Ferhoodled English

Many Pennsylvania Dutch people still speak the language of their forefathers of 300 years ago, although the number of Dutchmen speaking and understanding the dialect are getting fewer every day.

There is no movement to save the dialect, but some churches still hold services in Pennsylvania Dutch (German). Limited courses are being taught at schools and universities, but only time will tell whether the dialect will continue to the next generations. Out of necessity the Pennsylvania Dutch had to invent words for "fence" and "railroad", as these had no German counterpart. In Germany there were no fences or railroads!

As they use the German word order and idioms in speaking English, it comes out in a broken-English and bad grammar that makes for a collection of amusing expressions. The dialect is colorful, to say the least! Here are some quaint idioms we remember from our past.
Go ahead back wunst!
Chonny, throw Grampop down the stairs, his hat.
Grammom is wonderful sick.
Mary, outten the light and make the door shut.
Is it gonna make down (rain)?
Aunt Clara's shoo-fly (pie) sure eats good!
Did you sink (think) about me?
Comb your hair, you're all stroubly (messy)!
Sabina is gretzy (cranky) today!
Ve get too soon old und too late schmart.
Did you come over the hill down?
Mable is a regular wunnerfitz (busybody).
Why are you so doppich (clumsy)?
Aye, yi, yi, but she sits broad (heavy)!
We ate wheel (veal) and vega-tables.
James chust got a new machine (car).
Sit still, Elam, stop rutschin' around!
Amos, klose your hossa-latz (zipper!
The pie is all, but there is cake yet.
Becky, go out and tie the dog loose!
I've no time to dopple!

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