How to speak Minnesotan

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photo credit:

Anneliese Moore, Staff writer

Not being from Minnesota, there have been days when I’ve felt like I live in some foreign land. After moving here, I’ve been confronted with many strange ways that Minnesotans pronounce words, which someday I might start doing too.

Upon my arrival in Minnesota, I repetitively heard the word Milacs, as Minnesotans pronounce it, but I could not understand what it was (maybe something to do with shellac?). After looking at a map, I realized that everyone was saying Mille Lacs, a lake in Minnesota which is a french word that is actually pronounced like “Mil-Lock.” Another similar example is Presque Isle, a lake in Wisconnsin. Minnesotans tend to say it as Presk Ahyl, when actually it is also a French word pronounced “Presque Eel.” Of course there are plenty of other examples that don’t relate to French words. The word about is frequently pronounced more like a-boot, like when a deer is aboot to come into your cabin!

It was hard adapting to the cold Minnesota winters, but many Minnesotans often told me, “It’s okay, you get yousta the cold.” I also regularly heard “melk”, “ruff” (this was confusing because it sounded like someone was barking, not talking about the top of a house), “rum” (as in room), and “baghul” (actually speaking of a bagel). Apparently, a common expression in Minnesota is “come with”, as in “come with me.” One time someone said to me, “We have to shovel the snow, come with!” Come with? I wondered. Come with who?! It was then that I realized that some Minnesotans have decided to drop off the pronoun, making it difficult for others to understand the sentence.

Ennaway, of course there are plenty more examples of words pronounced by Minnesotans, but you betcha these are the greatest.