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Dialect Differences

FARRAH MORGAN Jon Jee Staff Published: January 31, 2018 7:25 AM

Ohio has a distinct slang that residents have become accustomed to. The words and phrases are distinct to Ohians. Those in Ohio do not recognize  slang or a different way of saying things. While Ohioans may not see the difference, there is a large array of phrases and words that are unique to Ohio alone.

The slang of Ohioans has a widespread outreach. When Ohioans accidentally run into things or people, the first word out of our mouths is “ope.” Ohioans also say “pop” instead of the proper term “soda.” People from Ohio also commonly call the grocery store Kroger, “Kroger’s.” We also make stores such as J.C Penny and Meijer plural as well. Ohioans also call walking tacos “taco in a bag.” Taco in a bag personally makes more sense, but the proper term is walking taco. Different areas of Ohio have their own different slang as well. Southeastern Ohio uses the term “nibby” meaning nosey. When people from Ohio travel, they always say “down there” no matter what direction they’re traveling in. If someone yells O-H in public ,you’re guaranteed to hear an I-O! in response. “Sweeper” refers to a vacuum cleaner. Ohioans also call Buffalo Wild Wings “b-dubs” or “bw3’s.” If you ask an Ohioan where somewhere or something is, you will not be told where it is, you’ll be told something like “it’s right outside of Cleveland” or “about an hour from Columbus.” “You’re fine” in Ohio means “no problem” or “no worries,” it is not a complement. Sneakers and athletic shoes are strictly called “tennis shoes.” When we say “put that up,” we don’t always mean you need to physically place it in an upward direction we just mean “put that away.” We believe that adding prepositions at the end of sentences make them more definitive such as, “where’s my indians jersey at?” Ohioans also say “please” instead of “excuse me.” Ohioans also have many distinct accents, even though they claim they do not. Cleveland accents versus Cincinnati accents are very different. Southeastern Ohioans have a very distinct Southernish accent as well. Ohioans also refer to “muddy buddies” as “puppy chow.” Older people in Ohio refer to “wash” as “warsh.” Some say “crick” vs. “creek.” In Southeastern Ohio, dialect pen is pin and ten is tin. Residents of northern Ohio, including Cleveland, Akron, and Toledo, often speak something called inland north, a dialect in which vowels often are “shifted.” For example, the word trap can sound a little like tree-ap. Ohioans also say caramel like “carml” and aunt like “ant.” Ohioans say Mayonnaise like “man-aze” and pecan like “pee-kahn”, quarter like “quar-der.” Southeastern Ohioans also call winter caps “toboggans.”

These strange sayings completely go over the head of Ohioans. Many do not realize how they may sound different than those across the country. The sayings and accents throughout Ohio seem normal to those who reside within the state. Growing up with those who have a dialect like this around you, it is hard to recognize anything wrong with the language. After reading through the slang, it is surprising to see how distinct the differences are.


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