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Coal Region Culture

Talk Like a Local – Pottsville Edition

New in town?

For a place with lower-than-average standardized test scores, we’ve got street names and surnames that’ll trip up any Spelling Bee champ.

And we’re not even talking about the names you’d see if you went north just a little bit. Eastern Europeans like to match up a lot of letters of the alphabet that don’t see each other very often.

Anyway, if you’re in Pottsville from out-of-town (likely to see the Yuengling Brewery), you’re going to run into some of these tongue twisters and be like …

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So, we figured it’s best to help you out with a quick translation guide to help navigate you about Pottsville.

We Talk Funny, Too

Not only are we, at the very least, great spellers, we have a funny way of talking, too.

That’s our coal region dialect. And there are different accents based on where you are in the area. We’re not even going to get into the Pennsylvania Dutch folks. For more of what we’re talking about, we swear one of the first sites on the internet was the famed CoalSpeak dictionary. It’s still there and it’ll help you with some real old-fashioned coal cracker dialect.

Talk Like a Local – Pottsville Edition

Here are some of the names you’re bound to encounter as you gallivant through Pottsville.

Mahantongo

The Yuengling Brewery is on historic Mahantongo Street.

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If you’re into phonics, this word looks more imposing than it really is.

Sound it out and it’s: Ma-han-tahn-go.

Or, as we say:

Sometimes you’ll find someone that sounds it out for you:

Norwegian

Now, this is one you’re thinking … this isn’t all that difficult. This is a pretty common word.

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You’re right.

It’s the way we say it. And you’ll hear someone saying it and get lost.

Schuylkill

This one isn’t exclusive to just here, Schuylkill County. There’s also the famed Schuylkill River, too. That starts here but the more famous part (where they have the rowing races and end up finding the bodies) is in Philadelphia.

We’re generally masters of spelling this foreign word but even though we live here, none of say it phonetically. That would be (SCHOOL-KILL). Yikes, right? What kind of name is that?

Doesn’t matter. No one around here says it like that.

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Some have grown fond of calling it “the skook”. We’re on the fence about that one.

We prefer the old-fashioned way of rushing through this twister:

Guers

You’ll no doubt have to gas up before you get out of town. And you’re going to see some products taking up an entire case of refrigerated section of the store at the gas station. It’ll be filled with products with this funny looking name on it.

“Goo-ers?”

“Gweers?”

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“Gwers?”

Close. Kinda …

And finally, probably the only reason people come from out of town to visit Pottsville (other than a funeral or a court date) …

Yuengling

Yuengling Brewery is America’s Oldest, they say. But millions of people never heard of it YET and thousands of people around here can’t pronounce it. But they sure can drink it.

We’re close, but just like the old Ack-a-me stores, we like to add a syllable.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Marsha Hepler

    July 17, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    Great job I’m a transplant, but this is so correct. And contagious. Machy will always be my fav, so far. But we do live aught here in the Hegins walley, so there is always room for more. Thank you!

    • admin

      July 17, 2019 at 2:29 pm

      Oh, we’ve been aught that way oncest. We’ve got a silo full of stuff that’ll have you brutzin’.

  2. Liz

    July 17, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    I don’t use the a in yingling

    • admin

      July 17, 2019 at 10:12 pm

      It’s a Boomer thing.

  3. Pearlygirl

    September 27, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    Anyone from this area or tri-state region knows that it’s Reading Railroad (Redding) but I was horrified to learn that everyone else who plays monopoly grows up calling it “Read-ing” (as in to read a book) Railroad. It makes sense but it was still weird to hear it pronounced wrong.

  4. Tom Rubright

    August 31, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    Yeah well I gotta use the torlet & do the warsh, whatta yous guys gotta do?

    • Canary Commenter

      August 31, 2020 at 5:07 pm

      Make sure you redd up your room before you hit the tahn or your mum will be cross.

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