How to Speak or Talk 
Like a True Minnesota Person!

This page has been created to help all of you understand Minnesota people a lot better.
(It's also created with a traditional Great North Woods sense of humor, which is the only thing that keeps us warm!)


You'll be surprised at how many sayings in other parts of the country actually had their origin years ago in Minnesota! After all, it was the Minnesota people who started the infamous "Wave" that's done in the bleachers all over the USA.  Was it for team support? Actually we were all freezing and it was an excuse to jump up and down to get our blood circulating again!!

The State of Minnesota is composed of many ethnic populations living together. This is especially true of the Northern Minnesota area, most popularly known as "The Iron Range" aka "Da Raynch".  Why? Because for many many years that area of the United State provided the richest source of iron ore in the world and is credited for being the backbone of our military defense in WWI and WWII.  Iron Ore is mined in the areas of Hibbing, Minnesota and Virginia, Minnesota (mostly) and then loaded on ore cars  by train to Duluth, Minnesota to be shipped to steel mills.

My grandfather immigrated from Italy to work in these mines, just like many other immigrants around the world.

Minnesota talk is a result of years of blended bad English from over 43 different countries. It may not have been perfect, but ya know...they all understood each other and got along!

What's my source? Being born and raised up there! :)
Plus input from fellow Minnesotans like yoose guys who read dis page.


Please note: The Minnesota language is spoken very fast.
The reason is that it's so cold one has to say what they want
as fast as possible before their breath freezes in the air. This
technique just rolled into the summer months as well.


Here is the Official
Minnesota Dictionary




-ABOWT or ABOOT :  In the area or what something pertains to. Examples: "That deer was abowt 2 feet from me." or "The whole fight was aboot nothing."

-AGE :  A suffix added to the end of a noun. Example: "Look at all dat muddage on your truck!"

Example: "The odds are ahhunnerd to one da Vikin's will win da Super Bowl."

AH-MIN-AH: I am going to. Example: "If I find out dat you been lying to me, ahmina ground you!"


-ALLA: A contraction for the words "All of the."  Example:
"You can't expect me to take you shopping alla de time."


- AN' STUFF: The Minnesota version of "etc." Example: "We went deer hunting out at da lake and fishing an stuff."

AT-TALL:  At all. Example:
"Dem new appliances just don't hold up at-tall like da old ones."


AVANAGE: To have the best position in a situation. Example: "Since I earn the money, I feel I have de avanage over my kids to tell them what ta do."

Bay-DAY-Duh or  Pah-Day-duhs :  A brown root vegetable with eyes.  Example: "We're having meat and bay-day-duhs for supper."  or  "We got him a Mr. Pah-day-duh head ta play wit."

BAT-TREE or BAT-TREES:  What the Energizer bunny runs on, as well as many other things.  Example:  "My car wouldn't start becuz da bat-tree is dead."  Or  "We need to get some more D-cell bat-trees for the flashlight."


BEG or BAHWGS (plural): A paper container.
Example: "Git da beg of groshrees out of my car."


BEDDER: The superlative of Good or an order. Examples: "This new TV is much bedder than dat old one." or "I think you'd bedder be nicer to him."


BIN: Been. Example: "It's sure bin a long cold winter, eh?"


B.O.: Bad working machinery. Example: "Had to take my truck to da garage cuz it's B.O."

BOAT-A-YUZ or DaBOAT-A-YUZ: Both of you.
Example:  " I want daboat-a-yuz to say yur sorry." or "Boat-a-yuz need to get inside."


BORROW ME: To lend.  Example: "Can ya borrow me twenty bucks till payday?"


BOSS: Transportation for a lot of people.
Example: "Due to yesterday's blizzard, the school boss was late."  Plural is "bosses".
Example: "All da bosses are needin' new teers."


BOTT: A pair. Example: "I got bott of dem at de same time."


BOUGHTEN: To have purchased.
Example: "I didn't knit dis sweater, it was boughten."


BOYCE: Males  Example: "I think you boyce need to go out and play in da yard."


BROKE-OFF: Broken off or broke. Example: "Da handle on da door broke-off."

BUBBLER :  A waterfountain.  Example: "I need a drink from da'bubbler."


BUDDER: Not Oleo. Example: "Take de budder out of de fridge so it's soft enough to spread on da bread when it's done."


BUNCH IT: An expression of giving up, disgusted or to quit.
Example: "Let's just bunch dis job."


BUY OFF OF: To purchase something from another person.
Example: "Can I buy off some cigarettes?"


CAISH: Money. (long "a") Example:
"We'd paid caish for it."


CALLUM: To contact via a telephone. Example: "Just callum up and tell him da information."

CENTREE :  100 years. Example: "That photograph was taken a centree ago."


CHANNAL IT:  To change the television station. Example:  "I'm sick of watching 'Sex in The City.' Go channal it to 'Man vs. Wild' or sumptin.

CHECKSIE: To go check up and see how something is.  Example: "Go checksie the roast in the oven."  Or, "I bet yer wife checksies where you really were."


Example: "It's time to go to sleep so close da light right now!"


COME HERE ONCE: A request for someone to come to you. Example: "Inga, I need you to come here once and show me how to cook dis deer meat."

COME WITH: An invitation.  (In Minnesota, it's seems to be OK to end a sentence with a preposition.)  Example: "Ya wanna come with?"

COMING WHID: More of a question. Going along with us? Example: "I'm goin' to da mall. You comin' whid?


CRICK: A stream.  Example: "I went fishing in da crick yesterday."


DAT, DHAT or DOT: A Form of "That." Example: "Dat looks pretty good to me."


DAT's HER: Job is over with.
Example: "Well, dat's her guys. Now let's get outa here."


DEM: Them.  Example: "I went to da store and got dem brand new."


DERE: There. Example: "Well, dere's dis situation goin' on."


DERN-TOOTIN' : Right on! Super YES, For sure or Exactly!
Example: "Yer dern-tootin' we're goin' deer hunting this weekend." or "Did you see that?" ...."Dern-tootin'!"


DESE: These. Example: "Look look at all dese fish I caught."

DEY, DEY SAY: They say. Example: "Dey say he comes from a long line of sauna makers."

DIE-RECTLY: To go straight.
Example: "Look Die-rectly into dis camera and smile." or "You must go die-rectly down dat road."

DIESEL: (Not fuel.) This will ;)  Example: "Diesel be a good day for fishin'."


DIF-FERNT: What you really mean is that you don't like something so you say that it's different. Example:  "Your hotdish is really dif-fernt from all the others here."


DINT: The past tense of did not. Example: "I dint think it was important to mention."


DISAPLINT: Firm training. Example: "If they were more disaplint when dey were kids dey would not be in trouble today."

DIS IS TRU: It's a fact.
Example: "Yeah, his truck gets 16 mpg, dis is tru."

DOH-ent:  Don't.  Some people make it two syllables when they want to emphasize not to do something. ;)  Example: "Just doh-ent start up dat discussion again!"

DON'T YA KNOW THAT THEN? : Really not a question, but more of an exclamation of a fact, rumor or situation.

Ollie:  "Did ya hear dat Tommy was fired from his job for drinkin'?"

Sven: "Well, he's always drunk. Don't ya know that then?"



DOUBLE-OUT: To work two shifts (in the mines) in a row.
Example: "Dear, don't expect me for supper. I'm gonna double-out because Fred called in sick."


DREEN: Where the water runs down or to let a liquid run out of a container. Example: "The dreen is plugged up again!" or "I need to dreen the oil out of the car again."


DREENED: Past tense of dreen. Example:  "I dreened the swimming pool."


DULUT: The city of Duluth, MN. Example: "We're going to Dulut' dis weekend to visit my inners."

DUN: Contraction for "Don't".
Example" I dun think so."


DUN-CHYA-NO:  Don't you know?
Example: "Well, don-chya-no, she's pregnant?

EASTA :  Located sorta East. An example: "The fairgrounds are norda the golf course and easta the old ore pit."


EH?- It's the Minnesota version of an official period to their statement. And, that it's now your signal that it's your time to talk. (Not promising you won't get interrupted, however.) Some think it's a form of "right?" and asking for affirmation. It's not!


ELNSE: Else.  Example: "So what elnse ya got fer me today?"


ENNAWAY: Anyway. Example:
"There's no use shoveling as long as it keeps snowing ennaway."

ET: Past and Present Tenses of Eat . Example: "Did you et yet?"  or  "I et every ting on my plate."

E-YELLOW: A Greeting. Example: "Well, E-yellow, how are you doing? I haven't seen yooz guys in ages."

FAR AS DAT GOES: A saying, for what purpose I have no idea.  It just makes a statement longer than it needs to be. Example: "Last year, we had a lot of snow as far as dat goes."  In some cases, it also indicates a gentle fear of making a commitment or being too specific?  For example: "See ya at six as far as dat goes."  Or, "As far as dat goes, we've been seeing each other reg-lar."


FER CUTE: Very cute.
Example: "That children's Chrismas pageant was fer cute."


FER SURE: For sure. Example:
"Ya, I got a pink slip fer sure."


FILLUM: What Kodak makes.
Example" I need to get some fillum for dis camera."


FORTY-JOO-LIE: 7-4-?? (Fourth of July) Example: "Dis lightnin' is making da sky light up like da forty-joo-lie fireworks."

FROSTS My (or Yer) BUTT:  To really annoy. Examples: "It just frosts my butt when they're late." or "I bet it just frosts yer butt to have yer mudder-in-law visit?"


FROZE-UP: Frozen. Example:
"My car is all froze-up and won't start."

GET ON: To be hired. Example:
"I'm trying to get on at MinnTac."


GIVE IT HERE: Hand it to me.
Example: "I told you no cookies. Now give it here!"


GIVE A JINGLE: To promise to call or request a phone call. Examples: "I'll give ya a jingle as soon as dem parts come in." or "Give me a jingle when you have some time to talk."


GOATS: The insides. Example: "I just wanted to faint when I saw all da goats just fall out."


GOING WID: Coming along.
Example: "Are you going wid us to da wedding?"


GUD LUCK: Good Luck. Example:
"Hope you have some gud luck at bingo."

GONNA: Going to. Example: 
"How many galoons of gas is it gonna take to fill up dis truck?"

GROW-SHREES: Groceries
Example: "We'd better go to da store and get some grow-shrees before da storm."

GUZINTA: A form of mathematics or entering. Example: "Well, according to dis calculator, two guzinta 4 two times." or "The robber guzinta the store not knowing da security camera was on."

HAFTA: Have to. Example:
"I hafta pay dem taxes."


HAWDAW: How to. Example:
"I huvda teech my wife hawdaw drive one of dees days."


HIBBEAN: Hibbing. Example:
"About 90 minutes north of Dulut' is Hibbean, Minnesota where Bob Dylan was born."


HIGHER: To raise something up.
Example: "Would you higher the seat on my bike?"

HOD: A contraction of How did?
Example: "Well, I'm so surprise. Hod ya know I was coming?"

Hawt Deesh :  (Hot Dish) It's 
a casserole where one isn't sure of the ingredients. But, they just know it's hot (temperature).

Example: "After da funeral, everyone brought a hawt deesh over to da house."

IDN'T IT:  A contraction of isn't it. Example: "Idn't it mighty cold taday?"

IFA-GUYWAZTA: A hypothetical situation that
replaces "If you" or "If someone."

Example: "Ifa-guywazta fish without a
license, he could be in trouble.

INE (Pronounced "een"): A verb ending that indicates the action is still taking place. Example: "Ollie is busy park-ine da car."

INNA:  In the or In a.  Examples: "I just saw her go inna house." or "I'll be by inna hour to pick you up."

INNERS: The relatives you married into. Example: "We are inviting the inners over for da holidays."


INNERESTIN': Means you're skeptical or don't believe it but don't want to say that outright.  Example: "Isn't it interestin' how he says he got his car stuck in the snow all night and that's why he dint come come?"


ISHKA or ISHDA: A form of disgust or filth. Something is icky.  Examples: "Don't touch that. It fell on da floor and it is ishka!" or "The food was burnt and tasted like ishka!"

Ispoze : I suppose. Example: "Ispoze he'll be bringin' da dog along." or "Think we should tell him?"....."Ispoze."


J'EVER: A question. Example: "Well, I want to know if j'ever fell in love before me?"

JEET: Did you eat? Example: "Jeet before going to school?

YA JEW: This is the answer to Jeet. It is "Ya Did You?" Example: "Ya, jew too?"

JOBBIES: A small number of objects or items. Example: "Look at all dem jobbies it takes to put this darn thing together!"


KA-PUT: To come an end. Example: "The machine suddenly exploded and it just went ka-put and won't run now."

KA-RODGE: Where you park your car. Example: "I built a 3-stall ka-rodge so I would have room for my snowblower."

KIRL: Female. Example:"Dem kirls are the ones who voted against me."

KONTREE: The USA. Example: "We live in a great kontree where we are free an-stuff."

KOR-DEEN: A musical instrument. Example: "Da person who plays the kor-deen is the most important one in da polka band."

KREDICK: Responsibility or acknowledgement. Example: "I have to give him a lot of kredick for doing dat." or "He went and took all the kredick for it and I am the one who really thought of it."

LEAVE IT GO: Let it be or don't bother with it. Example: {Dishes are dirty} "I'm going to leave it go until after dis Viking's game."

LEKTRICK: A form of power said to have been discovered by Ben Franklin. Example:  "Our lektrick bill is so high in the winter."  or  "Lektrick power lines are dangerous in high winds and storms."

MALK or MEELK: A calcium rich drink.
Example: "Ollie, go and warm some more malk for da baby."

MEMBER?: To try to stir up your memory. Example: "Do you member the time we had 10" of snowfall?"

MIN: The plural of man. Example: "The Marines are looking for a few good min."

MOTORSICKLE: A bicycle that is motorized. Example: "Tuff to drive yer motorsickle in da snow."

MUNCE:  More than 30 days. Example: "It seems like winter is lasting for munce at a time."

NORT, NORTERN, Up Nort:  North. Example: "We're going up Nort to see the family." or "Can you see the Nort Star?"

NORDA (Alternataive to Nort).  It's "north of.."  Example:  "The camp is norda the church down the old loggin' trail."

NOTTER:  Another. Example: "I want to get a notter set of tools."

NONEZ (Pronounced like "Known-az"): A negative group action.  Example: "Nonez coming to the party."  (i.e. No one is)


NUN: Noon.  Example: "I'll meet you at nun."

OH: Zero!  Example: "Take down this number. One-Six-Nine-Four-Oh!"

OH YA YA KNOW:  I agree with your opinion. Example:  "Well, oh ya ya know dat he's a rascal indeed."

OFER: An exclamation of surprise. Example: "Ofer da love of God!"


OH-FER-GEEZ:  A mild expression of disgust or disappointment. Example: "Oh-fer-geez, would jew just put all dem jobbies back in dah beg?"

OH-GAY: To be in agreement.
Example: "It's no problem, oh-gay?"

OK THEN: It's the final statement in a situation.  It could represent Goodbye.  Or if there's a discussion or argument along the lines of "That settles it."
Example: "I'm leaving for work now." ...."OK then."
           "OK then. We all agree the potluck dinner is cancelled."


ONNEST: Truthful. Example: "Well, onnest judge, I wasn't speeding."


PLONKA: A long board. Example: "I need to get a new plonka for da fence."


POP: A carbonated drink.  "I put some pop in the freezer chest to keep cool."


PRETNEAR:  To be pretty close in distance or situation.
Examples: "She pretnear drowned in da lake." or "This is pretnear da place I got my first kiss."


Q-PON: A savings. Example: "The Sunday paper has all da good Q-pons in it for clipping."


RAWLS: What trains run on. Example:" The train jumped it's rawls and there was a big accident."


RAYROAD :  Transportation via trains.
Example: "I yousta work for da Great Nortern rayroad when I was young."


REEF: A Christmas Decoration.
Example: "Go and hang dis reef on the door for Christmas."

REG-LAR: Something that is frequent.
Example: "I'm seeing da doctor for my reg-lar checkup."


RUFF: Roof. Example: "A tree feel on my ruff."

SALLONDER: Piston driven device. Example: "I have a 6-sallonder engine in my car."


SELLAD: A Salad. Example:
I'd like your sellad and not da soup."

SEMATREE: Where people are buried.
Example:  For Memorial Day we go to the sematree and put flowers on the soldiers' graves."

SEEN DAT:  I saw that.  Example:  "I seen dat same snow blower on sale at Walmart."


SKEETERS or SKEETIES: Those bugs that bite ya at da lake. Example: "Be sure to put on da lowshun, or dem skeeters are sure to bite ya to bits."

SLURDGE :  A whole lot of something.
Example:  "There was a whole slurdge of people at KMart today."  Or,  "My brother bought a whole slurdge of minnows for fishing dis weekend."


SPACIAL :  A sale or good deal.  Example: "John Deere is having a spacial on snow blowers."  or  "At Lena's restaurant, her spacial of the day is venison stew."

SPENDY: Expensive
Example: "She has really
spendy taste." or "Dat new snow blower, Ollie, looks pretty spendy."


SQUEET: Let's Go Eat. Example: "Squeet. It's
lunch time."


STOOD-OVER: When you don't spend the night at your own home. Example: "We stood over there last night and watched their dogs while dey was gone."


SUMPTIN:  Something.  Example: "Smells like yer makin' sumptin good for supper."


TDREE: Three.  Example: "You only get t(d)ree strikes in dis game buddy."

TEERS:  Noun. Prononced like "tiers." The round thingies that make a car go. Example: "I need to buy some new snow teers for my car."

TH: This "Th" sound seems to replace the letter "D"in a lot of words. It's not this and that it's dis and dat. Or Dinking and not Thinking and stuff. ;)

THAT THERE and THIS HERE :  A prounoun with a specific direction or location to it.  Example: "You need to pick up that there log."  Or  "Take this here bag of groceries into the house."


TIRDY: 10 x 3  Example: "I think it'll take tirdy years before we catch another fish dis big."

UD BE: Would Be
Example: Dis ud be a good day
fer fishin'. Or, It ud be fun to
skip work and go snowmobeelin'. 

UFFDAH!: @($#&@#!&!!
It's the PG-rated version of what you'd really like to say but can't in front of the kids or whomever. 
Example: You go out to you car and see a tire is flat and you exclaim, "Uffdah!" 
Some say it doesn't mean anything x-rated. It's like swearing as in "Oh, Damn."  Others say it's just a PG rated expression to indicated that you are overwhelmed by something and are well speechless.

USED-TUV-IT:  Used to it.
Example: (A Friend has a new snowblower.) "I'm having a hard time figrin' out dis thing." Reply: "You'll geet used tuv it after a few times."

WHOLE-BIG-TINGADEM:  A large filled-up container.  Example: "We went berry pickin' and got a whole-big-tingadem."


WID: With. Example: "She's going wid friends."

YAH: Affirmative agreement.
Example: "Ah, Yah for sure."or simply a "Yah, Yah, Yah, Yah."

YAH SURE YOU BETCHA:  A very positive response.  Example, "Well, of course. Yah sure you betch I'll meet ya der."

YERGUYZIS: A plural possessive of two or more people, one including yourself. Example: "How was yerguyzis hunting trip?"


YET: To continue in the same activity or location.
Example:  "Joe's out fishin' yet." or "My wife keeps
nagging me yet about last weekend."

YOU BETCHA: A confident affirmation. Example: "Are you going to the hockey game dis weekend?" Answser: "You betcha I sure am."


YOUSE: The plural of you. Prounouced like "yooz." In Minnesota we like to think it's the Northern version of the Southern word "you'all or y'all." :) Example: "I'd like to wish youse a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year."


YOUSTA :  Used to.  Example: "You get yousta da cold."


WENT: Broke down. Example: "That second hand snowmobile just up and went on me this weekend."

WINNER: Cold months with snow. Usually October through May. Example: "This winner is gonna be expense cuz fuel oil is so high."

ZINK: The sink. Example: "I'm tired of seeing dirty dishes in da zink all da time."


Did I miss one?
If so please e-mail me so I can add it here.

This is not a link!
 You'll have to retype it in.

Minnesota Tech Talk

Chips - Munchies for TV. or those mooshie things in a cow pasture you don't step on.
Download - Getting the firewood off the truck.
Floppy disk - What you get from trying to carry too much firewood.
Prompt - What the mail ain't during the winner.
Window - What to shut when it's cold outside.
Screen - What to shut during black fly season.
Screen saver - Duct tape for the torn window screen.
Byte - What the mosquitoes do.
Bit - What the mosquito did.
Log on - Make the wood stove hotta.
Log off - Don't add no more wood.
Monitor - Keep an eye on that wood stove.
Megabyte - What the mosquitoes on opening Day of Fishing  season.
Microchip - The crumbs in the bag after you've eaten the chips.
Modem - What you did to the weeds growing in the driveway.
Dot matrix - Old Dan Matrix's wife.
Lap top - Where the beer spills when you pass out.
Software - The dumb plastic knives and forks they give you at McDonalds.
Mouse - What makes the holes in the Cheerios box.
Main frame - What holds the house up, hopefully.
Enter - The only way to win those magazine ad sweepstakes.
Web - What a spida makes.
Web site - What's found in the corners of high ceilings.
Cursor - Someone who swears.
Search engine - What you do when the car dies.
Home page - Map you keep in your back pocket in case you get lost in the woods.
Upgrade - Steep hill.
Ram - The thing that split that firewood.
Server - Waitress.
Mail server - Male waitress (rather rare in Minnesota)..
Sound card - One of them technological birthday cards that plays music when you open it.
User - The neighbor who keeps borrowing stuff.
Browser - A problem moose in the garden or blueberry patch.
Network - Mending holes in the fishnet.
Internet - Complicated fishnet repair method.
Netscape - What haddock do when you don't do your network.
Online - Good sign there'll be clean clothes this week or Where to stay when taking the sobriety test.
Offline - The clothespins let go and the laundry falls to the ground.
Backup - What you do when you run across a skunk in the woods.
Bar Code - Them's the fight'n rules down at the local tavern.
Bug - The reason you give for calling in sick.
Cache - Needed when you run out of food stamps.
Terminal - Time to call the undertaker.
Crash - When you go to Junior's party uninvited.
Digital- The art of counting on your fingers.
Diskette - Female Disco dancer.
Fax - What you lie about to the IRS.
Hacker - Uncle Leroy after 32 years of smoking.
Hardcopy - Picture looked at when selecting tattoos.
Hard drive - Getting home in the winner.
Hardware - Real stainless steel cutlery.
Internet- Where cafeteria workers put their hair.
Keyboard - Where you hang the keys to the John Deere.
Mac - Big Bubba's favorite fast food.
Megahertz- How your head feels after 17 beers.
Modem - What ya did when the grass and weeds got too tall.
Mouse Pad - Where Mickey and Minnie live.
Network- Scoop'n up a big fish before it breaks the line.
Rom - Where the pope lives.
Screen - Helps keep the skeeters off the porch.
Serial Port - A red wine you drink with breakfast.
Superconductor - Amtrak's Employee of the year.
SCSI - What you call your week-old underwear.

Ten Commandments Minnesota Style

1. Der's only one God, ya know.
2. Don't make that fish on your mantle an idol.
3. Cussing ain't Minnesota nice.
4. Go to church even when you're up nort.
5. Honor your folks.
6. Don't kill. Catch and release.
7. There is only one Lena for every Ole. No cheatin'.
8. If it ain't your lutefisk, don't take it.
9. Don't be braggin' about how much snow ya shoveled.
10. Keep your mind off your neighbor's hotdish.



Lutran Airlines of Minnesota!
A friend sent this to me.  It's an MP3 file. 
It's pretty funny, but it's very soft. 
I suggest you turn up the volume on your computer.


Note: The graphics on the products are sharper than the image links below.  We reduced them to create the links.


  A lot of really unique products with Minnesota as the theme or Minnesota lifestyle.

         St. Urho's Day History

 Brownielocks has made some St. Urho products in her store.
You can't be a true Minnesotan without knowing about St. Urho!

 Just when do you celebrate Paul Bunyan day because his origin is debatable.
 We also created some fun trivia questions to see how much you know about this folk hero.

If you enjoyed this, you might also like our other
Minnesota pages?


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