This came in my email this morning. Some of it is new, some not, but it's always a fun read.
1. Grachki (grach'-key): Chicagoese for "garage key" as in, "Yo, Theresa, waja do wit da grachki? Howmy supposta cut da grass if I don't git inta da grach?"
2. Sammich: Chicagoese for sandwich. When made with sausage, it's a sassage sammich; when made with shredded beef, it's an Italian Beef sammich, a local delicacy consisting of piles of spicy meat in a perilously soggy bun.
3. Da: This article is a key part of Chicago speech, as in "Da Bears" or "Da Mare" -- the latter denoting Richard M. Daley, or Richie, as he's often called.
4. Jewels: Not family heirlooms or a tender body region, but a popular name for one of the region's dominant grocery store chains. "I'm goin' to Jewels to pick up some sassage."
5. Field's: Marshall Field, a prominent Chicago department store. Also Carson Pirie Scott, another major department store chain, is simply called "Carson's."
6. Tree: The number between two and four. "We were lucky dat we only got tree inches of snow da udder night."
7. Over by dere: Translates to "over by there," a way of emphasizing a site presumed familiar to the listener. As in, "I got the sassage at Jewels down on Kedzie, over by dere."
8. Kaminski Park: The mispronounced name of the ballpark where the Chicago White Sox (da Sox) play baseball. The new Comiskey Park was recently renamed U.S. Cellular Field (da Cell)
9. Frunchroom: As in, "Get outta da frunchroom wit dose muddy shoes. "It's not the "parlor." It's not the "living room." In the land of the bungalow, it's the "frunchroom," a named derived, linguists believe, from "front room."
10. Use: Not the verb, but the plural pronoun 'you!' "Where use goin'?"
11. Downtown: Anywhere near The Lake, south of The Zoo (Lincoln Park Zoo) and north of Soldier Field.
12. The Lake: Lake Michigan. (What other lake is there?) It's often used by local weathermen, "cooler by The Lake."
14. Braht: Short for Bratwurst. "Gimme a braht wit kraut."
15. Goes: Past or present tense of the verb "say." For example, "Den he goes, 'I like this place'!"
16. Guys: Used when addressing two or more people, regardless of each individual's gender.
17. Pop: A soft drink. Don't say "soda" in this town. "Do ya wanna canna pop?"
18. Sliders: Nickname for hamburgers from White Castle, a popular Midwestern burger chain. "Dose sliders I had last night gave me da runs."
19. Da Taste: The Taste of Chicago Festival, a huge extravaganza in Grant Park featuring samples of Chicagoland cuisine which takes place each year around the Fourth of July holiday.
20. "Jeetyet?": Translates to, "Did you eat yet?"
21. Winter and Construction: Punch line to the joke, "What are the two seasons in Chicago?"
22. Cuppa Too-Tree: is Chicagoese for "a couple, two, three" which really means "a few." For example, "Hey Mike, dere any beerz left in da cooler over by dere?" "Yeh, a cuppa too-tree."
23. 588-2300: Everyone in Chicago knows this commercial jingle and the carpet company you'll get if you call that number -- Empire!
24. Junk Dror: You will usually find the 'junk drawer' in the kitchen filled to the brim with miscellaneous, but very important, junk.
25. Southern Illinois: Anything south of I-80.
26. Expressways: The Interstates in the immediate Chicagoland area are usually known just by their 'name' and not their Interstate number: the Dan Ryan ("da Ryan"), the Stevenson, the Kennedy (da "Kennedy"), the Eisenhower (da "Ike"), and the Edens (just "Edens" but Da Edens" is acceptable).
27. Gym Shoes: The rest of the country may refer to them as sneakers or running shoes but Chicagoans will always call them gym shoes!