"Pennsyltucky" is a slang portmanteau used to characterize— usually humorously, but sometimes deprecatingly— the rural and exurban part of the state of Pennsylvania outside the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, more specifically applied to the mountainous central region.
At times the term is used to describe all of Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The word is a portmanteau constructed from "Pennsylvania" and "Kentucky", implying a similarity between the rural parts of the two states. It can be used in either a pejorative or an affectionate sense.
This term is interchangeable with the slang term "The T", used primarily in political circles (e.g., "Winning the T"), because of the shape of the area of Pennsylvania when excluding Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. "The T" is considered a more politically correct term than "Pennsyltucky" when referring to potential voters without so openly insulting them.
Philadelphia in the southeast corner and Pittsburgh in the southwest corner are urban manufacturing centers, with the "t-shaped" remainder of the state being much more rural; this dichotomy affects state politics and culture as well as the state economy.
The term Pennsyltucky can be traced back over a century. Many of the earlier uses appear to be humorous references to a fictitious state. For example, Pennsyltucky is the name of the ship in the 1942 Popeye cartoon "Baby Wants a Bottleship". By the 1970s, the term clearly referred to rural Pennsylvania, as evidenced by country music star Jeannie Seely's 1972 single, "A Farm in Pennsyltucky" about her childhood home in northwestern Pennsylvania. Also in 1972, Richard Elman writes in his semi-autobiographical Fredi & Shirl & The Kids that the character Fredi refers to all of Appalachia as Pennsyltucky.
The modern popularization of the term, however, is commonly associated with Democratic political consultant James Carville, famed for his work on the victorious campaigns of Robert Casey, Sr. of Pennsylvania in 1986 and Presidential candidate Bill Clinton in 1992. Carville's original statement, however, did not speak of "Pennsyltucky". In 1992 he said:
|“||Between Paoli and Penn Hills, Pennsylvania is Alabama without the blacks. They didn't film The Deer Hunter there for nothing -- the state has the second-highest concentration of NRA members, behind Texas.||”|
This quote is often paraphrased as "Philadelphia in the east, Pittsburgh in the west and Alabama in the middle."
Accuracy Disputed 
- Appeals court races wrap up with focus on voter mobilization
- Google Books Archive, references to Pennsyltucky from 1900 to 1920
- YouTube video of "Baby Wants a Bottleship"
- Billboard Country Music (1972-12-09). "Nashville Scene". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- Elman, Richard (1972). Fredi & Shirl & The Kids. Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 47. ISBN 0-684-12749-0. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- Note: The Deer Hunter was set in the Pennsyltucky border town of Clairton, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, but mostly filmed in Steubenville, Ohio.