Pennsylvania Dutch English

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Counties in "Pennsylvania Dutch Country", one of several regions in which Pennsylvania German and "Pennsylvania Dutch English" have traditionally been spoken.

Pennsylvania Dutch English is a dialect of English that has been influenced by Pennsylvania German. It is largely spoken in the South Central area of Pennsylvania, both by people who are monolingual (in English) and bilingual (in Pennsylvania German and English). The dialect has been dying out, as non-Amish younger Pennsylvania Germans tend to speak modern General American English (Midwestern Accent). Very few non-Amish members of these people can speak the Pennsylvania Dutch language, although most know some words and phrases. The WWII Generation was the last generation in which Pennsylvania Dutch was widely spoken, outside of the Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonite communities.

Features of Pennsylvania German Influence[edit]

Pennsylvania Dutch English differs from standard American English in various ways. Some of its hallmark features include the following:

Other calques and idioms include:

Pennsylvania Dutch EnglishStandard EnglishModern German
Make wet?Is it going to rain?Wird es regnen?
Outen the lights.Turn off the lights.Mach das Licht aus.
The candy is all.There is no more candy.Die Süßigkeiten sind alle.
Don't eat yourself full.Don't fill yourself up.Iss dich nicht voll.
There's cake back yet.There is cake to come.Es gibt da noch Kuchen.
Red up the room.Clean the room.Räum das Zimmer auf.
It wonders me.It makes me wonder.Das wundert mich.
HurriederFasterSchneller
SpritzingLightly rainingnieseln
RutschingSquirmingauf dem Bauch rutschen
SchusslichClumsy with things usually due to hurryingschusselig
DoplichClumsy with selfTollpatschig sein.
Yah, well.Whatever, or It makes no differenceJa, wohl.
WutzPig (when someone eats a lot)die Wutz
Kutz / kutzingVomit / vomitingdie Kotze / kotzen
WonnernausA polite way of saying "None of your business"
SchtriwwelichUncombed or stringystrubbelig
Brutzing, GretzingWhining/complainingJammern, Klagen
Wuntz (Once)for a second/real quickEin Moment / mal
Dippy ecksover easy, soft-boiled eggsSpiegeleier
Mox nixirrelevantDas macht nichts OR Macht nichts.
Nix nootz/Nix nootzieMisbehaving(usually referring to a little kid)Nichtsnutz
Schnickelfritztroublemaker(usually referring to a little kid)Störenfried
AllNone left/All gonealle / leer
Right likeexactly the same asGenau wie

See also[edit]

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