The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Going Dutch

April 9, 2014

DITTZLING the day away - Part 1

- — Are you Dutchified?

GOING BACK — If you are feeling sicker than you were before, you’re going back.

CAME ALONG BEHIND — Refers to a child who decided to be born several years after his or her older siblings.

DITTZLING — If you’re reading this article to try to make yourself look like you’re very busy, you are dittzling.

GOING TO MAKE — Someone’s in trouble and there’s going to be a fight; could also refer to a storm coming on. Either way, it won’t be good.

You can dittzle all you want, even if you came along behind. Just don’t go back. That’s always a bad thing. Pennsylvania Dutch

people are known for their quaint, peculiar phrasings, like “Outen the lights” and “Throw the horse over the fence some hay.” And here in Central Pennsylvania, we can hear lots of these colorful expressions from our neighbors every day.

“He’s really going back,” people say, shaking their heads sadly. They’re not talking about someone returning to a dangerous

place, or someone failing a class, but about someone who is ill and getting sicker. If you’re not Pennsylvania Dutch, you might say, “He’s really getting sicker,” or even, “His condition is worsening.” But if you’re Pennsylvania Dutch, the poor guy is going back.

Somehow it sounds especially bad to be going back after coming along behind, but the two are unrelated. Have you ever known a family that had a handful of kids within a few years of each other, then a final child was born a few years later? You might say of that child, “She was born much later than the others,” or even, “She was a few years younger than all of her siblings.” Something like that.

But if you were Pennsylvania Dutch you’d simply say, “She came along behind,” as if the child took it upon herself to pack up her belongings and tag along after her older brothers and sisters.

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Sprecken sie Pennsylvaniaish?