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Earl Haag's Pennsylvania German Column, Es Neinuhr Schtick, appears weekly in "Schuylkill County's premier community newspapers"... The Call, The Press-Herald and the West Schuylkill Herald. His column is reproduced here through the courtesy of Earl Haag and of these newspapers. Until his recent retirement, Professor Earl C. Haag served as Associate Professor of German and English Composition at the Pennsylvania State University, Schuylkill Campus. Author of A Pennsylvania German Reader and Grammar (1982), he edited A Pennsylvania German Anthology (1988), and compiled the recently-published One Hundred Years: An Index of Publications of The Pennsylvania German Society. Scores of spelling systems have been used by writers of Pennsylvania German throughout the dialect's history. Professor Haag normalizes the spelling to conform to the "Buffington/Barba System," officially adopted by The Pennsylvania Society. This system is based substantially on Standard German, including capitalization of all nouns. Click here to go to previous columns.

Es Neinuhr Schtick


Ihr liewe Leit:

   Es iss Zeit fer en Kallem zu lese ass der Parre Pierce E. Swope (ya, richdich, der Kaschpar Hufnagel, 1884-1968) graad am End vun 1950 in der Lebanon Daily News gschriwwe hot:

  Grischtdaag iss nau verbei. Unser aarreme Meege sin widder zerrick uff ihre regulare Koscht un mir fiehle all viel besser. Mir sin widder an unsere Alldaags Arrewet,un mir sin aa froh ass mir noch lewe un gsund sin.

   Am Mondaag gehne mer ins nei Yaahr, des Yaahr 1951 (fer uns heit, nadierlich, 2006). Des sett en grooser Daag sei, awwer mer sin noch zu hatt ausgeschpielt fer viel mache devun. Mir sin so gschwische drin, gschwische Grischtaag un Neiyaahr.

  Der anner Daag hot mich so en yunger schlitzohricher Kall schier gaar gfange. Er hot mich gfroogt, ;Kaschpar, weescht du ass en neegsccht Yaahr es Neiyaahr kummt eb Grischtdaag?� Ich hab schier gebisse. Weescht, ich bin nimmi so gschwinnt uffem Dricker.

   �Ya,� hawwich gsaat, �du bischt recht. In allem Yaahr kummt es neiyaahr eb Grischtdaag.� Glaabscht du sell aa? Es iss waahr.

   Do iss aa en schlicki Schtori. En dummer Rilps iss an der Diepo kumme in Lebanon un hot der Kall hinner de Schprosse gfroogt, �Wi weit iss es noch Fillidelfi?�

   �Dreiunachtzich Meil,� hot der Kall ihm gsaat.

   �Sell iss awwer weit. Do mist mer awwer frieh uffschteh fer hiekumme in eem Daag. Awwer wie weit iss es vun Fillidelfi zerrick noch Lebanon?�

   �Hawwich der net yuscht gsaat dreiunachtzich Meil? Es iss graad so weit ee Weg ass wie der anner.�

   �Ya, ich sehn. Awwer des halt net immer aus. Es iss en Woch vun Grischtdaag bis Neiyaahr, awwer es iss eenunfuffzich Woch vun neiyaah bis Grischtdaag.�

   Ya, sell iss recht. Yuscht heit sin mer graad gschwische drin.

   Sell waar gut! Nau lese mer was der Frank H. Oberholtzer mol gschriwwe hot:

Ich winsch eich im neie Yaahr
Mehner Glick ass wie zuvor;
Langes Lewe un Gesundheit
Un aa vieli Hallichkeit.
Meecht ihr frei vun Sarrige sei,
Luschdich un doch aernscht debei;
Un en seeliched Schicksal,
Des soll kumme zu all!

   Un nau winscht der alt Professer eich all en glickseeliches NeiYaahr, vun do bis naus ans Scheierdor!

Macht�s gut,
Der Alt Professer
Dear people:

   It is time to read a column that Pastor Pierce H. Swope (yes, you�re right, Caspar Horseshoe Nail, 1884-1968) right at the end of 1950 wrote in the Lebanon Daily News:

   Christmas is now over/past. Our poor stomachs are again back on their regular food and we all feel much better. We are again at our everyday work, and we are also happy that we are still alive and healthy.

   On Monday (Sunday for us at this time) we go into the new year, the year 1951 (for us, 2006). That should be a great day, but we are still too much played out to make much of it. We are in between, between Christmas and New Year.

   The other day one of those young, mischievous fellows almost caught me. He asked, �Caspar, do you know that next year New Y ear comes before Christmas?� I almost bit. You know, I am no longer as fast on the trigger.

 �Yes,� I said, �you are right. In every y ear New Year comes before Christmas.� Do you believe that too? It is true.

   Here is a slick story. A stupid fellow came to the depot in Lebanon and asked the fellow behind the window, �How far is it to Philadelphia?�

   �Eighty-three miles.� The fellow told him.

   �My, but that�s far. One would have to get up early to get there in one day. But how far is it from Philadelphia back to Lebanon?�

   �Did I not just tell you eighty-three miles? It is just as far one way as it is the other.�

   �Yes, I see. But that does not always hold out/true. It is a week from Christmas to New Year, but it is 51 weeks from New Year to Christmas.�

   Yes that is right. Just today we are right in between.

   That was good! Now we are going to read what Frank H. Oberholtzer once wrote:

I wish you all in the new year
More luck/happiness than ever before;
A long life and health
And also much jolity.
May you all be free of cares,
Happy but also serious;
And a blessed fate,
This should come all to you!

  And now the Old Professor wishes you all a blessed New Year, from hear out to the barn door!

Take care,
The Old Professor

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