It’s Pierogi, not Perogies

It's Pierogi, not Perogies | Alex Inspired

Warning, this is a public service announcement from Alex Inspired. I may lose or gain some readers depending on your perspective on what I have just written. 

Look here Thunder Bay, I have a bone to pick with you, and it’s all about Pierogi!

I’m so over this whole “perogies” thing. It’s time for a lesson!

Our city is totally diverse, it’s what makes us great. We have Finnish pancakes, Greek baklava, a new donair place, Indian Vindaloo, and bannock burgers. We’re really winning on the whole ethnic/multicultural food front.

As a Pole, we take great pride in our buttery dumplings usually found sautéed in onions and bacon, sometimes smothered with sour cream.

Now, before you think that I have totally lost my mind, you need to know where I’m coming from. Pierogi is a very sensitive subject with Polish and Ukrainian people. There has always been this polite disagreement with where pierogi originated from, and how it’s actually said/spelled.

In Ukrainian, it’s pronounced pedaheh or I hear varenyky occasionally – I really think this depends on where you’re from. Any Ukrainian readers out there, please leave a comment and let me know what you think, or what your Baba says.

The word Pierogi is already plural. This is very important to remember. If you want one singular dumpling, you’d ask for pierog. But seriously, who eats just one?


It seriously bothers me (eye twitch, nose flare or scowl) when I see any of the following spelling variations:

  • perogies
  • pierogies
  • perogys

Oh wait, I forgot the biggest misdemeanour: “pierogie’s”. Since when in the hell does a pierogi own anything? Ok, maybe sometimes they own my heart and my stomach, but that’s beside the point. Apostrophes do not belong anywhere near the word pierogi.

*keels over out of breath*

Why do I get so mad when I see this misspelling? Because, if it was any other nationality, there would be an outcry.

Let’s take a favourite Italian dish as an example.


Gnocchi is the closest relative to Pierogi that I can think of. Both are dumplings of doughy goodness.

It is understood that gnocchi equals more than one dumpling. Gnocchi means several yummy dumplings on your plate. You don’t hear people saying “hey! pass me the gnocchies”, it would just sound awkward. You don’t see signs that read “fresh gnocchies”, this would also look ridiculous.

Oh wait. I lied. Apparently some guy named Robino, circa 1954 from Delaware doesn’t know how to spell. This man was clearly not Polish, or Italian!

An Example of Pierogi and Gnocchi spelled incorrectly | Alex Inspired

I’m sorry, but it’s totally offensive to Polish people seeing their dish being completely murdered by the English language. In fact, it’s actually a sad reality that some Polish restaurants, halls and stores need to change their labels to reflect the English version of their dish. Also, as I type this, the word “pierogi” appears as a spelling mistake, but gnocchi does not.

S0 next time you’re writing or talking about delicious pierogi, or conducting a poll on who makes the best pierogi *cough* when each nominee was Polish *cough* (I’m talking to you, Walleye Arts and Cultural Magazine!) think about this post, and the forceful keystrokes I took in writing it.

Pierogi, spelled wrong

So now that you all think I’m crazy with my passive aggressive post, we can at least agree on a few things? Like…
It’s coffee, not coffees and it’s Safeway, not Safeways. BUT most importantly, it’s pierogi, not pierogies.

FYI My favourite pierogi are from (other than Babcia Janiec’s) Polish Alliance (Court Street – Friday sales 11-2), Polish Bistro (Algoma Street – Monday – Saturday 11-7), Baba’s – Thunder Bay Country Market (pierogi poutine, need I say more?) and last but not least, Bratnia Pomoc.

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  • Reply Jane March 4, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Thank you! I’m Ukrainian and we say pedaheh! My mother In law says perogy. My kids say peda-rogy. Homemade is best!
    Enjoying your posts!

    • Reply alex March 4, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Hey Jane! Agreed,homemade is totally the best! mmmm pedaheh. Thanks so much for reading and leaving a comment <3

      • Reply Nomad Wizard December 11, 2019 at 12:46 pm

        ..who cares, don’t be so anal, there r more important issues, like 5G, Chemtrails and smartmeters…geez

        • Reply alex December 11, 2019 at 9:33 pm

          Oh okay, like your spelling? thanks for the tips.

        • Reply Gavin McDougall December 11, 2019 at 10:08 pm

          Hey Nomad Wizard, You Ok? Really LOVE your name… Does it stand for bad ass, magic man? Obviously, complete opposite from your real life. I didn’t think you’d actually use your World Of War Craft Handle. I’m actually surprised you took a minute from your parents couch to actually read something. Things are looking up, you should see if you can apply it to the actual life.

          • alex December 12, 2019 at 12:17 am

            Gavin! I’ve missed your comments so much!

            I feel like our nomad “friend”? ? IS too busy in the word of WoW, to comprehend the complexity that is, pierogi.

            Hope you are well! It’s been awhile. ?

      • Reply Nomad Wizard December 11, 2019 at 12:48 pm

        ..and, all the crop losses globally due to the cooling climate.
        …’Adapt2030′ and ‘ Ice Age Farmer’ channels

        • Reply alex December 11, 2019 at 9:33 pm

          Oh okay. thanks, tips.

    • Reply Annushka September 23, 2020 at 4:27 am

      I’m Ukrainian and we say vareniki. I’ve never heard pedaheh!

      • Reply Jane Swertz September 4, 2022 at 8:45 pm

        Pedaheh is actually a Canadian Ukrainian/German version from the prairies. We always called them pedaheh, and definitely filled them with sauerkraut.

    • Reply Robin Atwill November 29, 2020 at 11:56 am

      Yes Jane! My grandmother also. I didn’t’t know what’s ‘perogy’ even was till they started selling in grocery store…we’re from Nipigon?

    • Reply Iryna December 7, 2021 at 9:27 am

      Hi Jane,just coupons,you said you are a Ukrainian.Are you 100% Ukrainian who was born in Ukraine or raised there for a while? I was born there and lived half of my life there,have relatives in different parts of Ukraine,I have never ever heard pedaheh until today,I leaked it up online thinking maybe it belongs to some region but obviously it’s a made up word,there is no such word in Ukrainian language,it looks like it’s Ukrainian-Canadian thing.

      • Reply Matthew April 16, 2022 at 1:31 pm

        Hi Iryna,

        Pedaheh was used in parts of Galicia (Halychyna) where many of our families came from.

        My friend’s family uses Pedaheh, while my Baba uses Varenyky and Pierogi — they’re all from Galicia originally.

        It’s likely a Carpathian Rusyn word, and maybe it’s no longer used — a lot of the language that Ukrainian Canadians ended up speaking and learning was Carpathian Rusyn, instead of contemporary Ukrainian!

    • Reply Edward Witaszek July 13, 2022 at 4:29 pm

      They should learn how to roll their “r” s .. the “d” you perceive is really a trilled “r.” Please use your Ukrainian ears..they seem to have become anglicized.

    • Reply Edward Witaszek July 13, 2022 at 5:14 pm

      Buy is it cactuses? Maybe there are two variants for the plural.. pierogi and pierogies, the first being used by those who grew up eating them whose ancestors spoke Polish, and the second for more recent fans.
      Sort of like two variants of gnocchi.. the first by those who still use the authentic Italian pronunciation “gn” vs. Those poor anglicized users who turn the Italian sound for “gn” into “n.” Only we purists know the truth. I m glad you wrote what you did. I hope you can make pierogi as delicious as your grandma’s…if so, send me a dozen. Mine suck.

      • Reply Jane Swertz September 4, 2022 at 8:47 pm

        My worst nightmare is listening to American cooks calling them “no keys” hurts my Italian ears.

    • Reply UkrainianLady September 2, 2023 at 3:39 am

      Jesus Christ, you are clearly not from Ukraine especially with a name like Jane. PIROGY ( our g is more of an h sound) is what they are called in Ukraine. In fact they were called like that in olden days in the west where they then travelled to Poland. In the past Poles called them russian Pirogy because Ukraine was in the Empire then they just became pirogy and were completely appropriated by Poland. They are 1000% Ukranian.

      • Reply alex October 4, 2023 at 11:05 am

        Oh wow. The hostility. Also, my name isn’t Jane… note my blog name 😉
        Also… I never said I was from the Ukraine, maybe if you read my post you would understand. I am Polish, and I can assure you we do not call them “Russian Pirogy”.
        Lol also they are not 1000% Ukrainian. No one can take full credit for Pierogi.

  • Reply B. Frankow March 4, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Awesome post! Spot on!
    You were awake quite early to post this!

  • Reply Ann B March 4, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    Thanks Alex. I’m still a faithful reader because your posts are always interesting and to the point. I always spell check pierogi but now I know for sure. Wish I could make homemade.

  • Reply Anon March 6, 2017 at 3:53 pm


    • Reply alex March 7, 2017 at 10:25 am


  • Reply Mark March 10, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    It’s “Pirohy” in Slovak. Disappointed this ethnic group failed even a mention in your article considering there is a fair size group of Slovaks in Thunder Bay.

    • Reply alex March 10, 2017 at 11:13 pm

      Hey Mark. I’m sorry I’ve offended by not mention Slovakia I’m Polish and purely write from my own perspective. Thank you for letting me know. Do you happen to know where I could try Slovak pirohy in town? I would like to try some! Again, my apologies for not being inclusive.

      • Reply Jim November 8, 2017 at 2:18 pm

        Alex, Glad to see you write “perspective” here. Check your opening description, where you use “prospective” instead. I agree with you about how grating it is to hear or see people double-pluralizing an already plural word. Here, in Annapolis, Maryland, we have a wonderful small business called Rogue Pierogies. Great product, bad name!

        • Reply alex November 8, 2017 at 2:34 pm

          Hey Jim! thank you for catch on my mistake. I’m glad I have awesome readers who can help me out whenever they see an error. I’m also happier to know there are others, such as yourself who cannot stand hearing the unnecessary pluralization of pierogi! lol. Thank you for leaving a comment! Hope the weather is nicer in Maryland than it is in Canada. 🙂

  • Reply Jo September 18, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Aw, thanks for the Slovak mention Mark!
    Love pirohy!!!!

  • Reply DIY Christmas Wreath - Alex Inspired December 11, 2017 at 12:27 am

    […] Blog” from the Walleye – which made me have a good giggle. Do you think it was because I bashed them for their lack of pierogi knowledge? ha ha […]

  • Reply Marlene January 13, 2018 at 5:28 am

    Another Ukrainian chiming in with pedaheh. Pierogi are deep fried pedaheh. Just throwing in a little more controversy I guess.

  • Reply Jerry October 23, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    First off, the correct way to call pierogi in Ukrainian is varenyky.

    Some Ukrainians who emigrated from Western Ukraine to Canada or the US before WW1, call pierogi – pyrohy. This word has obviously has Polish influences.

    Pedaheh is what happens when generations of Ukrainian-Canadians mishear and mispronounce the word pyrohy. If you would say this word to someone in Ukraine, they would give you a blank stare and think you’re crazy.

    • Reply alex October 23, 2018 at 11:21 pm

      Hey Jerry, loved this comment! I am fascinated with the way words can change over time/location. This is great! thanks for sharing.

    • Reply Robin November 29, 2020 at 12:06 pm

      Jerry! That is too funny! Pedaheh is how I heard it as a child who did not speak you Ukrainian. My grandmother was saying pirohy but what I heard was puttahay?

    • Reply Jen March 27, 2022 at 11:29 pm

      If you are a Ukrainian speaker, there is no such word as “pedahe”. You are right, this is how mispronunciation gets passed on unfortunately. It is and has always been pronounced by Ukrainian speakers as “pe rrro hi) with the roll of the tongue on the ‘r’. What non-Ukrainian speakers hear is the letter ‘d’ when the ‘r’ is pronounced I guess the babas and didos and other Ukrainian speakers just never bothered to correct the non-speakers since they didn’t speak any other part of the language anyway. Perogies (whichever way spelled) translate into “I love you” in all languages, so all’s good 😀

    • Reply Matthew April 16, 2022 at 1:33 pm

      Pedaheh is a Carpathian Rusyn word.

  • Reply Ann B October 24, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Still here and still loving your posts. I’ve made it a point in my house to correct my husband eveytime he pluralizes the word. I even shared the post with him so he would get it straight from you. Cheers!

    • Reply alex November 11, 2018 at 10:17 pm

      Aw thank you Ann! sorry for the delay in response. I have been doing some slight blog changes, this got missed. I am glad you’re on my pierogi side <3

  • Reply Michael May 27, 2020 at 4:36 am

    I spent many years working side-by-side with a boss who had a French Québecois father and a born-Ukrainian mother who moved to Canada with her parents when she was 20, Many’s the time he and I traveled from our Toronto workplace to do maintenance and service of our products at Ottawa General Hospital (our largest client).

    His parents lived right across the river, less than 2 miles from the other side of the bridge… so whenever we were invited (almost always) and could fit the return trip in time to keep our usually 14-16hr/day job on sched (not often enough), we would chow down on a meal of:

    … bacon with her pierogi/padaheh (she pronounced it more like “PUH-drdrdrda-hey”, (middle pronounced as an R thickly front-tongue rolled as if in Italian Swiss-Romansh) fried in the bacon fat… followed by literally the best (huge) holuptzi/holupczi I’ve ever eaten, served in a deep plate with boiled and buttered 1/8 potatoes, and a cold side of her incredible salad.

    Does Ukraine have a name for “50/50 crunchy-fresh/more-than-half-soured” cabbage, with thick shreds of carrot and rutabaga, chunks of sweet red pepper, and a few little bits of raisin or dried currant… with sour cream at hand to drop on it all?

  • Reply kathryn quackenbush December 25, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    thanks for your site My mother’s family from Ukraine always said padaheh. For some reason pierogi has become dominate, When I say padaheh, poeple don’t know what I am talking about, As soon as I say pierogi, they know what I am talking about. Again for this christmas, I made potato and saurkraut padaheh for christmas eve.

  • Reply odessak12 March 10, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks for your clarification. Just wanted to share that my grandparents and great grandparents came from Western Ukraine, on both sides of my family. From the time I can remember it was called pyrohy, “pedaheh” is simply how it sounds if you say it quickly, the actual pronuniation is “perr oh heh”, with the r rolled. No one in my family has ever called it varenyky, and from what I understand that is the Russian term. I have recently heard that pyrohy might be the Polish term, so perhaps Ukrainians adopt either term acording to the region they live. From what I understand there is more Russian influence in the language in Eastern Ukraine.

    • Reply Kimberly December 11, 2023 at 12:49 am


  • Reply Karl June 11, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    Being of polish decent, it urks me to see it spelt pierogi and not perogi. Perogi is even looks right. I dont call them pie-rogi as the spelling of pierogi leads people to believe on the pronounceation of the word.

    Perogi, just like grandma used to make

    • Reply alex June 11, 2021 at 1:24 pm

      Hey Karl, Ummm do you mean like how Babcia used to make?
      Also, you should probably get a Polish English Dictionary because it isn’t spelled P E R O G I.
      Nice try, swing and a miss! thanks for coming out!

  • Reply Tech-chic October 4, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    Hi, Alex. I’ve been fighting the pierogi is plural battle for years (as well as the comma after “Hi” and “Hey” when addressing someone ?). So glad I’m not alone. My grandmother was Ukrainian and we always called them pierogi, like deer is singular and plural, but she might have just given up trying to get her US born grandchildren to call them anything else.

  • Reply alissa demattie April 9, 2022 at 7:48 pm

    My grandma always called it pedaheh. Ww are ukranian and slovak.

  • Reply Yarko August 23, 2022 at 3:31 pm

    I suspect the “d” you are hearing in Pedaheh is actually a quickly rolled “r” and rather, Perohy/Peryh. I grew up in Toronto with Ukrainian as my first language (Canada would “sort out English” according to my parents) and that’s what we called them although we’d also use Varennyky from time to time -typically on more formal occasions. 🙂

  • Reply Karen November 29, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    I am Ukrainian and my husband is Italian – we enjoy the best of both worlds…be it pedaheh or gnocchi…no time for war of words in our house when time is better spent enjoying our treasured foods!

  • Reply Allie July 9, 2023 at 10:04 pm

    I am a 3rd Gen Ukrainian/Finnish gal born and raised in Thunder Bay. I grew up enjoying the delicious central/Eastern European cuisines of my generations past. We as Ukrainians/Russians call it pedaheh and have spent many an afternoon rolling, circling, stuffing and pinching dozens and dozens. I. Now live North of Toronto and was surprised to have trouble finding a restaurant that I could order homemade pedaheh from this evening when the craving called. So many store bought, frozen varieties doused in ridiculous toppings but nothing close to the real thing. I finally stumbled across a Russian restaurant that was close but will be making a fresh batch of my own homemade this week as the selection here is just not the same as the delicious home cooked pedaheh of the Thunder Bay legions.

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