Growing up about an hour east of Pittsburgh, roughly 45 miles or so, I consider myself a Pittsburgher, secondary to being a Latrobean. Random Fun Facts: Latrobe, Pennsylvania Pennsylvania is known as the Keystone State, as well as the State of Independence. Tucked away in the lower left corner of the state, better known as Western Pennsylvania, lies the city of Pittsburgh. It’s our own piece of the world, and it’s a great place to visit, and for me a place I call home.
Over the years, I’ve traveled and explored other areas of our beautiful planet, but I’ve always returned. Why? Because this is my birthplace, my home, and it’s a great place to live! Sure we have our quirks, but nothing beats the landscape of the Laurel Mountains, the three rivers, all the art and architecture, and the quaint communities surrounding Pittsburgh and the suburbs. Nothing!
Recently, Pittsburgh has been voted as having the “Ugliest Accent” from Gawker.com’s “America’s Ugliest Accent” tournament. Do I care? Not really. I’m proud of our city with everything it has to offer, and its hard working and loyal people. After all, no one can claim to have die hard sports fans like we do with our “Stillers” (Steelers), Steeler Nation, the Pirates (baseball) and the Penguins (hockey). We are world renowned for our hospitals and doctors, and recently the Pittsburgh area has caught the attention of the movie industry, and celebrities alike. Not to mention there are plenty of famous individuals who call Pittsburgh home or have close ties with our city, including Andrew Carnegie (the Carnegie Museum), Gene Kelly, Michael Keaton, Billy Gardell, Christina Aguilera and our world famous artist, Andy Warhol. Not a bad line up.
We have Heinz ketchup! Say no more.
Sure, we used to be known for our “still mills” (steel mills), but times have changed. And sure, we don’t progress as quickly as other cities, but slow and steady seem to win the race, especially with respect to the cost of living. Our area wasn’t hit hard by the housing market crash, no major spikes and valleys here. Pittsburgh, like its steel is cool, smooth and solid.
I read somewhere, Pittsburgh averages more rainfall and “partly clawdy” (partly cloudy) days a year than Seattle, Washington. I don’t know who won that race, but I can attest for our fickle weather that usually hides the sun. Personally, I don’t mind the rain and clouds, for when the sun does shine we appreciate it all the more.
As a student in school, I was taught correct grammar, like most, learning the difference between slang and proper English. It’s true, Pittsburgh is an educated bunch, so don’t let the “ugly” accent fool you. We are fully aware of our creative and very recognizable Pittsburgh language, and we are proud of it the same. In fact, I’m sure since I’ve started writing this blog, I’ve slipped in a few slang terms, or at least I started to until spell check didn’t realize I was from the Pittsburgh area.
My Pittsburgh accent isn’t as thorough as some, but I do “redd up” my room and walk through “jaggers” in the woods and “chitchat” with friends and offer them a “pop,” even though I don’t drink soda. Sometimes it gets “slippery” when “yinz” are walking across one of our great bridges. Yes, we have more bridges than Venice! Sunday’s I find myself “loafin'” around while my mom “worshes” (washes) the dishes with water from the “spicket” (facet). Now that’s one I personally can’t stand! I’ve never put an “r” in my wash, EVER, and I never will. My mom is the only one in our family who does, and that drives me crazy!
Pittsburghers are a quirky bunch, but a great place to call home. If you’re in the area, stop by and have a Primanti Brother’s “sammitch” (sandwich) and visit the “sahside” (Southside), “norside” (Northside) or “dahntahn” (Downtown) “n’at” (and that). Don’t mock it until you’ve tried it, so go ahead and practice your Pittsburghese.