Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Chicago Slang

Grachki (grach'-key): Chicagoese for "garage key"
as in, "Yo, Theresa, waja do wit da grachki? Howmy
supposta cut da grass if I don't git intada grach?"

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.

Da: This article is a key part of Chicago speech,
as in "Da Bears" or "Da Mare" -- the latter denoting
Richard M. Daley, or Richie, as he's often called.

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
da Jewels to pick up some sassage."

Field's: Marshall Field, a prominent Chicago
department store. Also Carson Pirie Scott, another
major department store chain, is simply called "Carson's."

Tree: The number between two and four. "We were
lucky dat we only got tree inches of snow da udder

Prairie: A vacant lot, especially one on which weeds are growing.

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 da Jewels
down on Kedzie, over by dere."

KaminskiPark: The mispronounced name of the
ballpark where the Chicago White Sox (da Sox) play
baseball. Comiskey Park was recently renamed U.S.
Cellular Field (yuck!)

Frunchroom: As in, "Getottada 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."

Use: Not the verb, but the plural pronoun "you!”
“Wher e's use goin'?"

Downtown: Anywhere near The Lake, south of The
Zoo (Lincoln Park Zoo) and north of Soldier Field.

The Lake: Lake Michigan. (What other lake is
there?) It's often used by local weathermen, "cooler
by The Lake."

BoysTown: A section on Halsted between Belmont
and Addison which is lined with gay bars both sides
of the street. "Didn't I see use in BoysTown in
front of da Manhole?"

Braht: Short for Bratwurst. "Gimme a braht wit kraut."

Cashbox: Traffic reporter slang for tollbooths.
"Dere's a delay at da cashbox on da Skyway."

Goes: Past or present tense of the verb "say."
For example, "Then he goes, 'I like this place'!"

Guys: Used when addressing two or more people,
regardless of each individual's gender.

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

Sliders: Nickname for small, square hamburgers from White
Castle, a popular Midwestern burger chain.
"Dose sliders I had last night gave me da runs."
Also known as, "Wee Willy One-Bites"
and "belly bombs."

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.

"Jieetyet?": Translates to, "Did you eat yet?"

Winter and Construction: Punch line to the joke,
"What are the two seasons in Chicago?"

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."

588-2300: Everyone in Chicago knows this
commercial jingle and the carpet company you'll get
if you call that number -- Empire!

Junk Djor: You will usua lly find the 'junk
drawer' in the kitchen filled to the brim with miscellaneous,
but very important, junk.

Southern Illinois: Anything south of I-80.

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, the
Eisenhower (da "Ike"), and the Edens.

Gym Shoes: The rest of the country may refer to
them as sneakers or running shoes but Chicagoans
will always call them gym shoes!


Jules said...

This was fun to read. Ha Ha! Sounds a bit familiar! I wonder why :)

umarang said...

Yes I love your Chicago parlance