For some reason, I woke up today thinking about the South Jersey dialect.

A short list:

  • Water = Wooder
  • Hundred = Hunerd
  • Monday = Mondee
  • It’s same for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, too.
  • Washing = Washin
  • Trenton = Tren-in
  • Atlantic City = Lantic City

It goes on and on.

South Jersey basically has its own English Language.

You can travel the whole state of New Jersey in less than 250 miles.

Yet, along the way, when you listen to people speak in different parts of the state … especially South Jersey versus North Jersey … close your eyes, and you’ll feel that you have entered a different part of America.

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In different parts of New Jersey, you can hear:

  • South Jersey dialect
  • North Jersey dialect
  • Philadelphia dialect
  • New York dialect

Some say that there is a Philadelphia metropolitan dialect that includes South Jersey. Not me. I think there is a big difference between the pronunciation of certain words that you hear and Philadelphia versus southern New Jersey pier

All of these variations in one state.

Words like coffee can readily become “Caw-fee” or “Call-fee.”

Chocolate becomes “Chaulklit.”

A lot of the difference comes down to the pronunciation of vowels and further north, with the dropping of “rs.”

This is the kind of thing that we rarely think about. The way we speak and the words that we use are a direct byproduct of where we live and the people that we have the closest contact with.

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