The language of the midwest may cause some confusion when you’re talking with someone from anywhere else. There are a few words in there that might leave them scratching their heads, and some words they think mean something totally different. But if you’re from North Dakota, you’ll definitely understand these eight words and know they’re right, even if other people think some of them are wrong.
1. Uff da!
Uff da, that snow! This term originated from Norway like many of the people who live in North Dakota and are descended from Norwegians who immigrated here. The phrase seemed to stick and is used all the time.
2. Shelter belt
I'll admit, before I moved to North Dakota if I had heard the word 'shelter belt' used, I would assume it was some kind of wearable belt. 'Tree row' or 'windbreak' is some other terms for the same thing. Basically, it's the row of trees planted in between fields to help block the wind from ruining them.
3. Hot dish
It's NOT casserole! Hot dish is a very popular meal in the midwest that usually consists of ground beef, cream of something (generally mushroom) soup, vegetables like peas or green beans, and topped with tator tots, all baked in one pan or dish. It's delicious and definitely not called a casserole.
A sundog is the name for a natural phenomenon that happens when it gets really, really cold. The rainbow ring around the sun here - not the lens flare in the center - occurs when the air is cold enough to form ice crystals that diffuse the light into this neat halo. They are usually brightest at two points about the same level as the sun horizontally. Not many other states know about these since not many others get as cold as North Dakota can. They're pretty cool! Literally.
No, we don't mean barbecue food in general. And no, this isn't called a 'sloppy joe.' It's barbecue, or a barbecue sandwich - totally different thing! Okay, fine; it's the same thing as a sloppy joe, we just don't call it that here.
You bake with soda, you don't drink it. Pop is definitely the right term for this and no one can say otherwise!
7. Puppy chow
This is not actually food for young dogs, it's a delicious treat of chex mix, peanut butter, chocolate, and powdered sugar. Which means, of course, you absolutely should NOT feed this to puppies. But to people? Of course! It's delicious and also can be called reindeer treats or muddy buddies. Puppy chow, however, is our word of choice for it.
One of our state nicknames is the Flickertail State, and people in most other states probably wouldn't know what it is and take it at face value - a flickering tail. But it refers to a ground squirrel or prairie dog, which are abundant in certain parts of the state. The name comes from the way they quickly flick their tails back and forth.
How many of these did you know? What other words do you know that people in North Dakota would understand but others wouldn’t?