Wednesday, February 20, 2008


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
individual's gender.

17. Pop: A soft drink. Don't say "soda" in this town. "Do ya wanna
canna pop?"

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!


Rayne of Terror said...

Frontroom, over by there, sammich are definitely things my suburban Chicago raised husband says.

Katherine said...

That's so funny! And so true. I've live here in Chambana most of my life, but I'm always accused of being from Chicago because I use Chicagoese.

Misc said...

Oh, that's funny. Gave me a much-needed laugh.

My MIL (from Vienna, Austria) speaks fluent Chicagoese (she lives in Northbrook but lived in the city for a very long time).

I'm surprised there wasn't anything in there about who Northsiders and Southsiders are.

lbotp said...

Junk dror. LOVE IT! Now I have that darn Empire Carpet song in my head ...

Jenna said... mean she is from Nortlake?

For Christmas, we scored some Empire post-its...we were so excited my FIL didn't understand.