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
night."

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!

2 comments:

Jules said...

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

umarang said...

Yes I love your Chicago parlance