World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Central Pennsylvania dialect

Article Id: WHEBN0003005553
Reproduction Date:

Title: Central Pennsylvania dialect  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Pittsburgh English
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Central Pennsylvania dialect

Central Pennsylvania dialect is a regional dialect of American English spoken in the central part of Pennsylvania. Most scholars view the dialect as closely related to Western Pennsylvania speech,[1][2] often referred to as Pittsburgh English, although Western Pennsylvania speech extends beyond just the city of Pittsburgh. Some analyses include Central Pennsylvania in the Appalachian English dialect.[3] The area is also frequently described as a portion of the Midland or South Midland dialect area.[4]


The first white settlers in Central Pennsylvania were predominantly Scots-Irish and German.[1] A variety of the German language known as Pennsylvania German is spoken in the area. This German language variety has greatly influenced the English spoken in Central Pennsylvania.[5]

Geographic distribution

The Central Pennsylvania dialect is spoken in the following counties: Centre, Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Cumberland, Franklin, Huntingdon, Fulton, Bedford, Blair, and Clinton.[6]

The dialect may also be spoken in Snyder, York, Adams, Clearfield, Northumberland, Lycoming, Union, Cameron, Schuylkill, and much of Dauphin County, and less commonly in other parts of Pennsylvania.


Many Central Pennsylvania English speakers use the term redd or redd up to mean "to tidy". For example, You've got to redd up before you can go outside. This is from the old Norse by way of Middle English and probably arrived with the Scots-Irish.[7] Other words heard in Central and in Western Pennsylvania are thought to come from the area's Scots-Irish settlers, as well. These include slippy ("slippery"), nebby ("nosy") and the second-person plural pronoun you'uns, related to Western Pennsylvania's yinz.[8]

Another form from Scots-Irish is seen in sentences such as This car needs washed to mean "This car needs washing" or "This car needs to be washed." This form is heard in Central and Western Pennsylvania and in parts of Northern Ireland; it is thought to derive from Scots Gaelic.[9]

The caught–cot merger is firmly in place. Caught and cot, and Dawn and Don are homophones.[10]

When referring to consumable products, the word all is used to mean all gone. For example, the phrase the butter's all would be understood as "the butter is all gone." This likely derives from German.[5]

The word anymore is used to mean something like "nowadays" in sentences without negative polarity, another usage related to German.[8] For example, We use a gas stove anymore means "We use a gas stove nowadays."[10]

See also


External links

Template:Languages of Pennsylvania

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Fair are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.