Moving to Minnesota means learning to Speak a New Language
When I announced my wife and I were moving to Minnesota, people joked with us about our Southern accents and the frigid weather. Unfazed, we made the quest here and couldn’t be more happy (well maybe winning Powerball could bring a level of happiness we’ve never known, but I digress), but I’ve learned quickly there are phrases that I’m unfamiliar with that I’m going to have to get up to speed on.
Here’s a few of those so far:
"Pop"- I was surprised to see Pop listed on the aisle indicator board in the Grocery Store. I’m used to seeing Soft Drinks, or Soda. Plus, Pop is what we called my dad after one of my nephews gave him the nickname.
"Schlep"- To carry something awkwardly is the Minnesotan definition, which I heard from a neighbor who saw me carrying out broken down cardboard boxes to the recycling bin. I did hear this word used a few times to describe my teen-age years, I’m guessing the operative word there is awkward.
"Uff-da"- This one I’ve learned can mean a couple of different things, surprise, frustration, even elation. Trying to determine what exactly the person using this phrase is trying to say is going to be one my biggest challenges. It reminds me of a saying we have in the South “Bless Your Heart”. That can mean, oh I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this” or it could be used to say, “your brother is an idiot, bless his heart”. My dad was a Baptist Minister, and some of his church folk would shorten “Bless His Heart” to simply “Bless It”. Again, understanding how the phrase is being used is the trick.
Here are some words you may hear me say that might cause some confusion:
"Yonder"- It's a directional term meaning over there, which could be a short distance or a longer one. (ie.. Fetch me the rake that is over yonder) Sort of like “Up North” here in Minnesota, some folks have differing opinions of where “Up North” starts.
"Tickled"- This has nothing to do with touching someone and making them twist and squirm while laughing. “Tickled” in the south is most likely a term to describe extreme happiness. (ie.. I'm tickled pink with how big my pumpkins are this year")
"Gussied Up"- This means to get dressed up. (ie.. I got mud on my pants after I got all gussied up)
"I S’wanee"(pronounced swan-knee)- This is what Southerners say instead of saying "I Swear" or cursing! (ie..I S'wanee, I just got mud on my pants) I grew up the kid of a Baptist Preacher, this was a favorite of mine growing up because I couldn't even say the word "Swear".
We really love living here and look forward to learning the lingo a bit more, all the while trying to not to confuse our neighbors with slang they don’t understand.
Come Visit Roscoe, Minnesota with Us in Pictures