Photo: Joaquin Ossorio Castillo/Shutterstock

10 Giveaways You’re Not a Local in Philly

by Alicia Raeburn Mar 26, 2019

Philadelphia is a unique spot, and as such, it breeds a special kind of people. We Philly folks have habits, customs, and a vernacular that is so specific that any outsider who’s not in-the-know about our quirks is immediately spotted. From thinking Yuengling is our local beer to being a little too polite, here are some of the ways that someone from Philadelphia knows you’re not a local.

1. You enunciate every word.

If you speak properly, with each word clear and precise, it’s a dead giveaway that you’re not from around these parts.

2. You don’t leave Old City or Rittenhouse.

If you only stick to the neighborhoods of Old City and Rittenhouse, with a brief stop off in Center City for your hotel stay or Fairmount for the art museum, you’re missing out on some of the best that Philadelphia has to offer. Same goes for the Italian Market.

3. You think Yuengling is our local beer.

Philadelphia was cranking out craft beers before it was cool. It has some great local breweries that can only be found here, and you should definitely try them when you visit. Yuengling isn’t even brewed in Philly.

4. You’re a bit too polite.

It’s not that Philly residents are rude; it’s just that they’re not exactly polite. People here are a bit rougher around the edges, but spend time getting to know a local, and you’ll never find a more loyal friend.

5. You go outside in the winter.

Philly is eerily quiet during the cold winter months. The whole city empties out although most people can be found in a nearby bar. If you’re out and about enjoying the sunshine on a day where temperatures dip into the 20s, everyone who peers out at you from behind their windows will assume you’re not from around here.

6. You underestimate the size.

Philadelphia is a pretty walkable city, but don’t attempt to walk from the Italian Market to the Yards brewery in Northern Liberties; it’s a lot further than it looks on that little Google map.

7. You’re not rocking Philly sports gear.

No matter the season, no matter the weather, there’s a piece of Philadelphia Sports gear for it. Almost everyone that lives here is wearing it, which makes the absence of it an easy way to ID the outsiders.

8. You don’t know what U-city means.

There’s a different neighborhood every few blocks in Philadelphia with its own style, culture, and nickname. “U-city” for example, stands for University City, the area of Philadelphia where most of Penn’s campus is. Don’t know what Penn is? Now you’re really showing the non-local side.

9. You still hail a cab.

The controversy around ride-sharing apps and the old-school taxi companies continue, but around here, we almost only use our phone apps to get around. And, we almost always drive. There are not a lot of walkers and public transportation fans in this city.

10. You shy away from controversial conversations.

Philadelphians are quick to jump to the defense or the offense in any conversation. Staying out of the argument completely will basically shout out loud that you’re not from around here.

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