Random Inspirations

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20 Fun Amish Words and Phrases

on March 19, 2015

With each Amish book I write, I incorporate a little more Pennsylvania Dutch into the story. This is partially by design; Amish words make the dialogue seem more authentic and animated. However, I also find that the more I research the Amish, the more Pennsylvania Dutch words I learn.

Some PA Dutch words are easy to figure out, since they’re so close to their English counterparts. Others are a little trickier. Here are 20 Amish words I used in my last book, Amish Gossip. Hope you enjoy expanding your PA Dutch vocabulary!

In one of my fave cartoons, Family Guy, Meg chats with an Amish guy.. Think she picked up a few of these words?

In one of my fave cartoons, Family Guy, Meg chats with an Amish guy… Think she picked up a few of these words?

ach jah – oh yeah

Ausbund – the Amish hymnal used in worship services

baremlich – terrible

bobbel / boppli – baby

bobblin – babies

daed – dad

fraa – wife

Grundsatzen – affirmations of beliefs in the Amish church

gut – good

gute mariye – good morning

haus – house

Herr Gott – God

liebchen – term of endearment, my love

maemm – mom

mammi – mommy

mann – husband

redd up – “ready up,” get ready

rutsching around – fooling around

schmunzla – kissing and cuddling

wunderbar / wunderlich – wonderful

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