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CoalSpeak
The Official CoalRegion Dictionary
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hafta : have to. "I hafta get up town ta play da number before 7 o'clock!"
hain't : another variation on ain't. "Hain't it?" is likely where heyna comes from.
haitch : the letter "H". "I tink Haitch Bee Oh (HBO) is free dis weekend!"
half holiday : many businesses used to close for a half-day on Wednesday afternoon, and re-open on Thursday morning. This practice may have been a holdover from the depression, when stores were trying to reduce overhead costs. Anyone know for sure? The practice was observed by many merchants at least until the late 1960's. "I went to get quarters at the bank, but they were closed fer half holiday."
Hallaweenin(g), Hallaweeners : trick-or-treating, trick-or-treaters. "Da young lad is going out Hallaweenin. Look at all dem Hallaweeners!"
halupkies or galumpkies : stuffed cabbage. Also known as "blind pigeons". Halupkies is the Ukrainian term; galumpkies the Polish term. In Ukranian, the word is "holubtsi", which means (guess what?) pigeons! See recipe.
halushkies : an Eastern European casserole delicacy consisting of cabbage, onions, potatoes, and noodles. See recipe.
ham and egger : a somewhat derogatory term, used as a put-down for a person. Comes from the old days when miners held boxing matches. The winner got money, the loser got a ham and egg meal.
ham in yer bucket : an expression meaning you've got a good or full lunchbox. Comes from the mining days when ham for lunch was a treat.
hard coal : the Anthracite Coal that the coal region of Eastern Pennsylvania is famous for. Bituminous, or "soft coal" is mined in Western Pennsylvania. To be "from da hard coal" is to be from the Coal Region of Eastern PA.
Hatchy Milatchy : a popular children's show on WNEP-TV (Wilkes-Barre) in the 1960's and 70's. Hosted by Miss Judy (real name: Lois Burns). The theme song was a popular song sung by Rosemary Clooney. Miss Judy lipsync'd to Rosemary Clooney at the beginning of each show. Another host was the fez-wearing Uncle Ted, a grey-haired man with beard and handlebar mustache. Contrary to popular belief, Miss Judy was not married to District Forester Manny Gordon (enjooooyyyy, enjoy!). Was she married to Uncle Ted?
hawdogs : Hot dogs. Sometimes just plain "dogs". "Gimme two dogs, one wit ketchup and one wittout".
hawk a loogie : to spit after clearing the throat and using that phlegm (the loogie) to spit. The bigger the loogie, the prouder the spitter.
hawker : another name for a loogie. See hawk a loogie.
hawzey or haasy or hossie: (not sure how this is spelled) A card game commonly played at card parties. According to the Dictionary of Regional English (DARE), these are variants of "hasenpfeffer," a card game played chiefly in Eastern PA. DARE lists the variants "hoss" and "hossy".  This note from a "Dutchman" friend: At card parties, PA Dutchmen play "Hawsy", which is a shortened form of "Haasenpeffer". It is the dialect name for a German rabbit stew. The card game is a bridge-style bidding game, similar to what is called "euchre" or "uker" in the Midwest and other parts of the country. Sometimes called "horsey".
hayna or heyna or henna or haynit: request for affirmation, like "ain't it so?"  or "isn't that right?".  See hain't. This is primarily a Luzerne County word, very common in Hazleton, Wilkes-Barre, and surrounding areas. On a related note, many Pennsylvania Dutch sentences end with the phrase "say not". That sure smells like sulfur, henna?" "It sure is cold tonight, heyna or no?"
hayna er no? : isn't that correct, yes or no? (see  hayna)
henna da troot : ain't it the truth? (see  hayna)
 
header : a fall or a slip (like, you might land on your head). "Yo, get offa dat ladder before ya take a header"
heatrola : a home heating device that burned coal, Sometimes floors in the house had grates to allow the heat to circulate. You had to take out the ashes (coal cinders) periodically. These stoves were cast iron and usually covered with porcelain finish and had mica windows. They were used in the parlor or living rooms (if you had one) because they were used for heat only and not cooking. Heatrolas were placed on the floor on a stove board and then a metal stove pipe was affixed to the stove and then placed into the chimney. Are there still houses in the coal region that use these?
da Heights : Shenandoah Heights, the high-class suburb of Shendo. Also used for Marion Heights, outside Mount Carmel. "He lives up da Heights."
Heisler's Dairy : a popular summertime spot outside Tamaqua. Ice cream and miniature golf and great times.
highball : a popular mixed drink in the Coal Region. Made from whiskey and 7-up or ginger ale. A miner's highball is a shot of whiskey and a beer.
highrise : multi-story building where elderly people live. "Yo, how's your grandmother?" "Oh, she's not bad, she's upda highrise."
High Road/Low Road : The High Road is Route 54 between Lost Creek and Girardville. The Low Road is the road through Mahanoy Plane and Gilberton to Girardville (state route 40-30). So called because the High Road runs at a higher elevation than does the Low Road.
his/her people : his/her relatives. "Her people are from The Foot."
hiya : "Hi!" or "Hi to you!"  Also used as a severely contracted form of "Hi, how are you?"
hoagie : a sub sandwich. Not strictly a coal region term, but regional nonetheless.
hokie-pokie : the ice-cream truck that traveled around town during the summer and sold ice cream, etc. right from the truck. Was this the brand name? I seem to recall "Mr. Frosty" as the same thing.
hollor : to yell or scream at, or nag. dee 'ol lady keeps hollorin' at me. I had to get outta da house, yo!
honestagod : Honest to God. Used as an affirmation, like you are swearing something is true. Also used as an expression of amazement. "Honestagod, I always play dat number and the one day I din't, it come in!"
honey dipper : person who cleans out the contents of an outhouse. Next time you have a bad day at work, sit back and think "Thank God I don't have that job!!"
hooky or hookie: To skip school without a valid excuse. Not sure if this is specific to the Coal Region. "If I get caught playing hooky one more time, I'm gonna get expelled!"
Hookies, the : The Shenandoah Hook & Ladder Volunteer Fire Department.
hosie (or hozie or hosehouse) : a place to drink beer and keep fire trucks; a fire department or "hose company". "Let's go upda Hozie and drink some beers"
housecoat : woman's robe.
how comes : why. "How comes you ain't goin out wit us?"  "Cuz I don't wanna, dat's how comes"
huckleberry : a very small berry that grows wild in the Coal Region. Picking huckleberries is a common thing to do in the summer. Usually purple in color. Taste great in pies. These are not the same as blueberries, though one of our viewers says they are "wild blueberries". See also swampers and scobbed
hunky : derogatory slang term used to refer to immigrants from Eastern Europe -- Polish, Slovak, Ukrainian, Russian, etc. Not used so much anymore. Possibly derived from "Hungarian" or the more common "bohunk", which probably comes from "Bohemian". "She's a hunky from Chendo."
hunnert : hundred. "He musta spent a hunnert dollars at the J-bar last night".
da Hurld : The Shenandoah Evening Herald, a local newspaper.
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