Uff Da: The Super Bowl tourist’s guide to speaking Minnesotan


Welcome to Minnesota, football fans!

That previous sentence is pretty much the only straightforward, easily understood thing you’ll hear from a Minnesotan during your brief stay in our frigid land. In conversation, we tend to be stoic, mysterious, and non-confrontational to a fault.

City Pages has helpfully translated a few common Minnesota-isms so out-of-towners have a better chance of understanding the local patois:

“It’s actually not that bad out there.”

General assessment of the weather suitable for any conditions warmer than -20. Usually arrived at by at equation of temperature + wind child = will not explode your face. 

“The Vikes will be playing in this thing next year, dontcha know.”

A symptom of the area’s pervasive delusion regarding all matters football. Defenses include gently patting subject on the head and saying, “There, there, everything will be all right.”

“That’s... interesting.”

You are talking like a weirdo. Please cease and desist. 

“You can get a pop at the SA kitty-corner from the sub shop.”

Soft drinks are sold at the gas station located diagonally from that sandwich establishment.


Holy shit!/Unbelievable!/Brilliant!/That’s great!/I’m so sorry to hear that!/I think my nose is broken!

“Sure, you betcha.”

I’m not disputing your previous statement. I may not agree with it. I have acknowledged that you said it.

“I bet you expected everyone up here to sound like they’re from the movie Fargo!”

I don’t sound like someone from Fargo, do I? Don’t tell me I sound like my friggin’ aunt.

“You know what restaurant you should try?”

I know a business that will bring you a platter of food bigger than a toddler for $4.99.

“Uff da, alla these fans’ll have 35 jammed all the way to Hinckley!.”

The presence of Super Bowl tourists will disrupt north-south traffic on a major interstate highway.

“What kind of music do you like?”

Prince, say Prince, please say Prince, Prince-or-Bob Dylan, Prince-or-Bob Dylan-or-the Replacements...

“You’re a Patriots fan, huh? You know Tom Brady used to visit family in Minnesota and milk cows on their farm?”

He owes his success to us. We are entitled to one of his Super Bowl rings. How many does one man need?

“You’re an Eagles fan, huh? Oh, I heard so much about the trips people took there for the Vikings game.”

I am trying to dial 911 without removing my phone from my pocket.

“Ope! I’m just gonna sneeeeeak past ya...”

You’re in my way, but mentioning that might feel like a confrontation, so instead I’ll just act like our uncomfortable proximity is somehow my fault.

“Do you like spicy food?”

I know a place with two kinds of salsa!

“You’ve never had lutefisk?”

Go ahead. Ask me what it is. I just want to see your expression as you imagine dried whitefish soaked in lye until it turns translucent and gelatinous.

“Didja know Justin Timberlake’s wife is from Ely?”

Our state is capable of producing beautiful celebrities like Jessica Biel. Within the next few minutes I will be awkwardly wedging Josh Hartnett, Chris Pratt, Winona Ryder, Vince Vaughn, and Lindsey Vonn into the conversation.

“Can youse guys borrow me a couple bucks? $12 for Jucy Lucy and tots is pretty spendy.”

Would you lend me money? I did not anticipate paying this much for a hamburger filled with molten cheese and fried potato cylinders.

“Actually, I grew up in Wisconsin.”

I come from a long line of cheerful alcoholics, each of whom can still name every single person who has ever played for the Green Bay Packers.

“Well, nice talking to you, but we should probably get goin’ here.”

Known as the Minnesota Goodbye. A phrase that will be repeated over the next 15-90 minutes as my spouse and I slowly make our way to the door.