Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The NoDak Dictionary!

I have learned a whole new vernacular living here in NoDak.  I wanted to share these with you and have a little chuckle knowing that some of the local and the new arrivals will love these tidbits of knowledge! 

  • Barbecue: The Midwest equivalent to Sloppy Joes, which are served at most picnics and usually in large quantities. Example: “Why don’t I throw together a little barbecue before the picnic this afternoon?”

    • Bison: (pronounced “Bi-zen”) A large and delicious animal and the mascot for NDSU. Example: “Let’s go watch the Bison play at the Fargodome.”

    • Bars: The name for any type of dessert that is not in cookie, pie, icecream or cake form that is often brought to potlucks. Many bars involve Special K cereal, Rice Krispies, chocolate and peanut butter.
    • Cheese curds: Fried cheese curds. Delicious and fattening. God’s little golden gifts to midwesterners.
    • “Feels like” Temperature: Take a cold temperature, add some windchill, and you will get the “feels-like” temperature. Example: “The high today is -30 but when you step outside it feels like -50 with windchill.”
    •  Glare Ice: The equivalent to black ice except for some reason it is called glare ice.

    • Hotdish: (pronounced “hawt dish”) A baked item, usually served at potlucks, that is similar to a casserole in other parts of the country. Most hotdishes usually contain a starch, a meat and vegetables (canned or frozen) with the most popular being a Tater-tot hotdish. Example: “I’ll bring some Special K Bars to the potluck, why don’t you bring a hotdish?”
    • Lefse: (pronounced “lef suh”) A flat tortilla-like treat, with Norwegian roots (as most things are in the upper Midwest), served usually with butter and sugar on top. Delicious!

    • Lutefisk: (pronounced “loo tu fisk”) Scandinavian dish made from aged whitefish or dried/salted whitefish and lye. It is gelatinous in texture and has an extremely strong odor. It literally means “lye fish”. Example: Person #1: “Hailey, would you like some lutefisk?” Person #2: “No thank you, I would not like some lutefisk.”

    • North Dakota: (pronounced “Nort Da-koe-tuh) The coldest state in the continental United States.

    • Oh: (pronounced “oooooo”) A word used in the majority of conversations in the upper Midwest.

    • Oh, I suppose: The phrase used in a conversation instead of nodding your head or saying “uh-huh” when someone is speaking to you. Can be shortened to simply, I s’pose. Example: Person #1: “I was driving down the road and I saw a deer.” Person #2: “Oh, I suppose!”
    • Oh, for cute: The phrase used to express how cute something/someone is. Example: (A small kitten emerges from around the corner) “Oh, for cute!”
    • Oh, for fun: The phrase used to express how enjoyable something is or sounds. Example: Person #1- “I went to the state fair this past weekend.” Person #2- “Oh, for fun!”
    • The Patch:  An area comprised of the Bakken shale where those work and play.  Many work in the patch.  Meaning the Oil Patch.

    • Plug In: The action required so that your car is able to start when the temperature is below zero. Plug ins can be found in most large parking lots and residential areas. When you install a plug in on your car, the cord hangs out resembling a small booger hanging out of your cars nose. (Sorry if that was graphic, I just can’t help thinking that every time I see one.)

    • Snow Birds: Upper Midwest residents, usually retired, that head south for the winter. Most Snow Birds head to Phoenix or another location throughout Arizona.

    • The Cities: The shortened name given to Minneapolis and St. Paul. Example: “I’m heading to The Cities this weekend.”

    • The Lake: The location everyone escapes to when the temperature reaches above 32 degrees F. “The Lake” is not a singular location. In fact, going to “The Lake” could be one of the 10,000 lakes throughout Minnesota or one of the many across North Dakota. Example: “Oh, I think I might just head out to The Lake this weekend.”
    • Then: A word used to signify a question is being asked. Example: “Are you headed to Fargo then?”

    • Thunder Snow: The weather phenomenon that occurs when it is snowing with thunder and lightening at the same time.

    • Uff da: (pronounced “oof duh”) An expression of Norwegian origin used in the upper Midwest as a term for sensory overload. It can be used to express astonishment, surprise, exhaustion, frustration or relief. It can also be used as an alternate for most swear words (though of course I never use it this way). Example: “Uff da, look at all that snow outside that I now must shovel.”
    • You Betcha: The phrase used to mean: Absolutely, uh-huh, yes, certainly, or anything of that nature. Example: Person #1- “Do you want to head to the movies, then?” Person #2- “Oh, you betcha!”

    • 20-32 degrees above zero: This temperature marks the beginning of Spring and signals that it is now appropriate to put away your coat and walk around in a t-shirt and shorts, showing off your mayonnaise legs.