People from Mississippi talk funny.
So do Minnesotans, Oregonians and New Yorkers.
Especially New Yorkers.
The bigger question is why does Worcester have a
lake, a village, college and an avenue named Quinsigamond,
but they're scattered around the city like leaves in the fall?
No, it doesn't make sense unless you know that
the community was called Quinsigamond long before
it was called Worcester. It's an Indian word that means:
"boy, do these folks talk strange." If you're a newcomer
and you find the local language throws you for a loop,
we've assembled a handy guide.
Before we get to that, let's start with how not
to pronounce Worcester.
Don't make it three syllables. Just forget that
first E is even there. And never, never, never put
an H in the middle of Worcester. People will
make fun of you. So, how do you correctly
pronounce Worcester to make people think you've
been shopping at Spag's on Saturdays and going to
Water Street on Sunday mornings your whole life?
You've dropped the first E and boiled it down to two syllables.
Now eliminate both R's.
While you're at it, better get that C out of there.
Make the remaining sort of an AH and turn the O into a U.
It doesn't rhyme with sister or rooster. The first syllable
rhymes with puss.
Go ahead and say it. Wuss-tah.
Now you're almost ready to walk into a spa in the village
and order a regular coffee and maybe a couple of tonics
and a grinder or club. One more thing. Always include
your state as part of your hometown, as in:
"I'm from Wusstahmass."
Confused? The following guide to the peculiarities of
the Central Mass. Dialect should help:
Boston Turnpike - Route 9 east of Worcester
Boys Trade - Worcester Vocational High (known
simply as Voke)
Bubblah - Water fountain
Candlepin Bowlin' - Invented in Worcester in
1880 by Justin P. White, and a far superior game
to Ten Pin, a form of bowling known locally simply
as "big balls."
Cellah - Basement
Club sandwich - Italian sub
Dine-ah - Good food cheap, but it's only a diner
if it was made by Worcester Lunch Car Co.
Dinnah - Lunch
East Side - Any neighborhood east of Main Street
Elastic - Rubber band
The Expressway - I-290
Frappe - Ice cream, milk and flavored syrup.(A
milkshake leaves out the ice cream.)
Galleria - Worcester Common Outlets
Grindah - Sub sandwich
The Hill - Belmont, Vernon or Grafton
Jimmies - Chocolate sprinkles
The Lake - Quinsigamond
Package Store - Place to buy beer and liquor
Packy - Shorthand for package store
Parlor - Living room
Piazza - Porch
Pricker, Pricker Bush - A burr or other vegetation
that grows on a bush and sticks to your clothing.
Some use the same word for any bush with thorns.
The Pike - The Mass. Pike
The Project - Great Brook Valley
Regular coffee - Fully caffeinated with cream and sugar.
Spa - A corner store with soda fountain
Square - All rotaries are squares, but not all squares are rotaries
Tech - WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)
Three-deckah - Not a sandwich, but a house with three floors, big
apartments, hundreds of stairs and nowhere close to enough parking.
Soder - Soda
Tonic - Soda (of any flavor or brand)
The Village - Quinsigamond
West Side - Neighborhoods west of Park Avenue
Wormtown - Slang for Worcester
How to say it:
Auburn - AW-bin
Aunt - AHnt
Berlin - BURL-in
Clinton - Klint'n
Ha'past - 30 minutes after the hour, as in: "we're
gonna eat lunch at ha'past 12"
Leicester - Less-tah
Leominster - Lemon-stah
Millbury - Mill-bree
New York - NooYawk (Rhymes with talk)
Northboro - Nohth-bro (also, West-bro, South-bro and Marl-bro)
Oxford - O-town or Ox-fid
Petersham - Peters-am
Shrewsbury - SHOES-bree
Southbridge - Sowt-bridge
Tatnuck - Tatnick
Webster - Wep-stah
Westminster - West-minstah
With - Witch, as in: "Who ya got witch ya", or
"I'll be witch ya in a minute."
(Alternate pronunciation: Wit. "I'll be right wit ya.")