Say It with a Smile: Learn the Lingo Used in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is known for its rich history, cultural diversity, and delicious cuisine. But Philadelphians use what visitors may consider quirky words and phrases that may be odd for non-natives to the city. Don’t be afraid to flash that bright, beautiful smile after an appointment at a local dentist in Philadelphia so the locals know that, even if you get the pronunciation wrong, your attempts are well-intentioned.

Let’s walk you through some of the most used words and phrases in Philly:

  1. “Jawn” 

This is a tricky one. “Jawn” is a noun that can refer to just about anything—person, place, or thing. 

It’s a versatile word that can mean the park or pizza to your Uncle Bob. So, if someone says, “Pass me that, Jawn,” that can mean literally anything—you’ll want to see what they’re pointing at to figure it out. 

  1. “The Linc” 

For sports enthusiasts, this one is pretty easy to guess. “The Linc” is a nickname for Lincoln Financial Field—home to the Philadelphia Eagles. 

So, if you hear someone say, “I am going to The Linc for the game,” you know where they’re going.

  1. “Yous Guys” 

If you’re familiar with the term “you guys,” you won’t have any trouble understanding what “Yous Guys” means. It’s a plural form of “you,” commonly used in Philly. 

For example, “Yous guys coming to the party?” is just like saying, “Are you guys coming to the party?” to Philadelphians. 

  1. “Wit or Witout” 

When it comes to Philly’s most famous food—the cheesesteak, there’s an age-old debate about whether one wants onions on their sandwich or not. 

So, instead of asking, “Do you want onions?” you’ll hear, “Wit or Witout?” This translates to “Do you want onions or not?” The answer to this question will determine how they make your steak and how the locals will judge you.

  1. “Bol” 

“Bol,” likely derived from “boy,” refers to a young—or younger relative to the speaker—man. There are variations on the agreed-upon spelling, from “bol,” “boul,” to “bul,” but all mean the same thing.

  1. “Oldhead”

This is a not-so-nice term for someone older than you or occasionally an adult you respect in jest—probably because they’ve been called Bol. 

So, if someone says, “I’m hanging out with my oldhead tonight,” they’re spending time with someone older than them.

  1. “Drawlin’” 

If someone is “drawlin’” in Philly, it means they’re acting out of character or in a frustrating or annoying manner. 

For example, if you’re waiting for your friend who’s taking forever to get ready, you may hear, “Stop drawlin’ and hurry up.”

Philadelphia may have its unique dialect with some uncommon words and phrases. Still, it’s a city that welcomes anyone, whether you speak the local lingo or not. Though, if you want to experience Philadelphia like a true insider and impress locals with your knowledge of the city’s dialect, then make sure to use these words and phrases in your conversations—figure out how much dental implants cost so you can look and feel your best.

Learning and using Philly’s unique terminology might help you feel more connected to the city and its residents, and you’ll better understand and appreciate the ‘City of Brotherly Love.’