1. Grachki (grach'-key): Chicagoese for 'garage key' as in, 'Yo, Theresa, waja do wit da grachki? How my supposta cut da grass if I don't git intada 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 reg ion, but a popular name for one of the region's dominant grocery store chains. 'I'm goin' to the Jewels to pick up some sassage.'
5. Field's: Marshall Field, a prominent Chicago department store (unfortunately, it's a thing of the past.) 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 the 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. Comiskey Park was 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 dis 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. The Taste: The Taste of Chicago Festival, a huge extravaganza in Grant Park fe aturing 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. This is where Smothers' is from....
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!
This is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about Chicago...
If your local Dairy Queen is closed from September through May, you live in Chicago.
If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you live in Chicago.
If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you live in Chicago.
If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you live in Chicago.
If 'Vacation' means going anywhere south of I-80 for the weekend, you live in Chicago.
If you measure distance in hours, you live in Chicago.
If you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C' in the same day and back again, you live in Chicago.
If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in Chicago.
If you carry jumpers in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you live in Chicago.
If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you live in Chicago.
If the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph -- you're going 80 and everybody is passing you, you live in Chicago.
If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you live in Chicago.
If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and; road construction, you live in Chicago .
If you have more miles on your snow blower than your car, you live in Chicago .
If you find 10 degrees 'a little chilly', you live in Chicago.