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:
- Spritzing or Spritzn’ (verb) raining lightly or light rain. You may want to grab your umbrella; it looks like it’s spritzing outside.
- Awhile (adverb) waiting while someone is doing something else. While you’re getting ready, I’ll be out in the car awhile.
- Yous or Youse (pl. noun) you or you all. When yous coming to dinner?
- Shore (noun) land along the edge of a large body of water. Let’s take a three-day weekend and go to the shore.
- Buggy (noun) a light, horse-drawn vehicle with wheels. Be careful when passing the horse and buggy down New Holland Pike.
- Roots (noun. Pronounced ruts) a large market in Manheim. It’s Tuesday! Are you going to Roots?
- Fireflies (pl. noun) glowing insects that fly. During the summer, we catch fireflies.
- Gully washer (noun) heavy rainfall. You don’t want to be caught out in this gully washer today.
- Blinker (noun) turning signal for a vehicle. I guess that moron in front of me doesn’t know how to use his blinker.
- 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?)
- 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?
- Buggy (noun) a shopping cart. Hey, can you grab me a buggy when we go into Wal-Mart?
- Roots (noun) part of a plant; family. I tore up the mower by driving over all those darn roots in the yard.
- Lightning bugs (noun) glowing insects that fly. During the summer, we catch lightning bugs.