Minnesotans love to hear about ourselves.
This is mostly because it implies that anyone else in the world is thinking about our state for any reason other than wanting to turn it red in 2020. But also because we believe we are deeply, deeply special. So, when a listicle arrives with our name on it, you know we plow through that bad boy like so much April snow... which we will then dive into and play around like a delirious puppy.
This week’s model comes to us from Via Travelers, a “modern travel blog” that promises no fewer than “81 Minnesota Slang Terms You Need to Know.”
Excited yet? We sure were.
Most of the words and phrases you’re expecting appear right at the top. Stuff like “You betcha!” “Oh, yah,” “duck duck grey duck,” and “bars” (the dessert, not the place we can’t go right now). All well and good, but these are easy, the kind of things parroted back at us when we go anywhere out of state.
Let’s go deeper.
But then we take a detour into just “Things Minnesotans Pronounce Weird,” which categorically includes “bag,” and several words that rhyme with “bag.” Alright, we get it, a bunch of us say “baeg.” Let’s move on.
And then things get… kinda weird.
A list of Popular Minnesota Sayings begins with the ominous-sounding, "Three can keep a secret if one is dead.”
See, now we have questions. Like, “Is that an ‘us’ thing?” and “Isn’t it ‘Three can keep a secret if TWO are dead?’” And “Hey, wait a minute, isn’t that a quote commonly attributed to famous non-Minnesotan Benjamin Franklin from the July 1735 issue of Poor Richard’s Almanac?”
Other entries include the ever-popular “The longest road trip I’ve ever been on is from Minnesota to Los Angeles,” and “The women all want to dance – I dance all night, every night.” (The latter, mysteriously jazzy quote is attributed to the famous pool hustler known as “Minnesota Fats,” who, in spite of this, was born in New York and spent much of his life in Illinois.)
Our best “funny slogans” allegedly include “Have you jump started your kid today?” which, okay, we get it. But then there’s the ineffably haunting, “No one on this Earth knows how old I am.”
Think of all the famously Minnesotan words and phrases that didn’t make the list, like “ope,” and “I’m just gonna squeeze right past ya,” and “I hate Wisconsin.” We can’t lie. We are baffled. But we are also delighted.
As is Reddit.
“That just got worse the longer I read,” one commenter said.
“I’ve lived in MN my entire life, and I haven’t heard of half of those Minnesota ‘sayings and phrases,’” another said.
Read this list, Minnesotans. Treasure it. Because if there’s one thing we like better than being seen, it’s being colossally misunderstood and collectively feeling salty about it.
Or, as the old saying goes: “If you love Minnesota, raise your right ski.”