6 O’Clock BS: Damn You Minnesoooota


Oh, thyat Minnahsooohta accent.

Image is an xy graph entitled “Why My Old Friends From Illinois and My Family Laugh At Me When We Hang Out”. X-axis title is “Time I Live in Minnesota (Years)”. Y-axis title is “Time It Takes Me To Say Words Containing a Long “O” (seconds). Trendline indicates a proportional relationship between x and y.

Comments

  1. tubi says

    I grew up in Maryland and New Jersey, went to school in Pennsylvania, and then lived in Arizona, Cali, Texas, and Colorado, before moving to Minnesota 12 years ago. I don’t really have an accent that’s readily identifiable with any place, and I certainly haven’t picked up any of the MN inflections.

    I just got back from visiting my mother in Sacramento, and every person she introduced me to, upon finding out I live in MN, said, “Oh, Minneesoootaah.” I really bugged me for some reason, maybe because I don’t talk that way. Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

  2. Ken says

    Former Minnesotan here…

    My understanding of your graph is that the longer you live in MN, the longer it takes you to vocalize a tell-tale long “O” word. I would have thought it would take less time.

    • says

      As a former Minnahsohtan you may remember the way some Northeners draaaaawl out that long “o” with a bit of a rising inflection, sometimes even getting an “ah” sound in there? E.g. “Wanna go up north and do some fishin’ in the boaht? I’ll never have that strong of an accent, but I used to say “boat” like “bote” – one strong, hard syllable, firm “t”. Now it’s more likely to come out “bohht”, with a much softer “t”. So it’s not a matter of proficiency, it’s that I’m picking up the drawl.

  3. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Oh that’s awesome!

    My adult kids and probably half my family had a great time laughing at my new accent during my summer visit. I think I picked it up faster because I’m out here on the border with North Dah-KOOOOOH-da.

  4. hypocee says

    Exactly! It actually does derive from a concentration of Norwegian (or maybe generally Scandinavian?) immigrants at one point in history.

    “Powdermilk biscuits are made from whole wheat raised in the rich bottomlands of the Lake Wobegon river valley by Norwegian bachelor farmers, so you know they’re not only good for you, but also pure, mostly.”

  5. Kim says

    You missed the part about how it is pronounced Minnesooooda. More of a ‘da’ at the end than ‘ta’. Similar to North Dakoooda.

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