Minneapolis July 17, 2017
8 Words You’ll Only Understand If You’re From Minneapolis-Saint Paul
Minnesota has been mocked for its dialect for years. Our accents are imagined to be as exaggerated as those in the Minnesota native Coen Brothers’ 1996 movie entitled
Fargo. We’re not as ridiculous as we may seem, but there are definitely specific words that you’ll only understand if you’re from Minneapolis or Saint Paul. Here are eight of them:
Minneapolitans have fondly given themselves the nickname Minneapple, or the "Mini Apple," to refer to our similarities to New York City. Sure, we're on a smaller scale, but we have the second best theater to NYC, and just as vibrant of a population and history.
Apparently in the rest of the country, a hotdish is known as a casserole, and a hot dish refers to any food that is warm. Who knew? It's not like we care. We'll be serving up fancy tater tot hotdish at Haute Dish in North Loop, or we'll be prepping it at home for the following day's potluck. Hotdish is our word and we're keeping it.
3. Duck, Duck, Gray Duck
This is another completely Minnesotan phrase. The game of "duck, duck, gray duck" is the only way we play as children. If you were a young child moving from Indiana to Minnesota, you might've called the game duck, duck, goose. As Minneapolitans we think that word difference means the entire world. If you're living in Minnesota, it's duck, duck, gray duck all the way.
The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers have used this rouser phrase since the 1880s when a couple of U of M rugby players started yelling it at a canoe race. It caught on quickly! In 1908 Louis Rosenberger composed the phrase into a song to cheer for the Gopher football team. It's a phrase that you'll only hear from Minneapolis natives who have all the school pride in the world.
Minnesota is home to an extensive population of Scandinavian descent and with it came Scandinavian influenced words and phrases. The origin of the word "uff-da" is said to be Norwegian. We wish we could say we didn't use this goofy sounding phrase in everyday language, but the truth is many Minneapolitans do. How else are we supposed to express the feelings of surprise, anger, relief or to we used in place of swear words? Uff-da is a one stop shop for Minneapolis language.
6. Meat Raffle
We didn't actually know that a meat raffle was a Minnesota-centric phrase. We've always known that many bars in Northeast Minneapolis have hosted meat raffles for charity. Pay one dollar, and if you win, you get your choice of a cut of meat to bring home and prepare all for yourself. This is normal, right?
Of course with our football team being The Vikings, we need another Scandinavian word to use when rooting for our team! When translated, it roughly means "cheers" or in "good health," but we use it to celebrate when The Vikings make that what is seemingly rare touchdown.
8. You betcha!
Believe it or not, Sarah Palin didn't invent the words "you betcha" in 2008. This phrase is purely Minnesotan. When defined, it means to affirm or agree with what is being said. We love the phrase so much, we even at one point plastered it on our light rail train.
It can be argued that language is one of the most fascinating components of the human experience. A word or phrase that means one thing in a part of the world can mean something entirely different in a different part of the globe. Minnesota might have some silly sounding words and phrases, but they’re an imperative part of our vocabulary. We wouldn’t be Minneapolis or Saint Paul without our own dialect. What’s your favorite unique Minnesotan word or phrase? Let us know in the comments below!
If you’re a true-blood Minnesotan or a transplant, we know there are many ways to spot you. Read
Here Are 13 Signs You Have Spent Way Too Much Time In Minnesota.