Po-tay-to, Po-tah-to

I’ve lived above the Mason-Dixon for almost four years now. Before the big move, I lived my entire life in Alabama (with the exception of one year in Florida). I know my accent sounds a little “different” here in Lancaster, but that’s part of the beauty of living in a melting pot. Lancaster is bursting with various ethnicities, cultures, traditions and religions from the world over. And, even though I may not be from another country or continent, I still find myself asking questions about Lancaster “slang,” while others may wonder, “What in the world is that girl talking about?”

The following is a list of words and phrases (that I’m familiar with) from Lancaster and Alabama that could trip up a visitor from the North or the South:

Lancaster sayings:

  1. Spritzing or Spritzn’ (verb) raining lightly or light rain. You may want to grab your umbrella; it looks like it’s spritzing outside.
  2. Awhile (adverb) waiting while someone is doing something else. While you’re getting ready, I’ll be out in the car awhile.
  3. Yous or Youse (pl. noun) you or you all. When yous coming to dinner?
  4. Shore (noun) land along the edge of a large body of water. Let’s take a three-day weekend and go to the shore.
  5. Buggy (noun) a light, horse-drawn vehicle with wheels. Be careful when passing the horse and buggy down New Holland Pike.
  6. Roots (noun. Pronounced ruts) a large market in Manheim. It’s Tuesday! Are you going to Roots?
  7. Fireflies (pl. noun) glowing insects that fly. During the summer, we catch fireflies.


Alabama sayings:

  1. Gully washer (noun) heavy rainfall. You don’t want to be caught out in this gully washer today.
  2. Blinker (noun) turning signal for a vehicle. I guess that moron in front of me doesn’t know how to use his blinker.
  3. Y’all (pl. noun) you all. When are y’all coming to supper? (Also phrased: all y’all. As in, Are all y’all coming to supper?)
  4. Beach (noun) land along the edge of a large body of water (usually along the Gulf of Mexico). For spring break, are y’all going to the beach?
  5. Buggy (noun) a shopping cart. Hey, can you grab me a buggy when we go into Wal-Mart?
  6. Roots (noun) part of a plant; family. I tore up the mower by driving over all those darn roots in the yard.
  7. Lightning bugs (noun) glowing insects that fly. During the summer, we catch lightning bugs.