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The Top Ten ”Typical” Phrases of Minnesota

There are two types of people in these United States: those who don’t even know Minnesota is a state and those who, when asked about Minnesota, respond with, “Oh yeah, you betcha!” When you hear most imitate the stereotypical Minnesotan accent, there are certain phrases that stand out. Here’s the top ten “typical” phrases associated with Minnesota.

 

10.) “Uff-da” (oo-fh dah): This is an older phrase that some people seem to think is Minnesota-specific. Really it seems like something a small, elderly woman would say while fanning herself with one hand. Or clutching her heart after someone threw her a surprise birthday party, but not so much a Minnesotan.

 

9.) “Dontcha know” (dohn-cha noh): Just to set the record straight, no, this is not how Minnesotans actually talk. There is a line between the stereotypical Minnesotan accent used in jest and the sincere Minnesotan accent you get when talking to a native, and this phrase is that line.

 

8.) “You betcha” (yew-bet-chah): Speaking of lines, this phrase is usually used in conjunction with “Dontcha know.” That should be a dead giveaway that it’s not a sincere phrase used by typical Minnesotans. If you want to imitate Fargo, by all means go around using this phrase.

 

7.) “Oh, for cute”: This too is an older phrase and it’s being phased out, but when did it ever become a supposed Minnesotan thing to say “for” when expressing how goshdarn wonderful something is? In fact, when was the last time you heard anyone say, “John, look at that little chipmunk over there! Oh, for cute!” or “An antique show? Oh, for fun!”?

 

6.) “It could be worse”: If there’s anything Minnesota is known for, it’s the horribly bipolar weather conditions tied with some of the most optimistic people ever. It could be golf ball-sized hail in the midst of a blizzard, with the looming threat of being impaled by an icicle, while getting the mail and the Minnesota response would be, “it could be worse.”

 

5.) “Eh” (ā): Okay, now people are just confusing Minnesota and Canada. While some consider us the Canada of the United States, we’re not. Yes, we have a reputation of being mind-numbingly nice; yes, we don’t think it’s cold until it hits zero; yes, we have a love for hockey and the outdoors; but… Where was this going?

 

4.) “Confrontation”: It seems to be believed that Minnesotans don’t know the meaning of the word confrontation. However, once a Minnesotan looks up the meaning of the word and what “hostile” and “argument” mean, they’ll tell you this isn’t true. Rather than regular bouts of direct confrontation, we indulge in our passive-aggressive Minnesota nice nature, which takes over in an otherwise aggressive situation.

 

3.) “Yeah/Oh”: Yeah’s (usually pronounced “yah”, without the e) and oh’s are used like punctuation in a conversation if the person is trying to stress a fake Minnesotan accent. In actuality, with native Minnesotans they aren’t nearly as common and are used the same as anywhere else.

 

2.) “A bit of snow”: Ha-ha, Minnesota gets a lot of snow; we realize this. But a bit is open to interpretation, like when a recipe calls for a pinch; it’ll vary from person to person (or in this case, state to state). A bit is six inches, plus or minus an inch or five, right?

 

1.) “Minnesota” (Min-uh-sOh-tuh): Okay, you got us here; we literally can’t say our state without surrendering to the very accent we get a bad wrap for. But hey, that’s 1 out of 10; give us a break.

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