Talk:Philadelphia English

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There's an error, Goin down the shore is STRICTLY across the river; no one from philly would ever say somethin like goin down the shore, that's straight jersey trash right there

I'm from Philly--Delaware County suburbs, actually--and I remember people saying "down the shore" all the time when I was young.-- 07:13, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
I moved to the Philly area from DC about 10 years ago. I'm familiar with the expression (mostly from the local news and humorous newspaper columns), but I hardly ever hear it actually used. Most of the time, people seem to say "to the shore" or "at the shore," just like they would anywhere else. (Except, of course, that it wouldn't be "the shore" in many other places - it would be "the beach" or "the ocean." Calling it "the shore" seems to be a NY/NJ/PA thing.) Then again, I work at Penn and live in KOP, two of the rare places in this area where there are lots of non-natives, so maybe I'm not getting the fully Philly effect. 02:02, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

What you're discussing here is irrelevant, unless you have a source for it, because of WP:NOR nhinchey 17:52, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

I live in philly. i say "go down the shore" Of course i learned it from people who lived close to the river...

I live just north of Philly, my dad's side is from Mt. Airy my moms side is from SW philly; goin down the shore is ABSOLUTELY a part of the Philadelphia dialect, I can't think of anyone from the area who doesn't say this except people whose parents aren't from the area. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:57, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

"STRICTLY" my eye...Everyone in Philly says "down the shore." I've never heard the Jersey Shore referred to as anything but 'the shore' by anyone in the Delaware County. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:43, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

I am a lifelong resident of Bucks County and Montgomery County, and I have heard "down the shore" all my life as well. Bill S. (talk) 01:15, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

I grew up in Germantown, and we said "down the shore" at least as far back as the 1960s, when my grandmother had a place in Margate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:35, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

Going Down Shore[edit]

I lived in Philadelphia (Germantown and Mount Airy) for about 20 years, and the expression "Going down shore" or "going down to the shore" are definitively used in Philadelphia. Especially the first example, omitting the preposition, is a hallmark of the Philadelphia accent. JesseRafe 02:42, 28 October 2006 (UTC)


Come on guys, wudder 05:53, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

You know, he's right; all I get is flack down here in Florida for saying "wudder". It should be noted...and said with pride ;-) EaglesFanInTampa (formerly Jimbo) 16:27, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
It looks like it was mentioned here before but removed as unsourced. I'd say it's probably the most notable quirk of the Philly accent and should definitely be mentioned, finding a suitable source to cite for it may be a problem though. (And I agree, I too go out of my way to say it with pride as often as possible when out of town). Krimpet 18:45, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
I've discovered this problem with wikipedia before. How exactly do you source that? It's like finding a source for the fact that rain is wet (because it's wudder) 16:27, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

I've lived in Philly all my life and I've never heard anyone say "wooder." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Spromish (talkcontribs) 20:30, 25 June 2007

  • wooder ice ... ----evrik (talk) 14:55, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

I was raised in Bucks County near Trenton, NJ---perhaps 25 miles up the river from Philadelphia. In the 1950s, "wood-er" was the common pronunciation. In elementary school, we marvelled at a girl from Pittsburgh who said "wat-er." I have since trained myself to say that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:30, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

I grew up in the same area as the previous poster and had the same experience with a girl from Pittsburgh in elementary school--I wonder if we were in the same class? At Penn State the eastern and western Pennsylvania dialects meet. A journalism major was constantly correcting me, though I see now there are multiple correct pronunciations in the dictionary. "wut-er" and "wa-ter" are acceptable, but not changing the "t" into "d". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:40, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

I say Wuhder.

I remember a PBS short segment they would put on after Sesame Street. It was about getting kids into environmentalism. There was a cartoon of a river terribly polluted with garbage, then a voice said,"look at aww dat durty wooder!" (talk) 04:49, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

I say "wooder" as well. (See my entry on "Error", above) Bill S. (talk) 01:17, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

I say "wooder". Always have. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:37, 1 July 2012 (UTC)


Very accurate article, especially the generic NY accent. The movie "Invincible" was ruined for me by the ridiculous brooklyn accents at the South Philly bar where they hang out.

My favorite Philly accent words: Towel, Hotel, Vote. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:58, 26 January 2007 (UTC).

Mine are: phone,home,bagel,spoon

I'm just are spoon, hotel, and vote pronounced with the Philly dialect? I know that I pronounce towel, phone, home, and bagel a little funky but i'm not too sure about the others. Itsgee (talk) 22:19, 14 April 2009 (UTC) itsgee

I'm a New Yorker who visited Philly a few times. I must admit when I first went there, I was expecting to hear the same New York accent. No doubt this perception was influenced by watching movies like Rocky and Invincible. What I got was an accent that kind of sounds like New York, but there are definitely some noticeable differences. Whoever wrote that part of the article was definitely on point. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:32, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Most New Yorkers are generally surprised by how different the accent is. My Mother was from the South Bronx, and she hated the philly accent. Of course, people made fun of her accent. whenever she said "poker" (pohkuh) everyone knew she was from out of town. (talk) 04:45, 22 April 2008 (UTC)


The article states that in Philadelphia, "on" rhymes with "dawn" instead of "don". In my experience (though I live in the suburbs, not the city) all three words are pronounced using the same vowel sound. --SodiumBenzoate 17:09, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Philadelphia is definitely not one of the cities where don and dawn are pronounced the same. AJD 21:18, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
I second this from my own experience, and my own accent. This is also backed up by the well-sourced information at Cot-caught merger, which firmly identifies Philly as not having the merger. Krimpet (talk) 21:24, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
The paragraph is not about "don" and "dawn", it's about "dawn" and "on". I've lived in the philly burbs my whole life, and am surprised this was marked for citation. "On" is almost always pronounced with the "aw" in "dawn". It's one of the dead givaways of a philly accent. (talk) 04:37, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm from the burbs and my sister and I pronounce the word "won" as "wan". This seems to run counter to the "on"/"dawn" claim. Is this perhaps some form of hypercorrection? Has anyone else observed this?--Redscarf (talk) 21:46, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Do you mean you pronounce it the same as the word wan, which means 'pale' and rhymes with Don? Or you mean so as to rhyme with ran and began? In the former case, it's presumably a spelling pronunciation. In the latter case, it's a nonstandard inflection that has been reported by Labov; I don't know if it arises from analogy with begin or if it's a holdover from an older form. In any case, it doesn't have anything to do with don, dawn, and on. AJD (talk) 01:32, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

This article has a lot wrong[edit]

I'm from Philly, and this article doesn't get the accent right. Here is my list of complaints:

mad and sad don't have different vowel sounds.
"eight and eat, snake and sneak, slave and sleeve"--these words aren't confused, so I don't know what that paragraph is talking about.
"Both long -e and long -a sounds are shortened before -g. Eagle rhymes with Iggle [ˈɪgɫ]. League rhymes with big [bɪg]. Vague and plague rhyme with Peg (pronounced [vɛg] and [plɛg], respectively). For some Philadelphians, colleague and fatigue also rhyme with big (pronounced [ˈkɔlɪg] and [fətɪgˈ], respectively). However, these are words learned later, so many use the standard American coleeg [ˈkɔlig] and fateeg [fətigˈ]. " --this isn't true for my accent, and I don't think it's true for most.
"Many Philadelphians use the dark l for /l/ in all positions"--the "dark l" is used a lot, but definitely never at the start of a word.
"The word water is commonly pronounced /wʊdər/ (with the first syllable identical to the word wood, so that it sounds somewhat like wooder.)[1][2] This is considered by many to be the defining characteristic of the Philadelphia accent."--most people don't say it like that(although it is heard sometimes), so it is hardly the "defining characteristic"
"In words like gratitude, beautiful, attitude, Baltimore, and prostitute, the i may be pronounced with a long ee sound [i], as in bee."--this isn't true

There, I'm done. —Preceding unsigned comment added by I don't have a username idea (talkcontribs) 21:21, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Are you from within the city limits of Philly? If not, then how far are you from Philly? Don't claim Philly as your home if you're from two hours out of the city. (talk) 19:09, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
Oh yeah, and also, everything you said is original research. (talk) 21:39, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
"Attytood" is the way most philly speakers pronouce "attitude". That guys OR is just wrong. Same with "Byooteefull" for beautiful. The others I'm not so sure of. (talk) 04:41, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Also to note, this may be for older Philadelphians, what the people above said. Baby Boomers Philadelphians have a weird accent. Chris Matthews from MSNBC is a good example, my older uncles talk like him as well. Older Philadelphians say burry instead of berry, murray instead of marry, munday instead of monday. You don't hear people under 40 talk like that anymore. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:08, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

mad and sad absolutely do have different vowel sounds- mad is tensed and sad isn't. and a lot of the other things you said aren't true are true, some of them just aren't as widespread. Usually they're more old-fashioned, like saying addytood or collig. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:03, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

There were different accents even within Philly. Not all of us said "attytood" or "Balteemore" or even "Iggles" other than as a deliberate affect.

Another thing I noticed is many Philadelphians' pronunciation of the word "jewelry". It sounds like Jooluhree. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:43, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

I'm 50 - I was born in South Philly, raised there for 10 years, then moved to Delco. My mother, first generation Italian-American, was born and raised in S. Philly, my father, a first gen Irish-American, was from southwest Philly. My father said "attytood" and "Balteemore", while my mother never did. Perhaps it's related to their neighborhoods, or the influence of their parents' accents (Sicilian and Irish, respectively). My mother has her own Philly quirks - she says "Pass-y-unk" instead of "Pah-shunk", and other things. My accent is now muted and bastardized by being married to a Southerner and living in the south for 15 years, but my husband says it comes right back whenever I'm talking to someone from home. Despite that, "mad" and "sad" are different sounds from me, I say "wudder", and all the rest of what the OP here disputes. My anecdata = his. :D Txvoodoo (talk) 22:35, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Tomatos, Potatos, Windows Citation Needed?[edit]

I'm surprised this was marked for citation. This is something I here all the time. I'll try to find a source, but I thought this was a feature of philly, jersey, NY, etc. (talk) 05:05, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree. Using an "a" sound instead of a long o sound is very common in Philly and South Jersey. But some people are sticklers for citations.Callmarcus (talk) 01:21, 29 April 2008 (UTC)


I found a source regarding the mad/sad debate. It's a little erudite for my taste, but there is a paragraph in red text which illuminates the issue. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:25, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

"Drop consonants and syllables"[edit]

I removed the following item from the list of features of the Philadelphia accent:

  • Philadelphian accents often drop consonents and even syllables. Examples range from h-dropping, such as "had" being pronounced "'ad" (or " 'ed") [a 1][a 2][a 3]to "Philadelphia" being pronounce "Fluffya", "Philluffya," or "Phil-dull-fya.[a 4]

I removed it for the following reasons: (1) "often drop consonants and even syllables" is vague enough to be meaningless as a characterization of the Philadelphia accent. (2) Dropping the h in "had" is not per se a regional feature of Philly; it happens in most dialects of English as far as I know. One of the three citations is not a citation, and one is to a book which, as far as I can tell, does not mention this supposed feature of the Philly accent; this makes me suspicious of the third. Callmarcus, can you provide quotes from those books which say that this is a Philadelphia feature in particular? (3) The stereotyped pronunciation of "Philadelphia" as "Fluffya" is, for one part, a consequence of L-vocalization, which is mentioned elsewhere in the article, and for the other part, the result of the universal tendency that frequently-used long words are more likely to be shortened, and so not really regional. But the "Fluffya" stereotype probably should be mentioned in the article, so I'll put it back in where it belongs. AJD (talk) 02:20, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

See and Other Words[edit]

Doesn't the nuclei of [i] relax and become less front in Philadelphia? This is like what happens in the South. (talk) 04:13, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Maybe... that rings a bell. If I get a chance I'll look in Labov (2001) and see if I can find it. AJD (talk) 14:22, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Well, I think you're the one who wrote it in the first place in the SAE article. (talk) 17:00, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Usage of "Accent"[edit]

The way English is spoken and words are used in Philadelphia is a dialect, not an accent. The article title should be adjusted to reflect this, as should any article pertaining to an "accent" of American English unless a distinctly different language is present in the English of that region (such as in Louisiana with the Creole influence). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Swcrowe (talkcontribs) 04:03, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

I thought the same thing. "Dialect" also brings it in line with some other articles on the subject. I've taken the liberty of performing the move. --Fru1tbat (talk) 16:58, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Dark L in all Positions[edit]

I'm sure someone else realized this, but using the "Dark L" in all positions isn't a feature that's specific to Philly. That's common in all parts of the U.S. Some people are highly tuned in to the use of Dark L as it can hit the ear as a mispronouceation rather than a dialect affect. Former NJ governor Chris Christie is highly afficted with use of Dark L at every occuranc of the letter in all words.Thegryseone (talk) 07:06, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

You're right; that item should have been about l-vocalization. I've fixed it. AJD (talk) 15:54, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

positive "anymore"[edit]

As a Philadelphia native, I can confirm that the positive anymore is prevalent in the region. I don't have a notable reference, unfortunately. And I would expect to hear "Anymore, Jimmy's hoagies taste different." rather than "Jimmy's hoagies taste different anymore." by the way. I'm not sure which one is more common, but the former sounds "right" to me. --Fru1tbat (talk) 16:51, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

This use of anymore is very common with me and my extended family from the Philly burbs. When in college, many out of state students would puzzle at this positive use of anymore. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:01, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm from northwest philly (grew up in chestnut hill mount airy and manayunk). Using anymore as a positive -- especially at the end of a sentence -- is definitely a central PA thing, not philly. Ive never heard a native philadelphian say it, though its prevalent in state college, hollidaysberg and altoona. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:23, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Response to Aaron J. Dinkin's Edits[edit]

I sort of understand about the Midland thing, but where did you get your information about /ay/ and the allophones of /ey/? In HOVOE, which seems to be extremely reliable and pretty new, it says that /ay/ is raised to [ʌe]. I'll admit I thought that was a bit weird too, but there must have been a reason they narrowly transcribed it that way. It doesn't say in that book that the phenomenon that's occurring in Philadelphia is exactly the same thing as what's going on in Canada, so the allophone could be slightly different than that of Canada. It also said there was a general raising and fronting of /i/ and /eɪ/; it didn't say anything about raising and fronting only occurring before consonants. I just want to know your sources for that information. Thegryseone (talk) 01:29, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Regarding the offglide of /ay/: Josef Fruehwald's paper about /ay/-raising in Philadelphia cites finding by Elliott Moreton and Erik Thomas to the effect that the offglide of /ay/, /ey/, and /oy/ tends in general to be more peripheral (i.e., more towards the extremity of the vowel space: [i] rather than [e] or [ɪ]) before voiceless consonants. I don't, however, see that Fruehwald actually measured the peripherality of the offglides in his Philadelphia data set, so this is not direct evidence about the peripherality of the offglide of /ay/ in Philly.
The allophonic difference between free and checked /ey/ in Philadelphia is extremely large. It is demonstrated in Chapter 4 of Labov (2001): Principles of Linguistic Change, vol. 2; and it is probably mentioned in the Atlas of North American English as well, though I can't check that right now. AJD (talk) 06:02, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

To me, Philadelphians go downnashore, where sometimes they go in da wadder. --DThomsen8 (talk) 15:09, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Revision of quote[edit]

An important factor here is that in the real world, "local" TV, political, and sports personalities in South Jersey are Philadelphians, not New Yorkers.

I revised the quote to show that South Jerseyans, as well as Central Jerseyans (mainly Mercer County) are from the Delaware Valley, rather than the New York area. Calling them Philadelphians could be misleading and give the impression they are from that city, just like calling them New Yorkers may insinuate such. So it'd be most appropriate to call them New Jerseyans, while associating to their respective metropolitan areas culture. Tom173.72.121.29 (talk)

Extra "a" in some words[edit]

What about the extra "a" in certain words, such as "AKK-a-me" and "Real-a-tor" and even "Buck-a-nell" Street? I don't know how to describe these words in a technical sense, so a linguist is needed to add this information.--DThomsen8 (talk) 15:06, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure pronunciations like that are somewhat common elsewhere as well. For example, I often hear "ath-uh-letic" from black Americans in particular, but other Americans might pronounce it that way as well. You can hear this pronunciation in London, England as well. I'm not sure that the process that leads to that pronunciation of realtor is the same as the process that leads to those other two pronunciations, however. Hopefully someone else will respond to this. Thegryseone (talk) 15:55, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Merge from Philadelphia slang[edit]

Pursuant to discussion at WP:Articles for deletion/Philadelphia slang, I have merged content from that page's lead section, 'see also' section, and categories to this page. I also merged the discussion of the lexical items hoagie, grinder, and yo, along with references, to the section 'Lexicon'. Note that these three were the only lexical items supported by reliable sources that specifically discussed (as opposed to simply using) the words. Cnilep (talk) 16:52, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

The article's title and other considerations[edit]

As a Philadelphian born and raised, and one interested in regional accents (as a result of my military service), I deeply appreciate the ponderous work the article writer or writers have done. However, I do have a few issues.

The first is the article’s title. “Dialect” is far too strong to describe the speech patterns of any region within the United States. Our country is not old enough to have evolved genuine dialects, and with the advent of radio and television, now never will. The sole exception to this that I can think of is Gullah, which has greatly declined in recent times due to mass communication and the loss of its speakers’ societal isolation which originally bred the dialect. The probably few remaining Cajuns who cannot speak English speak a dialect of French, not English. The same is true for the Amish in regard to German. (I doubt there remains a single Amish person who does not speak English as his or her native language.)

The distinction between different languages and dialects is that people who speak different languages cannot understand one another. With dialects, A can understand B, and B can understand C, but A and C cannot understand each other. Thus, true dialects are intermediaries between languages. Just because there are relatively minor differences in pronunciations and terms between regions speaking a common language does not raise such differences to a distinct dialect; neither does the usage of slang between ethnic groups. A WASP professor of English at Harvard and an African-American “gang banger” from Los Angeles will have little difficulty communicating with each other notwithstanding a radical dichotomy regarding the purity of the language spoken by each.

Secondly, in many considerations regarding modes of pronunciation as enumerated within the article, some (but not most) of them are products of how intelligent and well-educated a person is as well as his or her social and economic background. Thus, for example, working class Philadelphians will say (for the supermarket) “Ac'-a-me” while more educated ones will not insert the superfluous middle syllable.

This is not a matter of a native Philadelphian trying to shed his or her accent. Rather, it is simply a product of family background in most cases. The same is true anywhere. For example, education determines the “thickness” of one’s accent, but the accent is still detectible even in the highest of classes. An educated New Yorker will not, for example, say (the stereotypical) “boid,” but one can still discern he or she is from NYC by the way he or she pronounces his or her “r” sounds as in "bird."

Thirdly, I think it should be noted that one of our most salient characteristics is how nasal we are. Indeed, when I have severe nasal congestion I actually have trouble speaking at times, and I can feel the blocked verbiage trying to escape my nasal passages. I did a web search on this and found many others who have noted this as well. Some characterize it as a “nasal twang.” It is this, along with the way we pronounce certain sounds (as dutifully noted within the article), that constitutes our accent (not “dialect”).

Finally, for an example of a famous Philadelphian who has either made no effort to shed his native accent, or else failed miserably in such an attempt, I would commend to the reader the actor Kevin Bacon. Despite coming from an upper crust family background, every time the man opens his mouth he (hopefully proudly!) proclaims himself one of us! — Preceding unsigned comment added by HistoryBuff14 (talkcontribs) 22:38, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

While I appreciate your comments, I cannot say I agree with your definition/interpretation of the word "dialect". Granted, it is a slippery term and it may be difficult to fix a dividing line between two dialects. Additionally, the name of a dialect is inherently troubling (Sou' Phiwwy versus Wayest Pheeladefeeya, which is the "Philadelphia dialect"?). In particular, I disagree with your A ~ B ~ C, A <> C characterization. Thankfully, we have no need to find a middle ground or choose a winner. Wikipedia articles revolve around what reliable sources say about a topic, not what we editors believe to be true. If reliable sources say there is a Philadelphia dialect (and they do) we have an article and a title. That said, if you can dig up some reliable sources supporting your point of view on this, the article can certainly be altered to include those scholars who say there is no such dialect or refer to it with another name. Let us know when you have something. Thanks! - SummerPhD (talk) 00:18, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

—Thanks much for your reply. I do appreciate it, but I would like clarification, please.

When you say there is a Philadelphia “dialect,” do you mean to assert that everyone in the United States speaks a regional dialect or are you implying that there is some accepted version of standard American English that Philadelphians presumably deviate from? If the latter, what area or areas of the country speak it?

I met my best friend in the Navy. He’s from Oregon. I have established that we use different descriptive terms for three (or four) things: We say “shore” as opposed to his “coast”; We say “soda” as opposed to his “pop”; we say “bag” as opposed to his “sack.” Additionally, we usually say “cab” as opposed to his “taxi” (different shortenings of “taxicab”). We are from almost 3,000 miles apart, and our country has been settled by English speaking people for over 400 years, and this is the extent of our differences that constitute separate dialects?

True, we have pronounced differences in accents which are simply the way we pronounce certain sounds and accent certain words. Also, he has the rather perverse (and disgusting!) habit of speaking largely through his mouth instead of his nose like a normal person! Gees, people from different parts of just about every country have somewhat different accents. Bavarians are less guttural (in accent) than Prussians, for example, but both speak standard (High) German. On the other hand, Plattdeutsch (Low German) is sufficiently distinct from standard German to qualify as a dialect.

(In fact, Plattdeutsch is what I would consider to be a classic example of a true dialect. It is an intermediate language between German and Dutch. Most Germans can understand Plattdeutsch but not Dutch; while most Dutch people can understand Plattdeutsch but not German; while speakers of Plattdeutsch can understand either (though often with some difficulty.))

(This difficulty can be fairly well experienced by anyone who speaks standard English trying to understand Gullah. One can do this by listening to Gullah spoken on various offered YouTube videos. Basically, the faster the Gullah dialect is spoken the more difficulty one who does not speak it has in understanding it.)

So what exactly constitutes these different dialects of which you speak, and are you using the word as interchangeable with the word “accent”?

Despite all these considerations, Wikipedia is indeed devoted to the proposition that one should argue from authority, notwithstanding the fact that such a proposition has historically proven problematic and even precarious at times; which, most ironically, Wikipedia also points out in an article on that subject! Therefore, please rest assured that I shall not change the article in any way. — Preceding unsigned comment added by HistoryBuff14 (talkcontribs) 17:47, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

What you and I might decide about dialect (which would include vocabulary, spelling, pronunciation, style, etc.) is moot. All of our content must be verifiable. Otherwise, all we would have would be obscure articles based on one person's opinion and large article that are nothing but battlegrounds. In addition to amicable disputes over what constitutes a dialect, we need to be able to settle whether Obama is the greatest thing since sliced bread or a foreign-born socialist, Muslim terrorist and other such matters of dispute. This talk page (and all others) is for discussing improvements to the article, not for general discussion about the subject. Thanks. - SummerPhD (talk) 19:37, 31 March 2011 (UTC)


Why no mention of the quintessentially Philly word "jawn" as documented at ? (talk) 19:11, 28 February 2013 (UTC)


I question whether this is still live slang. I have lived in the Philadelphia accent area since 1971 (Urban West Philadelphia between 1976 and 1983) and never heard it. Eric S. Raymond (talk) 21:18, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

I grew up in the Philly suburbs (born late 70s), and I've always known sprinkles as "jimmies", or at least heard/used both terms interchangeably. --Fru1tbat (talk) 12:40, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I still use 'jimmies' --Fleker (talk) 06:41, 24 July 2018 (UTC)

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"Sliding board"[edit]

This came up in the phillydev Slack (from a native Philadelphian who was surprised to learn not everyone was familiar with the term). calls it a New Jerseyism, and (in the program) says it's popped up in Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky, so I'm not going to add it. But anecdotally it seems to be Philadelphian - if anybody runs across a better source, add it in. (talk) 20:29, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

I think I use this or have used this term, but I'm not sure whether the source is NJ or PA (I have influences from both). I haven't yet found a reliable source for either, though - a newspaper article I found uses the term in a discussion of PA dialects, but ironically with apparent obliviousness to its peculiarity. The article here on playground slides cites this page to support the inclusion of "sliding board" as a Mid-Atlanticism, but I don't know how reliable that source is. --Fru1tbat (talk) 20:46, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

more female examples[edit]

geez, can someone please put more female examples of speakers? It's overdone with all the males that are constantly added Andynphillips (talk) 00:12, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Something needs to be done about this. I noticed that poster wolfdog goes around adding numerous examples of males but disincludes females. This has to change. it's odd to have 90 percent of the people listed be males. Bradhill87 (talk) 22:45, 2 July 2017 (UTC)

How interesting that two accounts who have only ever made one edit are both seen here agreeing with each other? Troll better, it's not that hard. JesseRafe (talk) 15:20, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

It's not a troll. And the comments were made nearly a year apart. Despite being at the bottom of the talk page for a year, it was unfortunately never addressed. The founder of wikipedia Jimmy Wales has even stated that he was dissapointed that wikipedia doesn't have more women representation. And yes, when and overwhelming majority of those is male without female represnetation, it is a problem. I'm sure Jimmy Wales would feel the same way. Are we going to try and fix this? Or discount this as trolling? I'm sure deep down you know the answer to this, and what the right thing to do here is. I'm not calling for 50/50 representation here. But having about 90 ercent of the listed be male without proper female represnetation is a problem. So let's please look at this problem. And it needs to be brought up and something needs to be done about it. Bradhill87 (talk) 22:00, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

Thick or heavy or whatever[edit]

[This moved from User talk:, cut and paste style. Drmies (talk) 16:49, 10 August 2018 (UTC)]

@Drmies: @JesseRafe: People say "heavy" when dealing with old accents of working-class neighborhoods rather than "marked accents." Heavy would be a better word to put here for general audiences to understand. Who says "oh they have marked New York accents." People say stuff such as "oh, there New York accent is really heavy." Aren't we trying to make Wikipedia re-able to the average person?

  • IP, please, the article talk page is a better place for this. Yes, people say that, and they also say "thick", but we're not here just for the general audiences, and if you look at my edit summary you'll see I made another point as well. Thanks, Drmies (talk) 16:43, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
@Drmies: I'm ok with using thick. I think either heavy or thick would be better than "marked." I'm willing to agree with thick. What are your thoughts @JesseRafe:? (talk) 16:46, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Drmies is exactly correct here and in the edit summary. Read the article on markedness to get a grasp on the concept. Now, imagine that you hadn't. You're both removing the opportunity to learn more about linguistics for the general reader, while also making the article less scientifically sound by using a generalized term for the perceived benefit of the layman. There's no middle ground as every putative reader would fall into one or the other group -- knowing what "markedness" means or not -- and both groups are negatively affected by choosing to remove the valid and correct term and the link to the article that describes it. I'm making a compromise edit on the page now; I think it will satisfy all three of our concerns without making the sentence too clunky. JesseRafe (talk) 19:16, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I think it would be useful to merge Mid-Atlantic American English to Philadelphia English. The content of the two pages is virtually the same or overlapping, and the city of Philadelphia is the hub of the Mid-Atlantic American dialect, as defined by the ANAE. Moreover, the one other well-studied variety that is a sub-type (Baltimore) already has its own page: Baltimore accent. We may as well merge the two broader articles. In terms of the name, "Philadelphia English" would also by far be the better one, per WP:COMMONNAME. Wolfdog (talk) 15:22, 13 March 2021 (UTC)

I see what you mean, but I think they should actually be distinguished, rather than merged. MAAE should be all that's common to BE and PhE and some short distinction between the two, and the two sub-regional pages be kept specific and more detailed. JesseRafe (talk) 20:17, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
Well, I'll just reiterate that the article Mid-Atlantic American English is essentially a clone of Philadelphia English but with simply less material; it brings nothing new or unique to the table, which to me shouts "merger!" Also, the Mid-Atlantic label is really only used by Bill Labov and colleagues as well as in the work of Cynthia Clopper. Again, "Philadelphia" is really the more common name for the entire broader regional dialect. Wolfdog (talk) 21:45, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

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