Wednesday, July 27, 2011


There's always been a debate about the authenticity of the "Chicago" accent; much like the often imitated "Southern" twang accent, it's Chicago one has been abused in various films, TV shows and the like. It's not a universal fact that you talk like "Joliet" Jake Blues if you hail from the Windy City, but there are certain words that have a certain cadence. I believe this holds true, even if you are like myself and grew up in the northern suburbs, but lived as an adult in the city proper. Here are a few examples.

1. PANTS [Paaaaan-suh]
"It's really hot today, but I gottah wear paaaaan-suh for work".

2. GARAGE [Guh-ragh]
"I gotta get a place with a guh-ragh for my car".

3. TAMPONS [Tamp-Onz]
"My wife needz me to go two a store for some Tamp-Onz".

4. PAMPHLET [Pam-Flet]
"The udder day, 'dis guy was handing out Pam-Flets".

5. DUMPSTER [Dumb-Stir]
"Throw that shit in the Dumb-Stir".

6. DAVENPORT [Daaaaa-Vin'-Pourt]
"Just got back from fuckin' Daaaaa-Vin' Pourt, Iowa".

7. HORIZON [Whore-I-zon]
"Did you see 'dat show at the Rosemont Whore-I-zon?"

8. AVENUE [Aav-un-you]
"The traffic on Wes-dern Aav-un-you is awful".

9. WORLD [Wuurl-D]
"This wuurl-d is goin' to shit".

10. SAUSAGE [Sauce-Ish]
"Jewel has a sale on Polish Sauce-Ish".

These are merely a few examples I have documented, and I should note that this post was derived from frequent conversations with Ex-Roomie. Mid-sentence, we will stop each other and say "wait, what was that?", this finest example being the word "PANTS" which for some reason never ceases to make me giggle like an 8 y/o girl.


Anonymous said...

It never fails to crack me up when Jonah says "pants" The kid has never been in Chicago-proper in his life, and he talks like a total Chicagoan. He completely has my weird Chicago/s.w. Missouri accent. But when I think of Chicago accents, I always hear "Shaaaaaaannnaaa!!!" up the stairs from her maaam. :-)


Joseph said...

Take off your paaaan-suh!

Dean Grey said...


This absolutely makes no sense and I was born and raised in Chicago so I should know!

One of my uncle's who lived on the eastside had a HEAVY and typical blue-collar Chicago accent.

The examples you gave just sound off.

The one I ALWAYS hear is interchanging the word "three" for "tree".

"You got tree dollars on you?"

Yeah, now that's a Chicago accent, dear.


Dean Grey said...

And another thing!

It's "sauce-itch" not "sauce-ish".

"Gimme some more "sauce-itch" and peppers!"

Sigh, never have a suburbanite do a true Chicagoan's job.




Anonymous said...

I simply cannot figure out how you're suggesting PANTS is said here in Chicago.

Last night I dreamed Jeff Winger stole my virginity said...