Slang words and phrases of a region are often unique to the local culture, and Minnesota is no exception. Here are some of Minnesota’s slang words and phrases that you should know when visiting Minnesota
If you don’t know Minnesota slang terms, take some time to learn them, and you’ll be able to connect with Minnesota residents quickly.
Minnesota Slang Words And Phrases
Minnesota is known for its unique take on language. Minnesota slang words and phrases dated back centuries and were often created by Minnesota’s native people.
However, Minnesota also has a rich immigrant history that has contributed to developing Minnesota-specific sayings.
Minnesota often has its take on common American sayings and expressions.
Here are some of the most popular Minnesota slang words and phrases that you might encounter:
25 Popular Minnesota Slang Words And Phrases
Minnesota natives use different terms to describe things, people, and events.
Minnesota slang words and phrases can range from silly nicknames to unique Minnesota-only sayings.
Minnesota has a unique culture and language, with some of its own words and phrases that may be unfamiliar to outsiders.
However, Minnesota natives often use these terms in everyday conversation, so here are some Minnesota slang words and phrases you might hear:
1. Minnesota Nice:
Minnesota Nice is a term used to describe Minnesota’s friendly culture and welcoming nature.
Minnesota natives are known for their politeness and helpfulness. This term is not exclusive to Minnesota, but the Minnesota version is especially well-known.
Uff-da is a term used as an expression of surprise, joy, or sorrow. It can also be used to express frustration when something goes wrong.
For example, if a Minnesota resident drops something, they might exclaim, “Uff-da!”
This term originated with Norwegian immigrants in Minnesota and has become one of Minnesota’s most popular slang words.
3. You Betcha:
You betcha is another Minnesota phrase meaning “yes, I agree with you” or “of course.” It can be used in response to almost any statement.
For example, if someone asks if Minnesota is a great place to live, the Minnesota reply would be, “you betcha!” This term is often used in Minnesota to show agreement or acceptance.
In Minnesota, pop is the term used for soda or soft drinks. This slang word originated in Minnesota and has become widely adopted across the state.
So if you’re in Minnesota and want to order a soda, ask for a “pop” if you want to fit in.
5. The North Shore:
This term refers to Minnesota’s northern coast along Lake Superior. Minnesota residents often refer to the North Shore as a destination for outdoor activities, such as camping, hiking, and fishing.
It has become a popular tourist attraction due to its beautiful scenery and variety of outdoor recreational opportunities.
Minnesota’s North Shore is known for its beautiful scenery, rugged shoreline, and excellent fishing.
6. Up North:
Up North is Minnesota’s version of the phrase “out-of-town.” Minnesota natives use this term to refer to any location, not the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
Minnesota has many beautiful lakes and forests, so Up North can refer to any Minnesota destination with a natural landscape.
Hotdish is Minnesota’s version of the classic casserole dish. This dish typically consists of ground beef, tater tots, and cream-of-something soup, all combined in one delicious meal.
In addition, a Minnesota hotdish is often served with Minnesota-grown wild rice, adding a distinctive flavor and making it an iconic Minnesota food.
These Minnesota slang words refer to a hug or an embrace. For example: “I gave her a skoosh before leaving.”
It’s often used as a term of endearment between Minnesota natives, and it usually comes with an accompanying shoulder squeeze for good measure!
This Minnesota slang term refers to the state of Minnesota itself. It emphasizes Minnesota’s many vacation spots, such as lakes and forests, that people can enjoy in summer.
So if you hear someone referring to Minnesota as “Vacationland,” it’s likely a Minnesota native.
10. Holy Buckets:
A Minnesota phrase used to express surprise or excitement. It’s often used as an exclamation, such as: “Holy buckets, I can’t believe it!”
Minnesota natives will also use the phrase to express their enthusiasm for something.
For example: “I just got tickets to the concert – holy buckets, I can’t wait!” This term is especially common among Minnesota teenagers.
Minnesota Vikings fans are passionate about their team and often use “Skol” as a cheer or greeting.
This Minnesota slang is derived from the old Norse word “sköl,” which means “cheers.”
Minnesota teens may also refer to the Minnesota Vikings football team as “Skol.”
12. Cake Eater:
This Minnesota slang word is used to refer to someone who is wealthy or has a lot of money.
For example, someone may say, “That family is loaded—they’re total cake eaters.”
Minnesota teens may use this term as an insult or tease people they know who have more money than others.
13. Kitty Corner:
This Minnesota slang phrase is used when referring to something located diagonally across from another thing.
For example, Minnesota natives may use this phrase to describe a location, such as saying, “My house is a kitty corner from the park.”
The term is also used when discussing directions; someone may say, “Go two blocks down and then take a right at the stop sign—it should be kitty corner from there.”
This Minnesota slang term is used to describe something chaotic, disorganized, or a mess.
For example, Minnesota natives may say things like “My room is just crapola right now” when referring to a messy or cluttered space.
Another example could be someone saying, “That meeting was total crapola—nothing got accomplished!
15. Dontcha Know:
This Minnesota expression is typically used to emphasize a statement. It is also used as an acknowledgment of agreement or as a way to end a conversation.
For example, someone might say, “I need to get this report done by tomorrow, dontcha know,” in order to express their sense of urgency.
Dontcha Know can also be used as an exclamation of surprise or disbelief, such as “We won the lottery? Dontcha know!”
16. Duck, Duck, Gray Duck:
This Minnesota phrase is used in the traditional game of Duck, Duck, Goose.
Instead of saying “Goose“, Minnesotans will say “Gray Duck“—a Minnesota-specific twist on the old classic.
This term is typically used among Minnesota natives but can be understood by others if the context is explained.
17. Juicy Lucy:
This Minnesota phrase refers to a cheeseburger made by putting the cheese inside the patty rather than on top.
It’s an iconic Minnesota food item worth trying if you’re ever in Minnesota!
This term originated in Minnesota and can’t be found in most other states.
Lutefisk is a Minnesota dish of dried cod soaked in water and lye. It’s often served during the holiday season and is considered an acquired taste.
While some Minnesotans love it, others avoid it at all costs!
The term became famous in Minnesota after Minnesota native Garrison Keillor mentioned it on his radio program, “A Prairie Home Companion“.
Sconnie is Minnesota slang used to refer to a person from Wisconsin. Minnesota natives often use it as an endearing term for their neighboring state.
In addition, this term serves as a reminder of Minnesota and Wisconsin’s close and friendly relationship.
Sisu is Minnesota slang for endurance and determination.
It’s a term used to describe someone with the strength and courage to get through even the most difficult situations.
This Minnesota slang word is often used as an encouragement to keep going, no matter how tough the task is.
21. The Cities:
“The Cities” is Minnesota slang for the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Minnesota natives use this term when referring to both cities as single entities rather than separate places.
This term originated from Minnesota’s tendency to refer to their two biggest cities as “the Twins.”
22. Go to Town:
When Minnesota natives say “go to town,” they usually refer to a specific event or activity involving going out and having a good time.
However, this phrase can also refer to a shopping trip or other outings like visiting an amusement park.
23. Top The Tator:
Another Minnesota slang phrase is “top the tator.” It means putting something on top of mashed potatoes, usually butter or gravy.
So, for example, if you’re served mashed potatoes with a meal, you might say, “Can I get some butter to top the tator?”
24. The Lake:
When Minnesota residents refer to “the lake,” they typically talk about one of the many Minnesota lakes that dot the state.
Minnesota has over 10,000 lakes, so when Minnesotans say “the lake,” they usually mean a specific lake or area with multiple lakes.
Minnesotans sometimes use the term “Packers” to refer to Minnesota’s beloved Minnesota Vikings football team.
The Minnesota Vikings were part of the National Football League and were founded in 1961.
“Packers” is derived from the Minnesota Vikings’ original logo, which depicts a Viking holding a shield with blue and yellow stripes called “The Packer.”
Minnesota slang words and phrases are a great way to connect with Minnesota residents.
The Minnesota culture has developed its unique language that can be heard all around the state!
If you ever talk to someone from Minnesota, use the local slang words and phrases for the full Minnesota experience!
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