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The Crazy Language They Speak in Pittsburgh

Updated: Feb 16, 2020

Check out the latest edition of The Bob & Jackie Show, recorded on Valentine's Day, that explores the somewhat wacky version of the English language spoken by many native residents of Pittsburgh, PA.

That's the hometown of my wife, Jackie, and where I went to college and started my journalism career as the first white reporter to be hired by the black weekly, The Pittsburgh Courier.

The city is home to some of the most wonderful people in the world -- kind, caring, friendly, warm, generous -- but they also have their own special way of talking. What's "yinz?" Or "slippy", or "aarn"? What's a "jag off?"

And, what, pray tell, does it mean if somebody looks at you and says, "Hey dude, Kennywood's open"? Trust me, they're not suggesting you buy tickets to the famed amusement park. It's something else, entirely.

Spend some time with this hilarious episode and you'll find out.

Then the conversation turns to such insightful topics as why Jackie's nose itches when she eats potatoes, what kind of a word is "thwart," anyway, and why we are committed to Paul Newman's Own Salad Dressing (especially Jackie, who has always had the hots for Paul).

There's also a story about Jackie's mom, Tina, who loved to watch KDKA-TV news anchor, Bill Burns, he with the curl on his forehead and the wavy black -- then gray -- hair. "He can put his shoes under my bed any time," Tina used to say.

So, you can see this is an especially serious episode. If you don't want to laugh, don't watch it.

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