A Christmas Tree at Point State Park, decorations throughout downtown, and lights at Mellon Square. PPG place seems to be the center of Pittsburgh's Christmas displays as they have an ice skating rink, a huge gingerbread house competition, toy trains, and a display of Santas from around the world.
The H.J. Heinz Company sells 650 million bottles of ketchup each year around the world plus 11 billion individual ketchup packets! Heinz manufactures Ore-Ida, Boston Market frozen meals, Hot Bites, Jack Daniels steak sauces, and many others. Heinz began right here in Pittsburgh in 1869 with horseradish sales and began making its flagship ketchup in 1875.
Heinz also loaned their famous name to Heinz Hall and Heinz Field in the Burgh.
Located in nearby New Castle, Pennsylvania, Zambelli Fireworks Internationale has a world-wide reputation for quality fireworks shows. The company was founded in 1893 and led the industry with innovations such as electronically controlled choreographed fireworks displays. Zambelli's is the US's largest fireworks manufacturer and they put on 3,500 fireworks shows around the world every year. They have also displayed their fireworks for each president since JFK. Zambelli's Millennium Pittsburgh on Jan. 1, 2000, was the largest live New Years Day fireworks display in the nation.
In Pittsburgh (and Pennsylvania as a whole) you can only buy beer in designated beer distributors or at a bar. You can't go into a convenience store or grocery store and purchase it. You are required to purchase cases from beer distributors and 6-packs from bars.
consider this a small portion of the full dictionary and feel free to use it for translation at ANY time :-D
"Hey yinz guys."
yinz = you or you guys
"Why yinz keep sayin 'da'??"
da = the
"Pass me a gumband, will ya?"
gumband = rubber band
"What is dat?"
dat = that
"Let's go dahntahn."
dahntahn = downtown
"Yinz better red up dat room."
red = clean
"Let me warsh that for yinz."
warsh = wash
"Stillers are goin' to tha Super Bowl!"
Stillers = Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL) ;-)
"We're goin dahn to the Saoww-side."
Saoww-Side (pronounces like - "ow! that hurt" and said real fast) = South Side
"They live in Sliberty."
Sliberty = East Liberty
There are some more than just these. I actually found a website dedicated to them. Feel free to research it more, or just tackle a local to the ground and ask "What the heck are you saying?!?!" if need be.
Ahhhh, the good ol' "Pittsburgh Left". So let me paint the scenario for you:
You are waiting at a red light which you will be turning left at when it switches to green. Your green arrow does not appear, but green lights on both sides turn on. But...nobody moves? The guy in opposing traffic lanes is wondering why you are just sitting there...and you are wondering the same about him too.
Here is the simple trick about the Pittsburgh left. Even if you do not have a green arrow, and the opposing traffic has a green light, you keep an eye out for the green light, and use your keen driving skills as well as years of honed instincts to predict the EXACT moment the lights will turn green. When it turns green...QUICK!! TURN LEFT!! That way you don't have to wait for allll that opposing traffic to pass through the intersection before you turn.
All joking aside, this really is a phenomenon of driving in Pittsburgh and you do need to be aware of it. Many times drivers on opposing sides will wait another second or two for the first car in the opposing traffic lane to turn and do the "Pittsburgh Left". For the most part it is a common understanding amongst drivers. Keep it in mind when you are driving. People might be expecting the same treatment from you.
Although there doesn't seem to be a law against conducting business on Sunday, most businesses and attractions in Pittsburgh remain closed on Sundays. Some stores were open during the day, especially in The Strip. The Andy Warhol Museum was open, but by the time evening rolled around, we found it very difficult to find someplace open where we could have dinner. Even the restaurants in our hotel were closed. The upshot is that if your itinerary includes a Sunday, plan on it being a low key day. We had planned on Sunday as our main sightseeing day and we ended up being a somewhat disappointed.
I cannot explain Pittsburghese, except to say that my theory is that people were just too damn tired from working all day and had no energy left to ennunciate words properly. Some words are jammed together (i.e. Giant Eagle became Gianeagle), while other words are just pronouced incorrectly (i.e. warshed instead of washed).
Somehow, I escaped without ever picking up too many of these bad habits, except for how I pronounce the days of the week (just change Day to Dee and you have Mondee, Tuesdee, etc.).
The more popular sayings you are likely to hear while in Pittsburgh include:
Stillers = Steelers
Pop = soft drink or soda
Yunz- = variation of y'all or you all
Gianeagle = Giant Eagle (local supermarket chain)
Windas = Windows
Redd up = Tidy up
Sweeper = Vacuum
Punkin = Pumpkin
Owl- = Aisle
Oleo = Margarine
Come mere = Come here
Didja = Did you
Haaja = How did you
Doohickey = Object you can't name at the present time
Gumband = rubber bands
Light Bill = Electric Bill
Jumbo = Bologna
Crick = Creek
Yabbut = Yes, but
Priddy = Pretty
For more details on how you too can speak Pittsburghese, I highly recommend visiting:
Being from Columbus, 100 hilly miles west of Pittsburgh....there are a few things about the burgh you must know if you go to the previously steel and now clean city...
Pittsburghers talk strange(same general accent as Columbus except thicker)....everything that is supposed to involve O'S involves an A
Downtown Pittsburgh is dahntahn
Something is sumpin
Now is na
You is yenz
want to is wanna
Ohio is pronounced Ahia is Pittsbugh and Eastern Ohio
Iron is arn....
yenz get da point they tak weird....
What is Pittsburghese? It's the unofficial language of the Steel City. From da Sahside (South Side) to Sliberty (East Liberty), you can find Picksburghers speaking just like this. Every tahn (town) has its own flavor, and this is just one of ours. So if you are planning to visit Dahntahn (Downtown) or just catch a Stillers (Steelers) game we suggest you learn the language of the 'Burgh.
So quit jaggin' around already! Click sumpin!
Buying beer and alcohol can be a little tricky in PA. Outside of bars and restaurants, you have limited options where you purchase your drink of choice. For the strong stuff that puts hair on your palms, or was it somewhere else?, you need to buy it at State Stores. This is also where you procure your wine.
For your beer, you have to buy it at distributors, and only in cases. Luckily, it is usually set up like a drive through; dive up, pop the trunk, pay and leave. You can buy six packs from bars, but at very inflated prices.
You can’t buy any alcohol in grocery stores or 7/11’s (and maybe not on Sundays either)
Question: Djeatyet? Yinz go-en dahntahn for a chippedham sammich ora hoggie?
answer: Prolly afta tha Stillers.
Pittsburgh is a fairly, (how can I say this?)... isolated. And with anything else on this world, once something is isolated, it tends to evolve independently of the rest of the world. Evolution, if you will. Language is no different. It took me several years for me to loose my accent, (it sounds pretty bad), now I just get mistaken for mumbling too much. - I can't win.
This is an actual dialect that has had many studies on it. When you hear someone speak it, it is very... umm... unmistakable.
To do it properly, you need to talk without moving your mouth and put a "whine" sound to your voice, and talk fast. Here are examples of words found or pronounced in "Da Burgh"
Gum-band = rubber band
chipped ham = paper thin sliced ham
Dahntahn = downtown
Stillers = Steelers, the football team
Picksburgg = Pittsburgh (you know it's bad when you pronounce your own city wrong)
crick = creek
prolly = probably
pýtoot = your arse
Redd-up = clean up
y-aint = you are not
cuttendt = could not
Greeting someone in Pittsburgh
The people of Pittsburgh are generally friendly and helpful. Meetings are conducted fairly informally with an emphasis on equality. Firm handshakes and sincerity are recommended for this 'no fuss' business community.
Most restaurants in Pittsburgh do not charge for service. Gratuities are recommended at a rate of 15 to 20 percent depending on the quality of the food and service. A standard tip of one US dollar is recommended for doormen and parking attendants.
Pittsburgh dress code
Business attire is the standard jacket and tie for men and a suit for women. Short-sleeved shirts are acceptable in warmer weather. Due to the corporate nature of the city, many restaurants in Pittsburgh require men to wear a jacket and tie.
Pittsburgh's annual Folk Festival is one of the state's most enduring events. For over forty years, visitors have been drawn to its traditional entertainments, international food stalls and multi-cultural pastimes including storytelling, dancing and craft demonstrations. The Amish community tolerate the curiosity they attract from visitors; it is important to respect their beliefs. While visiting Amish country, it is very important to be considerate of the Amish and their lifestyle, however. Just like you, they do not solicit or encourage people to take their picture or knock on their door. The Amish are private people who avoid as much contact with strangers and the 'outside world' as possible for important religious and cultural reasons. When visiting their community, please keep the following basic courtesy rules in mind:
Don't stare, gawk, or otherwise be disrespectful of the Amish.
When driving, keep an eye out for slow-moving Amish buggies (especially at night), and give them plenty of room when following or passing. Keep headlights on low-beam and stay away from the horn, except for a short toot when passing, to avoid spooking the horses.
Do not enter private property without permission.
No photos or videos, please. Most Amish consider posing for photographs to be an unacceptable act of pride and do not allow pictures of themselves. The Amish will usually allow you to photograph their homes, farms, and buggies if you ask respectfully, but even this can be intrusive and is better avoided. If you must take pictures, consider a telephoto lens, and avoid taking any photos which include recognizable faces. A picture of the rear of an Amish buggy as it travels down the road probably won't offend anyone.
Do not feed or pet horses that are tied to a hitching rail or harnessed to a buggy.
Out of respect for their privacy, it is best to avoid approaching the Amish unless they appear open to company. They are just like you and don't really appreciate strangers knocking at their door. When you do have a need to approach a group of Amish, it is polite to speak to a male, if possible. If you are sincerely interested in talking to the Amish to learn more about their culture, then your best bet is to patronize an Amish-owned business and talk with the shopkeepers. Most Amish people enjoy talking with outsiders, if they don’t feel like they are regarded as animals in the zoo.
In some Amish communities shops and attractions may not be open on Sundays, so be sure to call ahead and plan accordingly.
English is spoken by the vast majority of Pittsburgh's residents. However, this is a multi-cultural city where it is not uncommon to hear Spanish, Italian, Polish, German and Arabic languages. The Amish community speak Pennsylvania Dutch (a German dialect), but only at home.
Pittsburgh has its own unique culture. In particular,you can usually tell when someone is from PGH because of their distinctive accent. I have heard that some find it annoying,I find it endearing. For instance,to say downtown,they pronounce it:'don-ton'. Interesting. Also,they use different terms for everyday items. A rubberband, is a gumband. A sub is a hoagie. You get the idea. Pretty neat I think.