Dos and Don’ts

Fan Etiquette: Philadelphians have earned a reputation for boorish behavior at sporting events—Eagles fans famously pelted Santa Claus with snowballs—but most folks are polite if not overtly friendly.

Asking Directions: “People don’t say ‘howdy’ to strangers on the street, but if you’re lost they are happy to stop and help you.”—Ron Avery, author, Philadelphia: Beyond the Liberty Bell. Visitors who need directions in the city founded by Quakers need only ask—and ye shall receive.

Tipping: “It really is the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphians are really big tippers, even when the service isn’t great.”—Joan Stockely, president, Society for Diplomacy. Tips average 19.4 percent, the highest rate of any city in America, according to a Zagat survey.

Hon: Servers in casual establishments frequently address patrons as “hon.” Don’t mistake this for a term of endearment. It’s simply the local lingo.

Attire: Dress appropriately. Men will never go wrong with a navy blazer and khakis. Women should avoid skimpy tops and extremely short tight skirts.

Manners: In public places, people typically hold doors and elevators for others. On busy streets, pedestrians should stay to the right.

Parking: The Philadelphia Parking Authority now offers pre-pay Smart Cards (, which motorists can use to feed the meters. If you don’t have a card, load up on quarters.

Phrase Book

700 Level: Cheap seats in the upper-most rows of the now defunct Veterans Stadium, razed in 2004. Describes rowdy, moronic, and/or drunken behavior.

Blue Route: Interstate 476, a highway in Philly’s southwestern suburbs.

Downa Shore: The New Jersey beaches, a favored get-away.

The EL: Market-Frankford elevated subway line, part of the SEPTA public transportation system.

Hoagie: A cheese and cold-cut sandwich on a crusty submarine-shaped roll, garnished with lettuce, tomatoes and vegetable oil. Onions, pickles and peppers, optional.

Iggles: The Philadelphia Eagles, the city’s professional football team.

The Linc: Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Eagles.

Main Line: Affluent, slightly hoity-toity western suburbs on Route 30, the former Pennsylvania Railroad Main Line.

Scrapple: Loaf made from everything but the oink of a pig, then sliced and fried.

Whiz Wit: A steak sandwich with Cheez Whiz and onions.

Yo: Hello, when spoken in a normal tone of voice. When shouted: Hey, you!


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