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  • Hannah Wiley

“Weird, but understandable”: From Philly to Buffalo

By: Hannah Wiley, Assistant Features Editor

As a student that is not only not from Buffalo, but not from New York State, coming to school here was definitely a culture shock.

Everyone knows how much the Buffalo Bills means to the residents of Buffalo and the surrounding towns. If I had a penny for every time someone said, “So, you're an Eagles fan?!?” when they find out I’m from Philly, I’d have enough money to pay my college tuition. I’m not saying that the Buffalo Bills aren’t great and the fans aren’t great; I am, however, saying that no, I am not a Bills fan, and there is nothing you can do to convince me the Eagles aren’t the best team in the NFL. But I digress.

One of the biggest shocks was the first time I heard someone say “Lancaster.” For those who don’t know, people in Buffalo pronounce it as “Lan-cast-ur.” I was truly shocked. In Pennsylvania, we also have a Lancaster, but we pronounce it completely differently. In PA you will only ever hear it pronounced as “Lang-cus-ter.” I’ll be the first to admit that, yes, people in Buffalo pronounce it how it looks. But does that mean I’ll start pronouncing it that way? Absolutely not.

I never thought I had a PA accent until I came to Buffalo, which I guess makes sense. The first time I said the word “water” in front of my roommate — who is from East Aurora — she immediately pointed out the supposedly weird way I pronounced the word. You probably just read that word as “wa-der” which, similar to Lancaster, you say it how it looks. I, however, read and say that word as “woo-der.”

In my senior year of high school when I would tell someone I was going to college in Buffalo, the common response was, “Oh my God, it’s so cold up there — you better buy a good jacket!” Still, it wasn’t enough to mentally or physically prepare me for the severity of the cold weather here. In Pennsylvania, 40 degrees is good sweatshirt and pants weather, nothing to panic about: I could probably go without my winter jacket.

It gets down to 40 degrees in Buffalo and you’re in danger of frostbite! I mean, at this point it is my fault. I’ve gone to school here for almost a year and a half, and I still don’t wear a jacket when it's cold out. To be fair, I was spoiled getting to use the tunnels all last year, which is no longer an option considering I live in the Village Townhouses.

Whenever someone tells me they want a sub and then they get a cold sandwich, I still get so confused. Specifically to Southeastern PA, a cold sandwich like that is called a hoagie; for example, you would get an Italian hoagie, and when it's a hot sandwich, you would be having a meatball sub. In Buffalo, it's just all a sub? Weird, but understandable, like many things in Buffalo.

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