Talk Like A Local

Photo © B. Krist for GPTMC

Want to talk the talk like Philadelphians? Here are some of the common words you may hear in your day-to-day Philly excursions.

215 [too-wuhn-fahyv]: n., a reference to Philadelphia’s main area code

Boo [boo]: n., the sound emitted by Philly sports fans toward home teams when they are anything but perfect;
v., the Philly way to show love and encouragement for home sports teams.

Broad Street [brawd street]: n., a major arterial street that runs the length of the city, between 13th and 15th streets; not 14th Street (doesn’t exist)
Synonyms: Avenue of the Arts

Broad Street Bullies [brawd street bool-ees]: n., former nickname of the Flyers, Philadelphia’s professional hockey team

Delaware Ave. [del-uh-wair ahyv]: n., the north half of the street that runs along the Philly waterfront; south of Spring Garden Street changed to Columbus Boulevard; some Philadelphians refer to the entire stretch as Delaware Ave.

Djeatyet? [jeet-yet]: a food related question, how Philadelphians ask one another if they have eaten yet or are hungry; can be translated as “Did you eat yet?”

Going “Down the Shore “[doun thuh shohr]: v., the act of Philadelphians traveling to or being at the shore;
n., the collective term for the beaches and surrounding attractions of New Jersey

The Drive [thuh drahyv]: n., Kelly Drive, on the east side of the Schuylkill River

East Philly [eest-fil-lee]: n., directionally, the Delaware River; for Philadelphians, East Philly does not exist; not to be confused with Northeast Philly.

Photo © M. Kennedy for GPTMC

The El [thee el]: n., elevated train
Synonyms: Market-Frankford Line, Blue Line

Fightin’ Phils [fahy-tin fils]: n., the Phillies, Philadelphia’s professional baseball team
Synonyms: the Phils, the Fightins

Gayborhood [gey-ber-hood]: n; the area from Chancellor to Pine streets and 13th to 11th streets; called such because of LGBT-friendly community centers, stores, bars and eateries; adorned with rainbow street signs
Synonyms: Midtown Village, Washington Square West

Hoagie [hoh-gee]: n., meats, cheeses, vegetables and condiments in an Italian bread roll; declared by Governor Ed Rendell to be the official sandwich of Philadelphia

Iggles [ig-gulls]: n., the Eagles, Philadelphia’s professional football team
Synonyms: The Birds, Mean Green

Jawn [jawn]: n., any person, place or thing
Synonyms: wutchucallit, thing, that thing, that place

Jimmies [jim-ees]: n., tiny, edible toppings to put on cakes, cookies, candy, cupcakes and ice cream; can be chocolate or multi-colored
Synonyms: sprinkles

Photo © J. Varney for GPTMC

Pretzel [pret-suhl]: n., salted dough baked in the form of a twist or knot; best served hot from food carts or storefronts in Center City

Row homes [roh hohms]: n., houses on a Philadelphia city block sitting completely flush against one another and including stoops.

Schuylkill [skoo-kul]: n., the river east of the city
n., the I-76 Expressway

Sixers [siks-ers]: n., the 76ers, Philadelphia’s professional basketball team

Stoop [stoop]: n., the steps to a row home where Philadelphians hang out and chill

Sub [subh]: n., underground transportation system; in Philadelphia, the Broad Street Subway, BSS or Orange Line; not something you eat (see hoagie)

Going “Up the Poconos” [uhp thuh poh-kuh-nohs]: v., the act of Philadelphians traveling to or being in the Pocono Mountains
n., the collective term for the rural area and surrounding attractions of the mountain range in Northeast Pennsylvania.

Water [wood-er]: n., a transparent, odorless, tasteless liquid; makes up about 70 percent of the human body; what Philadelphians drink

Water Ice [wood-er ahys]: n., a frozen dessert made of water, sweetener and fruit syrup or other flavorings; most popular vendor is Rita’s
Synonyms: Italian ice, flavored ice, shaved ice

Whiz Wit [wiz-wit]: phrase, the proper way to order a cheesesteak in Philly; indicates that Cheez Whiz and onions are to be used, in addition to the Amaroso roll and thinly sliced steak
Acceptable variations: “Provolone wit” and “American wit”
Antonym: Whiz witout