I am originally from Chicagoland...before I moved 'down south'. My dad sent me this and it was very amusing...and very true.
1. Grachki (grach-key): Chicagoese for "garage key" as in, "Yo,
Theresa, waja do wit da grachki? How my supposta cut da grass if I
don't git intada grach?"
2. Sammich: Chicagoese for sandwich. When made with sausage, it's a
sassage sammich; when made with shredded beef, it's an Italian Beef
sammich, a local delicacy consisting of piles of spicy meat in a
perilously soggy bun.
3. Da: This article is a key part of Chicago speech, as in "Da Bear s"
or "Da Mare" -- the latter denoting Richard M. Daley, or Richie, as
he's often called.
4. Jewels: Not family heirlooms or a tender body region, but a
popular name for one of the region's dominant grocery store chains.
"I'm goin' to the Jewels to pick up some sassage."
5. Field's: Marshall Field, a prominent Chicago department store.
Also Carson Pirie Scott, another major department store chain, is
simply called " Carson "s."
6. Tree: The number between two and four. "We were lucky dat we only
got tree inches of snow da udder night."
7. Over by dere: Translates to "over by there," a way of emphasizing
a site presumed familiar to the listener. As in, "I got the sassage
at the Jewels down on Kedzie, over by d e re."
8. Kaminski Park : The mispronounced name of the ballpark where the
Chicago White Sox (da Sox) play baseball. Comiskey Park was renamed
U.S. Cellular Field (now just "da Cell")
9. Frunchroom: As in, "Get outta da frunchroom wit dose muddy shoes."
It's not the "parlor." It's not the "living room." In the land of the
bungalow, it's the "frunchroom," a named derived, linguists believe,
from "front room."
10. Use: Not the verb, but the plural pronoun "you!" "Where use
11. Downtown: Anywhere near The Lake, south of The Zoo (Lincoln Park
Zoo) and north of Soldier Field.
12. The Lake : Lake Michigan . (What other lake is there?) It's often
used by local weathermen, "cooler b y The Lake."
14. Braht: Short for Bratwurst. "Gimme a braht wit kraut."
15. Goes: Past or present tense of the verb "say." For example, "Den
he goes, "I like this place"!"
16. Guys: Used when addressing two or more people, regardless of each
17. Pop: A soft drink. Don't say "soda" in this town. "Do ya wanna
18. Sliders: Nickname for hamburgers from White Castle , a popular
Midwestern burger chain. "Dose sliders I had last night gave me da
19. The Taste: The Taste of Chicago Festival, a huge extravaganza in
Grant Park featuring samples of Chicagoland cuisine which takes place
each year around the Fourth of July holiday.
20. "Jeetyet?": Translates to, "Did you eat yet?"
21. Winter and Construction: Punch line to the joke, "What are the
two seasons in Chicago?"
22. Cuppa Too-Tree: is Chicagoese for "a couple, two, three" which
really means "a few." For example, "Hey Mike, dere any beerz left in
da cooler over by dere?" "Yeh, a cuppa too-tree."
23. 588-2300: Everyone in Chicago knows this commercial jingle and
the carpet company you'll get if you call that number -- Empire!
24. Junk Dror: You will usually find the "junk drawer" in the kitchen
filled to the brim with miscellaneous, but very important, junk.
25. Southern Illinois : Anything south of I-80. This is where
Smothers" is from....
26 . Expressways: The Interstates in the immediate Chicagoland area
are usually known just by their "name" and not their Interstate
number: the Dan Ryan ("da Ryan"), the Stevenson, the Kennedy (da
"Kennedy"), the Eisenhower (da "Ike"), and the Edens (just "Edens"
but Da Edens" is acceptable).
27. Gym Shoes: The rest of the country may refer to them as sneakers
or running shoes but Chicagoans will always call them gym shoes!