Here in "Pennsyltucky" as some call it, we have lots of unique traditions, quirks, and slang! If you relate to any of the following, you definitely grew up here.
1. Know what “the swattie” is.
Lovingly nicknamed "the swattie", Swatara Creek is a Summer staple. Sure, maybe the water could be cleaner, and it floods at least once a year, but where else would we kayak, tube, and swim?
2. Have eaten pork and sauerkraut, whoopie pies, shoo fly pie, Dieffenbach's chips, dippy eggs, and “pot pie”.
It still amazes me that most of the general population doesn't eat pork and 'kruat on New Year's Day, doesn't know what shoo fly pie is, and thinks that chicken pot pie is actually a pie sans thick noodles.
3. Graduated with a high school class of 300 people or less
This isn't necessarily true for every central Pennsylvanian school, but I graduated with a class of 165 and most of the other schools around mine had similar numbers. Knowing almost everyone in your class was both a blessing and a curse.
4. Have witnessed escaped barnyard animals (cows, chickens, etc.) on the road while driving
I'll never forget the first time I was driving and saw a cow chilling on the other side of the road, nowhere near a farm. I just hope it got home safely.
5. Have been to Hershey and Lancaster so many times it’s not exciting anymore.
After working in Hershey for four and a half years, it baffles me how people spend a week-long family vacation there. I also find people's fascination with Amish people strange...to me they're just neighbors and people who I buy delicious food from at local markets. At least once a week at work tourists will ask me "where the Amish are" like they're some sort of mysterious, lost-civilization waiting to be discovered. I get it...but I also don't.
6. Have been to the THE farm show (even if it was just for the milkshakes).
The Pennsylvania Farm Show is an event held every year in a ridiculously large complex called...you guessed it… "The Farm Show complex". Even if you aren't a farmer there's something for everyone to enjoy: blessedly greasy food, famously delicious milkshakes, a butterfly exhibit, the butter sculpture, and of course lots of cute animals. Kids here often miss school for the occasion whether they'd showing animals with their family or visiting for an "educational field trip".
7. Prefer Sheetz over Wawa.
Even if you're like me and see virtually no difference in quality between these two gas station/convenience store chains, it's a regional obligation to prefer Sheetz (no matter what your Philly friends say).
8. You know how to pronounce Reading, Lancaster, Schuylkill, Ephrata, Lititz, Pequea and Lebanon correctly.
If you know, you know. If you don't, we will correct you. Trust me.
9. Can properly define “rutch”, “outen”, and “scooch”.
Even if you don't come from Pennsylvania Dutch roots, the language is thoroughly intertwined into Pennsylvania slang. If you don't use these verbs yourself, you're likely to at least know what they mean. Your may have also found yourself saying "It's all", "I haven't ____ yet" , and "I'm coming with".
10. Have waited in line for a Fasnacht, or know what a Fasnacht is in the first place.
A kind of doughnut that's typically consumed the day before Lent (shrove/Fat Tuesday). Catholics and non-Catholics alike go BESERK for these.
11. You've driven through Intercourse, then over to Blue Ball, and ended your trip in Paradise.
Whoever came up with the names of these places...has given Pennsylvanians a lot of laughs.
12. Appreciate that mountains and trees are part of the view on your daily commute.
No matter how much I complained about central PA growing up, no matter how desperate I was to leave, the scenery is undoubtedly beautiful. There's nothing like driving down an open road, surrounded by mountains, trees, and fresh air. I love living in Philly, but it just can't compare to the scenic beauty of my home.