Talk:Western Pennsylvania English

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I've lived in Pittsburgh my whole life and I've never heard a real Pittsburgher say yunz. Real Pittsburghers say Yinz. Kennywood Park had a billboard advertising a new Hawaiian-themed section of the park that read "Aloha, yinz guys". Now that's Pittsburgh! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:11, 9 November 2004‎

  • Yes, well, I've also known Pittsburghers who distinguished sides of their family, who lived on opposite sides of the city, by whether they were Yinzers or Yunzers---whether they said yinz or yunz. Guess it just goes to show that regional variation is, well, regional. . . . Juicy 03:11, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
  • I say it all the time, yet never noticed if I say yunz or yinz, or a difference when others say it. I'm still not sure, hmm. It might even be possible for yenz. I'm confident, though, that the variation exists because the way people interpret things differently. Two people listening to the same person talking might call it different. Sounds like yieunz to me! Automagically 04:29, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I lived in PA for a number of years, while a student at Penn State. I met people from all over the state there. I got the impression that Pittsburgh and points south is "yinz" territory, while "yunz" is what you hear to the north and east of there, i.e. places like State College, Bellefont, Altoona. I think both forms are restricted to south-western and central PA.
  • I grew up about an hour north of Pittsburgh (Mars, PA), and I lived in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh during college, and I've never once heard it pronounced "yunz". We always said "yins" (which, incidentally, we would spell with an 's' on the rare occasions when we'd write it down -- notes passed in study hall or the like). A friend of mine, who's never lived in PA, swears he knew some "yunzers" from the Altoona area, but I have yet to meet one. Seansinc 18:44, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
  • I grew up in the city, and "yinz" is definitely the predominant pronounciation there. But that's all right, yinz are doing a great job. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:38, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I came to Pittsburgh as a college freshman in 1969. My roommate was from the rural exurb of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. He definitely said yuns, but when he wanted to be unambiguously plural, he's say yuns all. I never heard a Pittsburger use that plural form, and going west to Youngstown, Ohio (I later had a roommate from there), the word was yous or yus (like yuns without the n). I recall hearing both yuns and yins in Pittsburgh when I was a student.Douglas W. Jones (talk) 01:14, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
  • I grew up in New Castle, PA, 1955-1973, 15 miles east of Youngstown, 50 miles North-Northwest of Pittsburgh, and I heard yinz all the time. MikeDoyle (talk) 04:29, 25 September 2015 (UTC)


I spent the first 17 years of my life in Pittsburgh, and I don't remember ever hearing the letter L in "kolbassi" actually be pronounced. Add in that cot/caught shift, and the pronunciation I grew up with is a lot closer to "kabossy" than anything else. Macoafi (talk) 22:44, 27 February 2012 (UTC)


What is most needed is a person to track down the page numbers of the traditional inline citations that the article was written with. If I can get the papers I may be able to do some of the work myself. --Guerillero | My Talk 06:04, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Pittsburghese is "white only"?[edit]

This statement and it's sources don't reflect this article properly. To say that Pittsburghese is only documented and limted to white Pittsburghers' is extremely wrong and ignorant! Being of multiple ethnicity's myself, I grew up in the South Side, across the bridge from downtown Pgh. It's a very diverse neighborhood, where heavy Pittsburghese is found, and where I've picked up mine. I grew up using multiple Pittsburghese terms, picked up from family and friends from our very diverse neighborhood. Speaking Pittsburghese has nothing to do with race. It's all geographical, and to summarize a segment on such a broad term, with this narrow statement is invalid, deceptive, and fallacious. I think this segment needs edited, or removed altogether, as it's portraying another point entirely, that is not relevant to the Pittsburghese English segment.Surpmutin (talk) 23:09, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps a small point..."redd up" would not happen at a spigot in my experience. "redd up" implies tidying up an area, not oneself...and never with water. Cjrodkey (talk) 23:29, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Central Pennsylvania Accent[edit]

Why does Central Pennsylvania accent now redirect to this page? I grew up in central PA and it is not the same Western PA/Pittsburgh speech. --Robin (talk) 18:04, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

I agree. It is quite different from my point of view. Gerry D (talk) 22:59, 31 March 2019 (UTC)

"Go redd up at the spicket before dinner"[edit]

this sentence sounds stupid, as redd up means roughly "to clean or tidy" or in its primary meaning " to put things back where they belong". (talk) 15:10, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

The section just above this one makes the same point, but appears never to have been addressed. What example would you suggest instead? (I'm not from Western PA, so anything I came up with wouldn't sound authentic) --Fru1tbat (talk) 18:03, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
Despite the lack of response here, considering that the example has been questioned twice by native speakers, is unsourced, and does not provide any meaningful clarification of the preceding description (which is unambiguous anyway), I've removed the offending example. --Fru1tbat (talk) 13:28, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
A true yinzer would say something like, "Hey, yinz kids go warsh up at the spicket before yinz come in for dinner." Lyttle-Wight (talk) 23:20, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Merger Discussion[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was silence and consensus to merge. Wolfdog (talk) 15:44, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

The sources that are directly used/claimed to support the existence of a Central Pennsylvania dialect on the page of that name are weak or potentially outdated, and, at any rate, central PA does not seem to be clearly defined as its own dialect region, though most of the info on that page can classify easily under the Western PA dialect. I went through the sources cited... Scanning Kurath for "central pennsylvania" on Google Books presents nothing indicating a dialect. I have no access to, or way to check, the Thomas or Carver sources. Also, frustratingly, for all three sources, no page numbers are given. Meanwhile, Kurath and Thomas's info may well be out of date. Fortunately, the Salvucci source gives insight into Kurath, Thomas, and Carver, presenting some evidence that central PA is both a linguistic sub-region (acc. Kurath) and is not its own linguistic sub-region (acc. Thomas, who lumps it with Western PA), while additionally showing that some areas of central PA are influenced by Pennsylvania German (acc. Carver; also mentioned by Kovecses). Lastly, I own the full Montgomery text, and it says nothing about central PA whatsoever.

More likely than having its own single dialect, the broad center of PA constitutes a crossroads for several relatively homogeneous and well-documented other dialects, as Labov, Ash, and Boberg's study demonstrates (see my prior comments here). Regardless, most of this article's information—seemingly referring to the geographic area around Centre County and west (of which Labov et al study specifically Stage College and identifies within the Western PA dialect)—matches and aligns easily with the information on Western Pennsylvania English and can be merged there. I'd be happy to do the merge if there is no dispute; I'd also be happy to merge any elements that other editors feel should be preserved. Wolfdog (talk) 22:19, 22 January 2016 (UTC)

  • I have no strong objection. Scholarly opinions – like the forms of English spoken in Pennsylvania – are something of a mixed bag. Cnilep (talk) 07:13, 26 January 2016 (UTC)
    • OK. After seven days of no real opposition/discussion, I'm going to merge the page again to Western Pennsylvania English. I've already inserted some comments at WPE about central Pennsylvania features (also merging some of the key sources from this page into that one). Wolfdog (talk) 15:44, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

External link[edit]

I've just re-added an external link to "Pittsburgh Speech and Society". User:Sarahj2107 removed the link on 25 February with the edit summary, "cleaned up external links per WP:EL". Perhaps the editor considered the list excessive. It's not obvious to me, though, why this one is out while three similar links are in. For the record, Barbara Johnstone and Scott Kiesling, the creators of that web site, are university professors of sociolinguistics, and Johnstone has literally written the book on the dialect: Speaking Pittsburghese (Oxford, 2013). Cnilep (talk) 06:53, 14 March 2016 (UTC)

By the way, is the Clarion University link dead? It doesn't work for me. Cnilep (talk) 06:54, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
@Cnilep: The page was tagged as needing external links cleanup since 2011 so I removed links I thought didn't meet the WP:EL guidlines and should be removed per the WP:LINKFARM policy. I felt the website didn't add anything. Also, the society is not mentioned in the article apart from its use as a reference. The New York Times and PBS links provide more detailed information so I chose to keep them but I have no problem if other people want to remove them. The Clarion University is now dead for me as well and could also be removed. I can't remember if is was dead or not before but if it was I would have likely removed it.
I'm not going to argue to have it removed again but if it is such an important society perhaps that should be discussed in the article so people know why the link is there and how it relates to the article topic, and maybe an ISBN link to their book would be more appropriate than a link to their website. Sarahj2107 (talk) 08:36, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
Fair enough; it's good to keep the number of external links reasonable. By the way, it isn't a scholarly society, just a web site. The word "society" refers to Pittsburgh society. Cnilep (talk) 02:39, 16 March 2016 (UTC)

Reduplicated plural[edit]

Another characteristic of "Pittsburghese" is the use of the reduplicated plural. For example, when a waitress arrives at a group's table with their food orders, she may say, "Here's yinz's breakfastses." Lyttle-Wight (talk) 02:29, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

Similarly, if a third person singular verb form ends in "-sts", it may be pronounced as if it were spelled "-stses". For example, I've heard "twistses" and "costses". Lyttle-Wight (talk) 03:00, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

Undo the merge[edit]

The Central Pa Dialect page has been merged with the Pittsburg dialect page because of silence of fewer than 30 days. This is silly for at least 2 reasons. 1. The two accents aren't the same at all and 2. This isn't a page we watch and follow so what's with the arbitrary and extremely short time period for the "debate"? I open the page about twice a year, shortly before I send it to someone as a reference, as I did today.

The objection to the page has always been that there are too few external references. Well the problem is that the external refs are not on the web but are in the Penn State Libraries where MS thesis work is kept. This work is not digitized and it is too difficult to access unless you are living in State College.

In the past I have written to a couple of professors who have published on Central PA dialect and asked them to add refs (I have no direct access to the academic press) but without much luck. Just now I did a quick search and have found several academic works referenced in other sources and some maps that clearly delineate the Central PA dialect regions. So what is driving this urgency to merge two topics that are clearly not suitable? And, the larger question - What is the motivation for doing it? Why as a Pittsburgh person do you care if we think we don't talk like you do?

Also, where can I find the old page? There was a lot of work there and I want to keep it.

And "goonie" certainly is a word for a rock of a certain size. When I saw that addition to the Central PA page I wrote to all my cousints and we had a good laugh. My brother-in-law still marvels at the woman in Middleburg asking him "Where younz at?" so that she could direct the tow truck. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Parsnip13 (talkcontribs) 03:17, 29 June 2016 (UTC)