Philadelphia slang is its own language, I swear. Whenever I travel, I find myself trying to order hoagies or track down water ice, and I’m just met with blank stares. Other regions have their own slang, but I’m pretty happy with the way Philadelphians talk. After all, it seems like most of our slang is out there to make it easier on us!
The obvious one. Whenever we try to explain jawn to a newcomer, we end up regretting it. Just because you can use the word to replace just about anything, it doesn't mean you should.
As in, "Ill have a wooder." If its hot out, be sure to order an ice wooder.
3. Tap Mac
We don't go to the ATM in Philly, we tap MAC. I didn't even realize this was Philadelphia slang until I mentioned that I had to tap MAC when I was in Boston... I got all sorts of strange looks.
4. Water (Wooder?) Ice
Water Ice is a staple of summertime in Philadelphia, but it's another thing that's hard to explain to outsiders. It's not Italian ice, it's not a sno-cone... it's just water ice. The best places serve cherry with little chunks of cherries in them. And, as boring as it sounds, vanilla water ice is absolutely delicious.
5. Young bol.
I think this is
supposed to be "young bull," but in Philadelphia slang, it sounds more like "young bol" or "young boul." Regardless of how you spell it, it's like calling someone a kid.
6. I know a guy.
Everyone in Philly "knows a guy." Whether you're warning your younger sister's new boyfriend, trying to convince a friend that you can get a task done, or trying to explain how you happened to get enough Sarcone's for the entire tailgate at the very last minute... "I know a guy."
7. Wit Wiz
Pictured is a cheesesteak wit whiz. While there are many ways to order a cheesesteak, it's pretty much universally accepted that "wit" means with onions and "whiz" means, well, with cheeze whiz.
8. Whadder youse doin?
The stereotype is that we say "youse guys," but you'll hear just "youse" more. It's the Philadelphia slang version of "y'all," and once you start saying it, it becomes a habit.
9. Go Iggles!
If you're from Philadelphia, you've probably spent most of your Sundays rooting for the Iggles. After all, we live and die by our sports teams, no matter how many times they break our hearts.
10. Turn on the spicket.
Confession: I genuinely didn't know it was a "spigot" until I was 17. I asked a friend of mine from Georgia to turn on the spicket, and she looked at me like I had three heads.
11. Where yat?
At some point in our lives, we were taught to never end a sentence with a preposition... and then we immediately decided that the rule was not for Philadelphians. You won't hear "Where are you?" when your friends are trying to track you down. Instead, "Where yat?" or "Where ya at?" will be the phrase of choice.
12. Down the Shore
We don't go to the beach - we go down the shore. To say it any other way just seems downright strange.
Get out of here with your subs, grinders, and heros! Philly invented the Hoagie and named it after Hog Island!
14. I'll have mine with iimmies.
Chocolate or rainbow, if they go on top of ice cream and they're oval shaped, they're jimmies.
How many of these Philadelphian words and phrases do you use on a daily basis? I wish the rest of the country could figure out how to use “jawn” without embarrassing themselves, it’s such a useful term…