Wisconsin is known for its culture, history, and beer. But did you know that Wisconsin has a special language? Particularly, Wisconsin slang words and phrases play a special role in developing it.
What will I learn?
Slang words have become so popular among Wisconsinites that trying to keep up with all of Wisconsin’s quips and colloquialisms can be time-consuming!
Wisconsin Slang Words And Phrases – 14 Unique Terms
Wisconsin slang is full of unique words and expressions that differentiate Wisconsin natives from other Americans. From Wisconsinites to Wisconsiniacs, Wisconsin natives are proud of their distinct phrasing.
Feeling a bit ‘antsy’ after the long Wisconsin winter? Not to worry – that’s known as Cabin Fever around these parts. And if you need a refreshing drink, just ask for a Bubbler!
Did we mention how proud Sconnies are of their home state? Anything related to WI or its people is called “Sconnie”!
Wisconsin American English contains idioms particular to Milwaukee and other districts in the state, and some are borrowed from neighboring states like Minnesota and Michigan.
The fun part is hearing Wisconsin native conversations with multiple topics running through them, including Wisconsin slang mixed in standard American English!
1. Bubbler- A Water Fountain:
Wisconsin residents often use the term ‘bubbler’ when referring to a water fountain. Wisconsinites proudly proclaim that this slang word originated in Wisconsin and was first used in Madison.
While the bubbler’s physical design may be seen nationwide, its name is unique to Wisconsin and creates a sense of colloquial charm.
If you are in Wisconsin, be surprised when someone offers you a ‘cold one from the bubbler.’ They are not offering you an alcoholic beverage, just a cold drink of water.
2. Packer Backer- Someone Who Supports The Green Bay Packers Football Team:
A Packer Backer is someone who shows their support for Wisconsin’s professional football team, the Green Bay Packers.
It’s not uncommon to find Packer Backers sporting the team’s gold and green shirt or cap everywhere in Wisconsin!
Such supporters take great pride in their favorite team and aren’t afraid to share Wisconsin slang words like “Hoagie”, “Bubbler”, or “FIB”.
One might even find them tailgating at Lambeau Field or yelling a Wisconsin chant of “Go Pack Go!” The loyalty that comes with being a Packer Backer is one that resonates throughout Wisconsin.
3. Kringle- A Type Of Pastry That Is Popular In Wisconsin:
Wisconsinites are proud to have their type of pastry known as the Kringle. This traditional Danish pastry has been served in Wisconsin since the 1800s. People here have started calling it “Kringle eats” because it is so delicious.
The dough is made from flaky Danish pastry layers filled with deliciously sweet ingredients like pecans, apples, and cream cheese.
Topped off with icing or glaze, Wisconsinites know that when it comes to Kringle, nothing tastes better than a Wisconsin original!
4. Tater Tot- Small, Cylindrical Pieces Of Deep Fried Potatoes:
Wisconsinites have a few slang words and phrases, one of which is ‘tater tot’. Tater tots are small, cylindrical pieces of deep-fried potatoes.
They come in many flavors and varieties, ranging from cheddar cheese to seasoned chili and even sweet potato.
This Wisconsin delicacy is served at restaurants all over the state and can also be found in frozen supermarkets, ready for you to enjoy cooking in your own kitchen.
Whether atop a savory chili or as breakfast potatoes, tater tots will bring Wisconsin-style taste and flavor into any home!
5. Cheesehead- A Person From Wisconsin:
Wisconsinites have a nickname that they embrace with pride- cheesehead. Wisconsin is known for its dairy production, and the culture has adopted the word ‘cheesehead’ lightheartedly.
Wisconsinites have a lot of pride. This is reflected in some of the words they use. For example, they might refer to themselves as ‘cheeseheads’ or call other Wisconsinites’ cheeser’ and ‘cheese top’.
Wisconsin residents are certainly proud of their roots; being called a ‘cheesehead’ is something to be embraced!
6. Ditch The Witch- Go Away:
A Wisconsinite classic phrase is “Ditch the Witch, Go Away”; all Wisconsinites instantly recognize this phrase.
The term “witch” refers to Wisconsin’s abundance of mosquitoes in the summertime. The phrase is a humorous way to ask someone to leave with a bit of Wisconsin charm.
Although Wisconsinites may use the phrase in jest, there’s nothing funny about dealing with mosquitos — ditching them truly is the best way to go!
7. That’s Mighty White Of You- Thank You:
Wisconsin natives know how to show their appreciation in interesting ways! One of their favorite slang terms, “That’s mighty white of you,” is the Wisconsin way of saying “Thank you.”
“Wisconsin nice” is a phrase that means the people of Wisconsin are kind and always thankful.
This phrase had existed since the early 1800s when Wisconsin was first settled. And it is still used today to describe people from Wisconsin.
So next time you hear a Wisconsinite say this phrase, be sure to give them an extra smile or nod – it’s just one more way Wisconsinites have to express their gratitude!
8. I’m Just Here For The Cheese Curds- I’m Not From Around Here:
Wisconsin is the cheese curd capital of the world, but did you know Wisconsin has its own unique slang words and phrases?
People from Wisconsin are not called Wisconsinomers. Instead, people around the country call them Cheeseheads because they love cheese.
Wisconsin locals also exclaim “fah-get-about-it!” when something is out of the ordinary or unexpected.
It may seem confusing for those unfamiliar with Wisconsin, but with some practice, you’ll be right in step with local culture. Wisconsin cheese curds will always be an important part of Wisconsin culture.
People love to eat them because they are delicious! They can be served independently or as part of a dish, like the Wisconsin Bratwurst Sandwich.
9. You Betcha!- Definitely:
Wisconsin natives are well known for their unique way of talking, and Wisconsin slang words and phrases like “You Betcha!” make Wisconsin’s dialect stand out.
This Wisconsin phrase means the same thing as an affirming “Yes” or “Definitely”, yet is said in an endearing Wisconsin style.
Wisconsinites use this phrase often to express agreement or enthusiasm, inferring that something is decidedly true without any doubt at all.
So next time you’re conversing with Wisconsin natives, don’t be surprised if they throw in a casual “you betcha!” to punctuate their sentence and show agreement!
10. Wisconsify- To Make Something More Wisconsin-Like:
To Wisconsify something means to make it more Wisconsin-like by adding Wisconsin slang words and phrases.
Wisconsin’s unique atmosphere and culture can easily be incorporated into an everyday talk by adding simple Wisconsin phrases. For example, “you betcha” is a phrase used in Wisconsin to mean “yes.”
Another phrase, “granddaddy of them all,” describes the Green Bay Packers football team, which Wisconsinites love.
With these Wisconsin expressions, anyone can easily make any conversation or statement more Wisconsin-ified in no time!
11. Uff Da!- An Expression Of Surprise Or Disbelief:
Wisconsin has many slang words and phrases unique to the area, such as ‘Uff Da!’
This expression of surprise or disbelief – usually uttered exasperatedly – originates in Scandinavian settlers who migrated to Wisconsin.
It’s not just Wisconsinites who use this phrase; it has grown beyond state boundaries and can be heard worldwide. It can express anything from simple surprise to shock or dismay at a situation.
In Wisconsin, ‘Uff Da!’ It is widely recognized as a symbol of Wisconsin pride so it may pop up in unexpected places, such as t-shirts and bumper stickers!
12. Beer Thirty- It’s Time For A Beer Break:
Wisconsin natives understand the special significance of a “Beer Thirty” break. This Wisconsin slang phrase allows everyone to take a break from the day and enjoy a cold beer.
For Wisconsinites, Beer Thirty is a cherished expression of work-life balance that celebrates the importance of celebrating life with friends and family.
Whether you have a big party with food like cheese curds and bratwurst or grab a beer with your friends, do not hesitate to embrace Wisconsin’s famous Beer Thirty tradition.
13. Fish Fry Fridays- The Tradition Of Eating Fish On Fridays In Wisconsin:
Wisconsin has a long-standing tradition of eating fish on Fridays, called Fish Fry Fridays.
Wisconsinites have their own unique slang words and phrases for this time-honored tradition: “the Friday Night Special,” “fish boil,” or “supper club.”
Wisconsin’s proudest culinary tradition is all about every sort of fish served with crispy, golden French fries – ranging from fried cod to deep-fried smelt.
Beloved by Wisconsinites everywhere with its delicious flavor and crispy texture, it’s an experience not to be missed!
14. Point And Grunt System- Communication Without Speaking:
Wisconsin has its unique slang, and one of the most interesting aspects of Wisconsin slang is the Point and Grunt system.
This system is a method of communication without speaking which involves pointing towards something, followed by a grunt to communicate what you mean.
For example, if someone points at a sandwich with a grunt, it could indicate they are asking if they can have some.
By bypassing language barriers, Polka music is a great medium to convey emotion and offers an in-depth look into the culture of Wisconsin.
Many Wisconsinites have adopted this as their preferred way of communicating in certain situations – it’s an important part of Wisconsin’s local dialect and is worth exploring.
Wisconsin slang is an integral part of Wisconsin culture and one of the best ways to immerse oneself in Wisconsin life.
Wisconsin has many unique expressions that, when learned, can make a living or visiting Wisconsin even more enjoyable.
With a wide variety of Wisconsin slang words and phrases, there are plenty of opportunities to impress Wisconsinites with your local dialect.
You can learn Wisconsin slang at any time. However, knowing these words will help you understand people better and participate in conversations.
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