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12 Delicious Pieces of Regional Pizza Slang

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Perhaps only slightly less important than how you eat your pizza is how you talk about it. Here are 12 ways people all over the country (and Canada!) refer to those cheesy slices of goodness.

1. PLAIN OR CHEESE?

Plain meaning without toppings is New York-area vernacular while outside New York such a pizza would be referred to as (the redundant) cheese. Other New York options include a regular slice (a nice parallel with the northeast dialectal, regular coffee, a coffee with cream and sugar) and plain old slice.

2. PIECE OR SLICE?

Speaking of slices, in New York you can say, “I’m getting a slice,” and people will know what you’re talking about. However, elsewhere “piece of pizza” is preferred, and if you say “slice,” you’ll need to qualify it with “of pizza."

3. PIE OR PIZZA?

While to east coasters, it might feel perfectly natural to say “pie” when referring to a whole pizza, not so for those in other regions. In an informal poll I conducted, “pie” was described by west coasters as "pretentious" and “only something someone in a movie would say,” while one Brooklynite described those who didn't use "pie" as "heathens." The reason for this sharp divide is unclear.

4. PIZZA PARLOR, PIZZA SHOP, OR PIZZERIA?

People don’t seem to feel as passionately about the place they get their pizza from as the pizza itself. In my survey, pizza place was the most popular, followed by pizza parlor and, a close third, pizzeria. There was one write-in for pizza joint but no votes for pizza shop.

In a Google Ngrams search of “lots of books” from 1800 on, pizzeria is by far the most popular. A distant second is pizza parlor, third is pizza place, and pizza shop and pizza joint almost tie for last.

5. TIP SAG

Tip sag refers to when the tip of one’s pizza slice droops down (and, depending on the degree of droop, may result in the dreaded pizza fold). Tip sagging might be most familiar to regions that specialize in Neapolitan-style pizza, that is, round with sauce, cheese, and various toppings.

In 2013, certain Dallas diners were put-out by the characteristic sag of one restaurant's Neapolitan, resulting in a schooling by the restaurateur on the pizza’s deliberate yummy “sogginess.”

6. CHICAGO-STYLE

Legend says that Chicago-style deep dish pizza was invented in the early 1940s by the founders of Pizzeria Uno, or else the founders’ employees. About 30 years later, eateries started offering stuffed pizza (not to be confused with Pizza Hut’s stuffed crust monstrosity). These long-baking varieties may have come about to create a different, slower dining experience than the on-the-go Neapolitan.

However, Chicago does have its own thin-crust pizza -- described as crisp and crunchy like a cracker -- which, some say, is even more popular than deep dish or stuffed.

7. PARTY-CUT OR PIE-CUT?

You can’t talk about thin-crust Chicago style pizza without talking about the type of cut. Party-cut, also known as tavern-cutmeans cutting in a grid, while pie-cut means cutting in triangles or wedges. Pie-cut is so-called because of its resemblance to how a dessert pie would be divided. Presumably party- or tavern-cut got its name because that’s how pizza has traditionally been served in taverns and at parties, although why is unclear.

As for which is better, that's an ongoing debate.

8. APIZZA

Perhaps less well-known, although no less delicious, is New Haven-style pizza, known in local vernacular as apizza. New Haven-style is thin like New York pizza, but if you walk into an apizza parlor and order a “plain,” you’ll get one without mootz, or mozzarella.

Apizza and mootz both come from the dialect of Naples immigrants who arrived in the area in the early 1920s. Apizza is pronounced uh-BEETs, with a silent final A.

9. OLD FORGE PIZZA

Old Forge pizza originated in Old Forge, Pennsylvania, which is right outside Scranton. This self-proclaimed “pizza capital of the world” was primarily a mining town, and the story goes that one “Grandma” Ghigiarelli would serve the square-shaped pizza to coal miners who had come in to take a break and play cards.

Thicker than a Neapolitan, the most popular varieties of the Old Forge are the red, a traditional tomato sauce and cheese; the white, hold the sauce; and the black, which has cheese, black pepper, black olives, and anchovies.

10. GRANDMA PIZZA

Also known as grandma pie, the grandma pizza is similar to the chunky, rectangular Sicilian, but with a thinner, dense crust. The style probably originated in Long Island, New York in the early 20th century, and is similar to pizza alla casalingo, or “housewife style pizza,” the kind you’d get if you visited someone’s home in Italy.

What makes the crust denser and thinner? Shorter proofing, or the time between stretching the dough and baking the pizza, because, as one knows, Italian grandmas are way too busy for your silly proofing.

11. ALL-DRESSED PIZZA

All-dressed is Montreal slang for “everything on it.” There’s the all-dressed hot dog, the all-dressed bagel (the equivalent of New York’s everything bagel), and of course the all-dressed pizza. Pizza tout garnie in Quebecois, the all-dressed pizza comes with mushrooms, green peppers, and pepperoni, not literally "everything" but still a lot.

So what makes a Montreal pizza Montrealean? A thicker, puffier crust, toppings that go under the cheese, and a dough ball in the center to keep the pizza box lid off the pizza, a much less wasteful option than plastic pizza savers.

12. PIZZA IN AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE

Pizza has regional differences in ASL as well. Some are fingerspelled while others are representations of a round pizza tray -- apparently the accepted sign in British Sign Language -- or someone taking a bite of pizza. The taking-a-bite sign is popular in Sacramento, California.

Fingerspelled methods include the “Za” variation, signing a double Z plus the letter A; the “P,” using a P handshape to sign the letter Z; the double Z with no A; and spelling out the whole word.

But however you sign, say, or serve pizza, it all spells delicious.

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23 Slang Terms You Only Understand if You Work in Antarctica
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Thanks to extreme conditions, a small research population, close quarters, and the unique experience of life there, Antarctica has developed a lingo all of its own. Yes, even freezing, remote Antarctica has slang. Here is a sample of some, er, cooler terms, which come from the many English-speaking nationalities, from Canada to New Zealand, that have stepped foot on its ice.

1. BIG EYE

In winter, Antarctica is covered in perpetual darkness; in summer, sunlight. The continent can certainly put a wrench in one’s circadian rhythms, as this slang for light-related insomnia makes plain.

2. TOASTY

Antarctica’s climate also puts a wrench in one’s mental faculties. Crew stationed there often experience a loss of words, forgetfulness, irascibility, and “brain fog” brought on by the dark, cold, and altitude. Toasty is also used for other general misdemeanors committed around the camp.

3. ICE SHOCK

Antarctica’s shell shock. As one Antarctica-based worker blogged about it, ice shock is “when you get back to the rest of the world and realize that no matter how insane Antarctica is, the real world is FAR nuttier, and that you can no longer function in it.”

4. GREENOUT

A riff on whiteout. As The Antarctic Dictionary defines it, greenout is “the overwhelming sensation induced by seeing and smelling trees and other plants spending some time in antarctic regions.”

5. THE ICE

Speaking of the ice, this is how Antarcticans refer to the whole ice-covered continent.

6. CHEECH

Not the counterpart of Chong, but a play on consonant clusters in the name of the place from which many researchers jump off to Antarctica: Christchurch, New Zealand.

7. MACTOWN

McMurdo Station, the U.S. research hub and largest Antarctic community, which can host around 1250 residents in summer.

8. CITY MICE

These are personnel who work at the main research stations.

9. COUNTRY MICE

These are crew who move among different camps on the continent.

10. ICE-HUSBAND/ICE-WIFE

When the cat's away, the mice will play. One’s ice-husband or ice-wife is like a fling for crew down in Antarctica for the season.

11. ICE-WIDOW/ICE-WIDOWER

Meanwhile, one’s spouse or significant other is stuck all alone back home as their loved one is working at the South Pole.

12. FINGY

This pejorative term for a newbie apparently derives from “f—king new guy,” or FNG.

13. BEAKER

An epithet for “scientist.” Some specialist personnel also have nicknames, like fuelie (responsible for fueling various equipment) and wastie (who deal with refuse).

14. WINTER-OVER

When crew, bravely, stay in Antarctica over the entire brutal winter.

15. TURDSICLE

It gets cold down at the southern end of the world. The average—yes, average—temperature is -52ºF. The excrement freezeth, shall we say.

16. SNOTSICLE

So too do boogers freeze in this blend of snot and icicle.

17. DEGOMBLE

“To disencumber of snow,” as The Antarctic Dictionary explains, especially before coming back inside shelter. The origin of gomble is obscure, possibly a term for little balls of snow stuck to the fur of sled dogs.

18. SKUA

Named for the predatory, scavenging skua birds found in Antarctica, a skua pile or bin is a sort of rummage bin. Crew can leave and pick over unwanted items there. Also used as a verb.

19. OFFENSIVE POTATOES

British speakers apparently did not take a liking to canned potatoes they had to eat ...

20. SAWDUST

... nor the dried cabbage.

21. FRESHIES

Shipments of these fresh fruits and vegetables are quite welcome to the cuisine-deprived Antarctica researchers and personnel.

22. POPPY

Alcohol served over Antarctica ice, which makes a pop sound as it releases the gas long pressurized into it.

23. CARROTS

Not that much of the food sounds terribly edible, if slang is any measure, but these carrots aren’t to be munched on. They refer to ice cores, ‘uprooted’ samples whose cylindrical shape resemble the vegetable.

This slang is only the tip of the, um, iceberg. For more, see Bernadette Hince’s The Antarctica Dictionary, the Cool Antarctica website, and The Allusionist podcast, which has explored linguistic life on the ice in its episode, “Getting Toasty.”

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What's the Longest Word in the World? Here are 12 of Them, By Category
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Rebecca O'Connell

Antidisestablishmentarianism, everyone’s favorite agglutinative, entered the pop culture lexicon on August 17, 1955, when Gloria Lockerman, a 12-year-old girl from Baltimore, correctly spelled it on The $64,000 Question as millions of people watched from their living rooms. At 28 letters, the word—which is defined as a 19th-century British political movement that opposes proposals for the disestablishment of the Church of England—is still regarded as the longest non-medical, non-coined, nontechnical word in the English language, yet it keeps some robust company. Here are some examples of the longest words by category.

1. METHIONYLTHREONYLTHREONYGLUTAMINYLARGINYL … ISOLEUCINE 

Note the ellipses. All told, the full chemical name for the human protein titin is 189,819 letters, and takes about three-and-a-half hours to pronounce. The problem with including chemical names is that there’s essentially no limit to how long they can be. For example, naming a single strand of DNA, with its millions and millions of repeating base pairs, could eventually tab out at well over 1 billion letters.

2. LOPADOTEMACHOSELACHOGALEOKRANIOLEIPSAN …P TERYGON

The longest word ever to appear in literature comes from Aristophanes’ play, Assemblywomen, published in 391 BC. The Greek word tallies 171 letters, but translates to 183 in English. This mouthful refers to a fictional fricassee comprised of rotted dogfish head, wrasse, wood pigeon, and the roasted head of a dabchick, among other culinary morsels. 

3. PNEUMONOULTRAMICROSCOPICSILICOVOLCANOCONIOSIS

At 45 letters, this is the longest word you’ll find in a major dictionary. An inflated version of silicosis, this is the full scientific name for a disease that causes inflammation in the lungs owing to the inhalation of very fine silica dust. Despite its inclusion in the dictionary, it’s generally considered superfluous, having been coined simply to claim the title of the longest English word.

4. PARASTRATIOSPHECOMYIA STRATIOSPHECOMYIOIDES 

The longest accepted binomial construction, at 42 letters, is a species of soldier fly native to Thailand. With a lifespan of five to eight days, it’s unlikely one has ever survived long enough to hear it pronounced correctly.

5. PSEUDOPSEUDOHYPOPARATHYROIDISM

This 30-letter thyroid disorder is the longest non-coined word to appear in a major dictionary.

6. FLOCCINAUCINIHILIPILIFICATION

By virtue of having one more letter than antidisestablishmentarianism, this is the longest non-technical English word. A mash-up of five Latin roots, it refers to the act of describing something as having little or no value. While it made the cut in the Oxford English Dictionary, Merriam-Webster volumes refuse to recognize it, chalking up its existence to little more than linguistic ephemera.

7. SUBDERMATOGLYPHIC

At 17 characters, this is the longest accepted isogram, a word in which every letter is used only once, and refers to the underlying dermal matrix that determines the pattern formed by the whorls, arches, and ridges of our fingerprints. 

8. SQUIRRELLED

Though the more commonly accepted American English version carries only one L, both Oxford and Merriam-Webster dictionaries recognize this alternate spelling and condone its one syllable pronunciation (think “world”), making it the longest non-coined monosyllabic English word at 11 letters.

9. ABSTENTIOUS

One who doesn’t indulge in excesses, especially food and drink; at 11 letters this is the longest word to use all five vowels in order exactly once.

10. ROTAVATOR 

A type of soil tiller, the longest non-coined palindromic word included in an English dictionary tallies nine letters. Detartrated, 11 letters, appears in some chemical glossaries, but is generally considered too arcane to qualify.

11. and 12. CWTCH, EUOUAE

The longest words to appear in a major dictionary comprised entirely of either vowels or consonants. A Cwtch, or crwth, is from the Welsh word for a hiding place. Euouae, a medieval musical term, is technically a mnemonic, but has been accepted as a word in itself. 

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