38 responses to Do you know these 12 similar Pennsylvania Dutch words?
  • *
    Mary Yoder
    Comment on PA Dutch words (May 7th, 2013 at 07:01)

    PA Dutch words

    1. bleck….logs
    2. blech…yuck
    3. tsupp..tug, or
    4. tsepp…braid
    5. brill…eye-glasses
    6. brillah…cry
    7. grattlah…crawl
    8. griddlich…cranky
    9. strimph…hose or socks
    10. schimpha…complain
    11. schlissel…keys
    12. schissel…bowl

    • *
      Melissa Lynn Conquest
      Comment on hi (April 4th, 2015 at 21:07)

      hi

      Hi Mary! My name is Melissa Lynn Conquest. I am new to this site and o want to learn Amish Language. Because I live in Pennsylvania which is known for a lot of Amish speak people plus I am fascinated with the Amish culture and I like how they believe in putting god first before anything else.
      I believe that God should be the main priority for everyone. But unfortunately there aren’t bunch of people who believe in God.
      But I chose to become a true believer in god
      Thanks for letting me share this with you. God bless you

      • *
        Deb Closser
        Comment on I'm not PD awwer ich lieb the language ! (April 28th, 2016 at 08:55)

        I'm not PD awwer ich lieb the language !

        Guder Mariye ! Wie seid dihr ? Ich bin en beginner aa.

  • *
    Terry Berger
    Comment on Hello (May 7th, 2013 at 07:16)

    Hello

    Mary, were you peeking? Ich glawbe Du kannscht guut Deitsch schwetzah und eppa kennd dich net verkaafe….LOL.

    Terry

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    Eli S.
    Comment on Do you know these 12 similar Pennsylvania Dutch words? (May 7th, 2013 at 09:35)

    Agree entirely with Mary except for number 2. In our neck of the woods, blech (noun) was tin. It was also the name for a tin cup, usually used for drinking water. If something was tinny, it would be blechich.

  • *
    Karen Pollard
    Comment on Do you know these 12 similar Pennsylvania Dutch words? (May 7th, 2013 at 12:03)

    I think Mary cheated! lol

  • *
    Erin Pluimer
    Comment on Do you know these 12 similar Pennsylvania Dutch words? (May 7th, 2013 at 14:26)

    Thanks for the answer key, Mary!

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    Slightly-handled-Order-man
    Comment on Eek, di Meis, fetch di kat! (May 7th, 2013 at 15:58)

    Eek, di Meis, fetch di kat!

    I like the picture you added, Eric. Especially “di Meis”

    That is a smart way to teach words to kids and newcomers to the language.

    There is a language learning program out there that apparently, according to the TV commercials, uses speech, written words and images to teach language, so if the image above is a similar Amish tool, that would be useful.

  • *
    Mary Yoder
    Comment on Dutch Words (May 7th, 2013 at 16:09)

    Dutch Words

    I want to apologize on spilling the beans, once I had done it I was thinking…now that isn’t fair, is it? Sorry Erik, and yes blech is tin, wasn’t awake yet this morning maybe…

    Terry, can you also deutch schwettza?

    • *
      Comment on Answers (May 8th, 2013 at 09:28)

      Answers

      Mary that’s okay, I think this one is kind of difficult without some German/PA German background :) I will post the answers Mark provided anyway:

      1. bleck – This is the plural form, it means logs as in wooden logs
      2. blech – The ch sound is sort of like you would exclaim in ycch! It means tin. As in a tin roof. A blech dach.
      3. tsupp – This is like a small tab on something. The container had a small tsupp to pull it off with.
      4. tsepp – This is a braid. Tsepp brot is braided bread. Hoah g’tsepped is braided hair.
      5. brill – Eyeglasses or spectacles
      6. brillah – sniffling and crying as in small children.
      7. grattlah – Crawling or climbing.
      8. griddlich – Fussy. As in a fussy baby.
      9. strimph – Socks
      10. schimpha – To complain or gripe about something.
      11. schlissel – A key. As in a door key.
      12. schissel – A bowl. As in a soup schisseli

  • *
    Naomi Wilson
    Comment on I want to know (May 7th, 2013 at 19:26)

    I want to know

    what Terri said: “I… you can speak good Dutch,… your not….” That was all I could figure out. Oh, and I knew #8 was cranky. I’ve been trying to learn a little. Ich schwetze Deitsch en glee bissel. : )

  • *
    Terry Berger
    Comment on Say Mary (May 8th, 2013 at 09:58)

    Say Mary

    Ja ja, Ich kann guut Deitsch schwetza, Ich wehss genug sell eppa kann mich net verkaafe. Wu warscht Du gebot? Ins Pennsylvawni, Ohio, oder Inshianna?

    Terry

    • *
      Mary Yoder
      Comment on Dutch words (May 8th, 2013 at 21:42)

      Dutch words

      Terry,
      Dei namah iss net deutch?

      Ich war gebot in die beschta blatz, Indiana.

      Nah, sag mich vas du mahnscht mit verkaffe? Ich hab ideas…

      • *
        Naomi Wilson
        Comment on Do you know these 12 similar Pennsylvania Dutch words? (May 8th, 2013 at 22:10)

        I’m going to continue being a total nuisance until someone tells me what verkaffe means.

        Mary said: “Terry, your name is not Deitsch?” “I was born in the best place, Indiana.” Then I’m lost. Except for “I have ideas…”

        I’ve been watching Doug Madenford’s PADutch101 videos on Youtube, and I recently bought the kids-oriented book, Speaking Amish, which is a lot of fun (en lot schpass.)

  • *
    Naomi Wilson
    Comment on Terry (May 8th, 2013 at 10:24)

    Terry

    Sorry I spelled your name wrong last time. I used my sister-in-law’s spelling. What is verkaafe?

  • *
    Alice Mary
    Comment on Do you know these 12 similar Pennsylvania Dutch words? (May 8th, 2013 at 20:51)

    I. Am. Clueless.

    But I’ll take a guess (probably also wrong) at Terry’s posting with “verkaffe”—sounds like coffee.

    Like I said…probably wrong.

    I can hear the snickering from here…

    Alice Mary

  • *
    Naomi Wilson
    Comment on Do you know these 12 similar Pennsylvania Dutch words? (May 8th, 2013 at 22:01)

    I hope Terry doesn’t find me annoying, but I have almost no opportunity to test out what I have learned, and I have no PA Deitsch-English dictionary.

    “Kaafe” is to buy, but I don’t know about verkaafe. Terry said, “Yes, I speak good dutch. I know enough that some can myself (net verkaffe).” I know that is totally rough with confusing word order, and I probably got something flat out wrong.

    “Wu wuhnscht Du?” is “Where do you live?” But I don’t know about “Wu warscht Du gebot?”

    Thanks to all who might humor me.

    • *
      Mary Yoder
      Comment on Do you know these 12 similar Pennsylvania Dutch words? (May 8th, 2013 at 22:31)

      Nah, sag mich vas du mahnscht mit verkaffe

      (no, tell me what you mean by verkaffe?

      Wo warscht Du gebot?”

      (where were you born?

      no problem Naomi… can you figure this out?

      Sis zeit fa bett gay?

      • *
        Naomi Wilson
        Comment on Do you know these 12 similar Pennsylvania Dutch words? (May 8th, 2013 at 23:33)

        Thank you, Mary! You said, “It’s time to go to bed.” “Go” took me a little while, because I’ve been spelling it, geh. But no kidding about the time! I had a project that had to wait until my daughter was asleep, and she is a night owl. Guti nacht!

  • *
    Terry Berger
    Comment on What it means (May 9th, 2013 at 07:25)

    What it means

    Wann a man sage, Ich wehss genug sell eppa kann mich net verkaafe…When someone says, I know enough that soneone can’t buy me it means that person speaks PA German well enough that someone can’t get something over on them. It’s an idiom that I grew up with here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Maybe it doesn’t carry to other Deitsch speaking areas, although I’ve heard it in Lancaster County. To clarify also: eppis = something; eppa = someone. Nah mussich mei schoffa duh!! Mach’s guut alle!!

    Terry

  • *
    Terry Berger
    Comment on On me (May 9th, 2013 at 08:49)

    On me

    Mei nomah s’iss net en Amische nomah, awwer Ich bin Deitsch gebot und gewoxt. Ich bin drei jarhungen ins Brudernkarrich, so Ich betrage en schwartz hut oder en stroh hut, gallussa, brehdfalle hussah, und schmuchlossig hemmd.

    My name is not an Amish name, however, I’m PA German born and raised. I’m third generation in the Brethren’s church, so I wear a black hat or straw hat, suspenders, broadfall pants, and plain shirts.

    I also raise fruits, vegetables, and eggs part time and work for a hospital full time.

    Hascht en guude!!

    Terry

  • *
    Don Curtis
    Comment on verkafe (May 9th, 2013 at 12:23)

    verkafe

    I asked my son, Mark, what verkafe means. He said that it means to sell. Kafe is to buy. When something is verkafft, it is sold. When something is bought, it is g’kafft. At least that is one Mark says.

    • *
      Henry Troyer
      Comment on Kauffa, g'kauft etc. (May 19th, 2015 at 10:43)

      Kauffa, g'kauft etc.

      Don Curtis: Your son Mark is exactly right on all points.

  • *
    Naomi Wilson
    Comment on Thanks (May 9th, 2013 at 20:46)

    Thanks

    Terry, Mary, and Don. That was a fun lesson in PA Dutch. Ich gleich Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch schwetze!

  • *
    Terry
    Comment on Do you know these 12 similar Pennsylvania Dutch words? (May 9th, 2013 at 20:53)

    Don,
    Is your son familiar with the phrase, “Ich wehss genug sell eppa kann mich net verkaafe?” I just wondered if they used it in his area?

    Terry

    • *
      Don Curtis
      Comment on Mark's reply (July 2nd, 2013 at 12:51)

      Mark's reply

      I asked Mark about this phase. He said that he hasn’t heard it used. The way he understands it the phrase would translate: “I know enough that nobody can sell me.”

      • *
        Henry Troyer
        Comment on Sell? (May 19th, 2015 at 10:52)

        Sell?

        The problem is with the word “sell”. I would have used the word “ess”.

  • *
    Mary Yoder
    Comment on Do you know these 12 similar Pennsylvania Dutch words? (May 10th, 2013 at 07:41)

    Naomi, siss means It and geh means Go, so I was saying It is time to go to bed.

    Terry, I kept thinkin it is to buy, and not soaking the whole meaning of it, now I know…

    Mus gey schaffa nah! Hab en gute dag…………

    Erik, I will quit confusing you now…

  • *
    Terry Berger
    Comment on Do you know these 12 similar Pennsylvania Dutch words? (May 10th, 2013 at 10:15)

    Mary,
    Ei ei ei, Du machscht mich lache!! Wass iss dei G’mee oder Karrich?

    Terry

  • *
    Janina
    Comment on Dutch / German (July 2nd, 2013 at 08:16)

    Dutch / German

    It is fun to read Pennsylvania Dutch! I’m surprised how well I understand all of what is written above.
    Once I was in Lancaster and an Amish man started speaking PA German to my mother and me as soon as we told him we were from Belgium and we speak Dutch there. We had no clue what he was saying. It’s clearly a lot easier to read than to understand. Looks a lot like German, and Dutch looks like German.

    I must say Pennsylvania German or Pennsylvania Dutch is closer to German than to Dutch though. I think it would be more difficult to understand for someone who speaks only Dutch and has no German knowledge whatsoever.

    And I could guess “verkafe” would be “to sell”. Same in German (and Dutch for that matter).
    German would be “verkaufen” and “kaufen”.
    In Dutch “kopen” and “verkopen” (and “verkocht” sounds like what Don Curtis mentions for sold, “verkafft”).

  • *
    CONNIE Clewell
    Comment on need help (July 15th, 2013 at 01:40)

    need help

    When we moved into our new apartment the Pa. Dutch lady downstairs gave us a casserole dish. She said it was our “hashh dire” or something similar sounding. Could you tell me what that means?

  • *
    Ada/KJV Conservative
    Comment on Quick Question/ Story (May 9th, 2014 at 19:46)

    Quick Question/ Story

    Erik:

    The add for the language class- is it sponsored by you or WordPress? I know you don’t guarantee anything…. I would like to learn the language, but I don’t want to get ‘spammed’ (haha).

    A Day with Herr and Frau Yoder

    “*Blech! The soup schissel ist not clean! Why are these dippy eggs in a soup schissel, anyhow?

    -Aw, honey, don’t be so griddlich! Now stop your brillah! Ach! I need my brill!

    *Just let me get my strimph on…you left them on the porch with the schissel. Cold feet nein ist gut.

    -Wait, get that spider that’s grattlach up the bleck! Nee, not there…THERE! I think you need brill, too.

    *Let me get this tsupp off the can of bug spray. Darn! Now where did that confounded spider go?

    -It’s on the tsepp rug!

    *Well, it’s gone now.

    -Ach, danki and praise the Herr our Gott! I cannot abide spiders.

    *Honey?

    -Hmmm?

    *What were we just doing?”

  • *
    Richard
    Comment on kaffah, vahkaffah (November 30th, 2014 at 07:32)

    kaffah, vahkaffah

    Hi all (Griass Eich alleh mihdahnahnd),

    Where am I from ? (Woh kummi heah?). What am I doing here in your chat corner ? (Woahs Ih doah mach in Eihrah Gschbraechseggn?) Oh well …

    First of all let me offer an ‘add on’ to your pending kaffah/vahkaffah – discussion. You are absolutly right when converting these two verbs to buy/sell. However and especially ‘verkaufen’ is used in a second way too. In High German, also in my Bavarian dialect … “Are you serious? / You want to fool me?” (Du wuisd me woi fiah dumm vahkaffah?) … remember Terry was adding a LOL behind it anyway.

    When it comes to dialects you can’t never really insist on a one-to-one word translation. There is always a lot of feelings and meanings involved. I even think that people learning a dialect as a first language are more tolerant in understanding others. And for sure they like to play with their wordings.

    So far so good. Now the reason I am writing to you today is based on my search for people with a dialect background. Looking for Amish speaking people in particular. Why? I was translating Amish words into Bavarian. And to my great enjoyment I could find so many similarities … incredible.

    Here a little bit more backgroud regarding my “language/dialect project”.
    Originally I come from Bavaria. Have travelled the world for many decades. Working in the computer software arena over fourty years and got married in China eight years ago. Yes, I live in China and my latest software component is kind of a huge dictionary (I would even call it a data warehouse) interrelating 10 European languages with simplified and traditional Chinese. Gaelic (both Irish and Scottish), Austrian, Switzerduetsch, uncountable German words and phrase are included as well. Almost needless to say that I am also covering the English dialect part also i.e. Australian, Canadian, South African, Caribbean, Arizona, New York, London, Cumbrian and of course Amish (hundreds more … you name them)

    Why? You look up an Amish word and get Vienna German, Bavarian and Sorbian entries as well as French, Italian, Polish and so on. Our Languages are so close to each other but almost out of reach for the Chinese. They only can study pure German, pure English. You see what I mean? My intention is to introduce our dialects to the the world.

    In case you are interested in my activities or in case you would like to have a deeper look into my product or even want a copy of it (free of cost because it is invalueable!!!) … just let me know.

    I would be pleased to hear from you,
    (Pfiad Eich Goohd mihdahnandah)

    Richard

    PS: (Bavarian is also a non-written language. My attempt to write Bavarian words will certainly amuse some Amish speaking people. Because they can figure out most of them. “I am pretty sure about that”)

    • *
      Teresa
      Comment on Book (November 19th, 2015 at 11:36)

      Book

      Richard, I would love a link on your Bavarian and PA DUTCH especially… I love learning, and never learned to write the Bavarian German, but was fluent enough while living in Ansbach and exploring Bavaria to make friends and also help other English ppl make trades with the German vendors.. Thank you…

    • *
      Julie
      Comment on Chinese? (November 20th, 2015 at 02:19)

      Chinese?

      I’m interested in your project, both because dialects are fascinating, and because I’m trying to learn Chinese (finding it very challenging!!). Thanks

  • *
    Lois
    Comment on Deutsch not Dutch (April 30th, 2015 at 15:58)

    Deutsch not Dutch

    I am of Dutch descent, that is, my grandparents were from Holland, a part of the Netherlands. For such a tiny country it seems to have a lots of identites. Dutch is the language spoken in the Netherlands. Deutsch is the language spoken in Germany. Germans call what we call Germany, Deutschland. Germans called what is now the Netherlands, Das Niederlands, which means outer lands. What we call Pennsylvania Dutch is a misnomer for Pennsylvanis Deutsch. That’s why they speak German, not Dutch.

    • *
      Roland
      Comment on Loss uns Deitsche was mir sin. (May 9th, 2015 at 00:18)

      Loss uns Deitsche was mir sin.

      Lois,

      The word “Dutch” in “Pennsylvania Dutch” is actually a holdover from the period when the word “Dutch” was used in English to describe things (including people and languages) that we now call
      German as well as things that we now call Dutch. When distinctions needed to be made during that period, “High Dutch” meant German, and “Low Dutch” meant what we now call Dutch. This was the usage at the time that immigration from the upper Rhine Valley and adjacent areas of what is now (mostly) Germany into Pennsylvania took place.

      You can look up the history of the English word “Dutch” in the Oxford English Dictionary or another historical dictionary of English.

      The “Low” in “Low Dutch” has the same meaning as the “Neder-” in “Nederland” — adopted into English as the “Nether-” in Netherlands: It is “Low” meaning “low in altitude”, i.e., near sea level. High German dialects, on the other hand, are the ones that are spoken at higher altitudes further upstream and up into the highlands and mountains of central Europe — i.e., to the south of the Netherlands. Pennsylvania Dutch is a High German dialect, as is modern Standard German. There are lots more.

      At least among the people I know in Pennsylvania, most speakers of the language, when speaking English, prefer to call it “Dutch” or (when more detail is needed or desired) “Pennsylvania Dutch”. They also speak of (Pennsylvania) Dutch cooking, heritage, history, etc. In the language itself, it is usually just “Deitsch” or very occasionally “Pennslvaanish Deitsch”. Standard German (modern or Biblical) is called “Hochdeitsch” — literally “High German” (which is sometimes encountered in English with the same meaning: a bit of a misnomer, since, as already mentioned, PD is also a High German dialect.) A synonym for “Deitsch” in the dialect is “die Muddersprooch” (literally “the mother language,” or in more idiomatic English, “the mothertongue”.)

      The term “Pennsylvania German” is also used, perhaps especially in textbooks and academic papers (etc.), and it means exactly the same thing as “Pennsylvania Dutch”. It does have the advantage that it keeps people who don’t know the language or the history of the Pennsylvania Germans from be confused and thinking it has something to do with the Netherlands. Nonetheless, some recent textbooks and academic works have returned to a preference for the historically more common term “Pennsylvania Dutch”.

      In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I am not myself any kind of Dutch (neither Pennsylvania nor Netherlandish) by ancestry or nationality, though I have studied both Pennsylvania Dutch and (Netherlands) Dutch, in addition to standard German.

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