in this case, is equivalent to cracking up, or laughing hard. Oh, and you’ll also probably hear someone say something like “ignert”, as in, “That guy denying science is just so ignert” - meaning, in this case, “ignorant”, said in such a way that it sounds like a new word of its own.
What kind of Delaware slang is there?
Delaware is home to regional slang just like anywhere else in the world, really, but especially like other regions of the United States. There’s something fun and odd about American slang that really makes it all our own. You’ve got phrases like “baggin’ up” and “frog strangler”, and pronunciations like “ignert” and “that-a-way". It really is a unique place with its very own Delaware slang, but it’s of course just a bit of a twist on the traditional east-coast accent. We don’t know about you, but there’s something super fun about accents and slang that varies from place to place, and Delaware is no different!
What does the Delaware accent sound like?
Accents across Delaware may vary, but the overall feel of Delaware dialect is “mid-Atlantic”. There’s a hint of the Maryland/Philly accent in there, usually, but overall, it’s not ridiculously strong like the accents you’ll likely encounter in places like New York City, New Jersey, or the deep south. Some folks might even have accents so subtle that they might as well not be there at all – it all depends on region and the ear of the beholder!