You Betcha We Have Slang


Nicolas Raymond

Minnesota’s flag created to look vintage.

Living in Minnesota has a uniqueness that you can’t quite find in any other state; from the kindness people spread that has pegged them with the term “Minnesota nice,” to the winter wonderland that lasts from November to March, the state has a lot to offer.

At the end of the day, the main thing that seems to separate Minnesota from other states is the good ole’ slang, dontcha know! Do Minnesotans really say “dontcha know”? Survey says yes… and by survey I mean most suburban moms. You may be asking, what other unique expressions do Minnesotans have? Well, dontcha worry–here is a list of the top five Minnesota words and phrases that you probably didn’t know were specific to our state.


Hot Dish

Can’t but enjoy a warm plate of tater tot hot dish.

Ask a Minnesotan if they would like some casserole and they’ll look at you with confusion. Here in the land of 10,000 lakes, it’s called hot dish. This meal is typically made with some kind of starch, meat, and frozen or canned vegetables–one of the most popular being tater tot hot dish. It is traditionally made with green beans, corn, ground hamburger, and lots of tater tots. Considering it is the number one request from college students when they come home for break, you know it’s a good one!



You are leaving a restaurant and almost forget to hold the door for the person behind you; if you have Minnesotan blood coursing through your veins it is almost a guarantee that a small sound will escape you: “Ope!” It seems as though this expression may stem from the inherent need within every Minnesotan to be nice. CJ Kuplic, Minnesota native and senior at AVHS, relates to this struggle: “I typically say ope in the hallways and it is usually followed by a sorry.”


Jannes Pockele
An opened can of pop.


You may call it soda or Coke, but Minnesotans beg to differ. It is believed that the term originated from the sound a glass bottle would make when the cap was “popped” off, hence the term “soda pop.” Somewhere along the way the term got shorted to a simple onomatopoeia — thus, pop was born.



According to the Cambridge Dictionary, to budge is to move or cause someone or something to move. I suppose that doesn’t perfectly match up with the Minnesotan definition: “Teacher! Teacher! She budged!” (In other words, she cut in line.) Leave the safety of the Midwest and people will have no clue what you are saying. A blogpost about the matter had a comment section that was very telling about this word confusion.  Some people voiced their own ways of saying it like “jump the queue” and “butt in line” while others simply didn’t know what budging was at all.


Oh fer cute!

Jonathan Kriz
Lab puppy poses for a photo.

“I just use it when I like something,” said AVHS senior (and frequent user of the term) Cece Gueltzow. “If I see a puppy I’ll say ‘oh fer cute.’” In other words, it’s a more down home way of saying you absolutely adore something.  You see your best friend walk into class wearing a great outfit? “of fer cute!” A teacup pig strutting down the streets of Minneapolis? “Oh fer cute!”

It is true, Minnesotans often have a different way of saying things, but one thing you can always count on is the kindness spread by the Minnesotan way. You betcha they will invite you over for some hot dish and pop!

Do you know any weird Minnesota slang? Let us know in the comments.