The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Going Dutch

June 11, 2014

Do You Do The Dip? - Part 2

— I’m told that dippy egg is a Pennsylvania term for over easy. Can this be true? Out-of-state readers, again, I beseech you: Do you not eat dippy eggs? When you dip your toast in your egg, do you say you’re eas-ing it in the egg? Surely, surely, dippy egg is a national phrase. I can easily believe that yay is a Pennsylvania word. Not the exclamatory yay, as in, “The crocuses are blooming. Yay!”

But the use of yay as a form of measurement: “We’ll have to dig yay deep to plant strawberries this year.” “I need a little fence about yay high to keep the rabbits out of the garden.” And though the yay is a variable that can range from a few centimeters to a few yards, it is easily grasped by the use of visual aids — usually outstretched hands — and just a bit of imagination on the part of the listener.

In fact, it can inspire creativity on the part of the speaker, as in the case, for instance, of a fisherman telling the story of the fish he caught that was “yay big,” while his buddy hotly insists it was only “yay big.” Whose yay you believe is a matter of personal preference. It’s hard to imagine life without pocketbooks, hoagies, dippy eggs, and a length of something yay long, but apparently some unfortunate souls do live that way. What a cold, dark world that must be.

We here in Pennsylvania are blessed to have such colorful words in our conversations, and we ought to celebrate our good fortune. All together, then, fellow Pennsylvania residents, and put your heart into it: “Yay!”

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