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15 Minnesota Stereotypes You Need to Know

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Oh, stereotypes. We use that word so many times, even without noticing it. If you want to know whether they are true, read more here.

People tend to group other people based on their ethnicity, where they come from, how they look, gender profile, and so many other factors. Hence, stereotypes and cliches are born. Every country has good and bad stereotypes, and there are even regional clichés in every country.

That’s the case in the USA as well. For example, when people say Illionians never agree on a single thing, New Yorkers don’t like tourists, and Alabamians are all conservatives.

Or how about this one: when people from Boston think they are the best of the best (when we all know official sources said that this statement is false and misleading). Get the joke?

And that leads us to Minnesota, a place where stereotypes are everywhere around the corner. Some of this Minnesota might be true, but you will definitely hear them before visiting this cold state (the cold weather isn’t a stereotype, though; that is very true).

Minnesota is recognized as an outstanding place to reside due to its high-quality lifestyle, robust economy, exceptional public education system, and a plethora of recreational pursuits available.

Known for its friendly populace, thriving arts culture, and exquisite natural landscapes, Minnesota consistently earns top rankings for living standards. It garnered fifth place in the U.S. News and World Report’s list of best states to live, shining for its impressive infrastructure and beautiful natural environment.

Look at the most heard Minnesota stereotypes and determine if they are true.

List of Typical Stereotypes About Minnesotans

1) People Speak Like The Fargo Movie

A clapperboard

First of all, and in case you don’t know, Fargo is a crime comedy thriller released in 1996. With 94% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie became an iconic film in the US.

Minnesota has much to do with this movie, as the main characters are from there. And because of how they speak, their peculiar accent, and how they express themselves paved the way to think Minnesotans are like in the movie.

Hence, the stereotype. But come on, not everyone. Maybe in the northern part, well, just maybe. But definitely, not everyone speaks like in Fargo.

Fargo is not even in Minnesota. The town is in North Dakota, though. But for some reason, people believe one of the things Minnesotans say is “ya,” or “oh yah” all the time. This is one of the most well-known Minnesota stereotypes. What do you think about this Minnesota stereotype?

Final comments: this is false.

If you are visiting Minnesota, finding a place to stay is not that hard. Depending on your needs and wants, tons of options await you.

See Related: Tourist Attractions in Minneapolis

2) Minnesotans Accent Is Like Scandinavian People Speaking English

A man standing with the flag of Norway

Many people don’t know this, but from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century, the U.S. received many immigrants from Scandinavian countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland).

As they settled in their new home, looking for better conditions, they brought a large cultural influence in the U.S., especially in the Midwest, where Minnesota is located.

The Scandinavian contribution to Minnesota led many people to think Minnesotans act, dress, eat, and even speak English as Scandinavian people are trying to communicate in English.

Indeed, many people say if you close your eyes while listening to things Minnesotans say, they would sound like Scandinavian people speaking in English.

Scandinavian people made their way here many years ago, especially Norwegians, and at first, they struggled to speak English and, like any other foreigner, had an accent.

But it seems the stereotype stayed there over the years, even after a handful of generations have grown in Minnesota since then.

That’s another reason why these Minnesota stereotypes flourish. Of course, that is a mockery from outsiders. But it is also very popular that people know Scandinavians influenced the state in many ways.

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See Related: Best Things to Do in Brainerd, Minnesota

3) Cow Tipping Is Common in Minnesota

A man lying next to a cow

We have also heard that when Minnesotans are bored, they go cow-tipping. In case you haven’t heard this before, cow-tipping is a prank in which a person sneaks up on a sleeping cow and pushes the animal over onto its side. Since these animals sleep lying down, many believe it is impossible.

However, some scientists think it is possible. Others believe a cow wouldn’t allow being tipped. It is a popular urban legend directly related to rural areas.

But what does this have to do with Minnesota? Well, believe it or not, many people still believe that Minnesota is mostly rural and rural.

But this weird activity raises many questions. First, is it possible to tip a cow? Is it an urban legend? And more importantly, why would Minnesotans do such a thing?

We want to believe it is an urban legend and that this is only a case of Minnesota stereotypes. But do you imagine this one is true? We let it all go to the imagination, but we hope it’s not.

Final comments: we think is false, but who knows…

If you are fond of going to city or state parks to unwind and relax, Minnesota has tons of them. It’s time to get closer to nature and feel the earthy vibe yourself.

See Related: Best Restaurants in Duluth, Minnesota

4) Caribou Instead Of Starbucks

Two cups of coffee

And yeah, if there is one thing Minnesotans can’t argue about, they’d rather go to Caribou Coffee than Starbucks. This is one of those things about Minnesota culture. Because if you think straight, you would say Starbucks is far more famous than Caribou.

But for some good reasons, Minnesotans prefer Caribou; it is almost like a landmark in the state. One of the reasons why Minnesotans love Caribou so much is because of the Caribou Coffee Cares. This program supports children’s hospitals and raises cancer awareness at a young age.

Another reason is that Minnesota is Caribou’s hometown. Caribou was born in Edina, Minnesota, in 1992, so people feel great supporting a local business.

Another good reason Caribou is Minnesota’s most popular coffee business is that it has 293 stores in the state, while Starbucks has only 184. Starbucks can’t do it there.

A true Minnesotan would invite you to Caribou to grab a coffee. And there you go, the stereotype was born. What can we say? They like it. So, if you ask what Minnesotans like, you have an idea based on this. If you ever visit Minnesota and don’t go to Caribou, my friend, you didn’t visit Minnesota.

Final comments: True, true, true!

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See Related: Best Lakes in Minnesota (Ranked!)

5) Minnesotans Say “Uff Da” At All Times!

A sweater with the phrase Uff da

Another Scandinavian mark right here. If you ever meet a Minnesotan or have visited the state before, you might hear the expression “uff da.”

We found out “uff da” basically means everything. The expression commonly shows surprise, a shock moment remark, dismay, and anxiety. But also satisfaction, relief, tiredness, and the list goes on!

But why do Minnesotans say it? Where does that come from? Well, you may know by now that Scandinavian culture influenced Minnesota in many ways, and saying “uff da” is one of them.

For example, Swedish days are “usch då” and “ojdå,” which are very similar in pronunciation to “uff da” and have kind of the same meaning. So, a quick tip: whenever you are in Minnesota, remember people will say “uff da” in any situation.

This is one of the things Minnesotans say, and it is a part of Minnesota culture for sure. Do you love this Minnesota stereotypes reading? Stick around with us because we have much more!

Saying this confusing phrase is a part of Minnesota culture.

Final comments: uff da!

See Related: The Best Hotels in Duluth, Minnesota.

6) Minnesotans Can’t Live Without Corn Dogs

A corndog in a Fairytale

If there is a meal Minnesotans have in their daily diet, that’s the corn dog. We all know the corn dog is a part of American culture, and Minnesotans claim it was invented in their state in the 1940s at the popular Minnesota State Fair.

Regardless of this exquisite meal’s creator, we all must thank him or her. Minnesotans can’t live without them. The corn dog made their way into Minnesotan’s hearts, and now it is common for people to invite you to eat some corn dogs on a night out. It is fair to say that corn dogs change people’s behavior and moods in Minnesota. Interesting.

7) Four-way Stops Are A Nightmare

Four way stop

They say people in Minnesota don’t know how to deal with four-way stops. Either they let you go first or don’t let you drive past because no one knows what to do in that awkward moment.

So, people who haven’t ever visited Minnesota think Minnesotans drive clumsily. But why? Well, that’s how Minnesota stereotypes and every cliché works. You see one group or a member of one group doing something and automatically think all of them act the same way.

However, this is one of the Minnesota stereotypes you might hear. Nonetheless, you will confirm whether this Minnesota stereotype is true when you go there.

Final comments: hope it’s not true.

See Related: Things to Do in Winona, Minnesota.

8) Minnesotans Do What The Weather Says

Cars covered by snow in Minnesota

One of the things people wonder about Minnesotans is why they are always talking about the weather as if their life depended on it. As we said in the beginning, Minnesota can get very cold. If you are curious, Minnesota’s weather can get as cold as −60 °F (or −51.1 °C).

So yeah, that means people do or don’t do things based on the weather conditions. People must keep up with the forecast to know what they are doing the next weekend.

Imagine your weekend plans are based on a weatherman’s prediction. Also, in Minnesota, you either have a good day at the lake or struggle to turn on your car in the cold.

Normally, the weather is below-freezing from November to March. But it also gets sunny and a little bit hot during the summer. We can all agree that much is true now that we understand this Minnesota stereotype better.

Final comments: We don’t know, ask the weatherman.

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See Related: Things to Do in St. Paul, Minnesota

9) Minnesotans Make The Goodbyes Look Awkward

A 'Time To Say Goodbye' sign

Saying goodbye to friends, family, and acquaintances in Minnesota takes an entire life. Although it may happen in every corner of the planet, Minnesotans take the time to say goodbye. It is a whole ritual, indeed.

Who says the last goodbye? Who says the first goodbye? Who’s even going home anyway? We don’t know. But we can tell this might be a combination of their liking to socialize, being shy, and being respectful overall.

If you ever visit Minnesota, prepare to sing Never Say Goodbye by Bon Jovi.

See Related: Things to Do in Two Harbors

10) Everyone Excels At Ice Skating

People having fun ice skating

Indeed, if you live in Minnesota and don’t know how to ice skate, you should be embarrassed, my friend.

This shouldn’t be a surprise, though. After all, what do you expect from people who live under the snow almost all year long? As a matter of fact, and to the surprise of no one, there are hundreds of ice rinks throughout the state.

They entertain Minnesotans, and ice skating is part of their culture. So you don’t have to ask what Minnesotans like; they love ice skating. It is in their veins.

If you visit Minnesota, be ready because many people will invite you to ice skate. If you plan to visit Minnesota, you can get the cheapest plane tickets on Kayak. See the amazing offers they have for you!

11) Minnesotans Love Prince and Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan street art

Firstly, who wouldn’t like Prince and Bob Dylan? For Minnesotans, these artists are like Gods, and for good reasons. Iconic singers and songwriters are probably the most famous people born in Minnesota. These worldwide-known singers are everything a musician could dream of.

One of the things Minnesotans say is that they love Prince and Bob Dylan, and we can’t blame them. Their music transcended for generations, so it is easy to tell why loving and admiring them so much is one of the best Minnesota stereotypes.

See Related: Our Favorite Activities in Wabasha

12) Everyone Lives In a Cabin

A lake and a cabin in the background

Outsiders might think of Minnesota as a rural state, and many parts of it are. However, the state has about 11,000 lakes, which makes people from other regions believe every Minnesotan lives or owns a cabin.

However, not everyone loves being in a cabin or on the lake’s edge. This belief is nothing else than a feeble Minnesota stereotype.

Still, many people fail to realize Minnesota is not a rural state. Minnesota has big cities, such as Saint Paul, Minneapolis, Duluth, Rochester, and Bloomington. So whenever you think about a Minnesota stereotype, think better than this.

See Related: Things to Do in Stillwater

13) ”Ope!”

Ope Minnesota T-shirt

”Ope” is one of the most popular things Minnesotans say. However, the expression does not only belong to Minnesota. “Ope” is an idiom exclusively from the Midwest, according to This expression mostly refers to saying sorry and to an apology.

In other words, ”Ope” is a polite expression. Where does it come from? As with many idioms and regionalisms, it is difficult to know where or how exactly ”Ope” was born. However, researchers from the University of Minnesota believe ”Ope” is simply the word ”open” without the N at the end.

But as with every idiom, it prevailed over the years, and most people don’t even know why they say it; they just say it. Indeed, people in Minnesota don’t even notice they say it; it gets out of their mouths automatically.

So don’t expect people to say ”I’m sorry”, ”excuse me”, or something boring like ”my apologies’.’ They will say ”Ope”. That is why outsiders tend to mock Minnesotans for this regionalism. Even though ”Ope” is a Midwest expression, Minnesotans insist that word is theirs.

Final comments: this Minnesota stereotype is true.

See Related: Best Minnesota Family Vacations

14) Minnesotans Can’t Stop Eating Ranch Sauce

A ranch dressing surrounded by six other sauces

Who wouldn’t like that, though? Sincerely, we can’t blame Minnesotans if they eat ranch every time they are going to eat something. Not liking ranch sauce is almost like a sin, honestly. However, the tasty sauce became an instant classic dip in almost every Minnesota family.

Not offering a Minnesotan ranch dressing is almost like an insult. Hence, another Minnesota stereotype was born. We can’t deny this delicious sauce is part of Minnesota culture.

Final comments: For most of them is true.

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15) Minnesotans Are Unfriendly

Have you ever wondered what Minnesotans are like? The review of their character in the country is a mix between mean and gentle.

Not everyone in Minnesota is nice; not everybody is rude. And the same applies to every region and country. So don’t be one of those people who judge an entire population based on the behavior of a few individuals. The mean attitude remains a Minnesota stereotype because of the misleading remarks.

Final comments: This is not true at all. Don’t put everyone in the same bag.

See Related: Things to Do in Rochester

BONUS – Weird Fact

Do you know that people from Venezuela usually get confused with Minnesotans? Sounds weird, right? This is because when a Venezuelan in the US says he is from Venezuela, Americans confuse their pronunciation of “Venezuela” with “Minnesota.”

Maybe that is because of the Latin American accent and the Spanish-like pronunciation. So, people from Venezuela know them very well in Minnesota because they always get confused with them. Funny, don’t you think?

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