Ope! They’re Scotcharoos, doncha know?

Every part of the country has their own special dialect. There are phrases that make sense only in the Midwest, and if they were said aloud anywhere else, people would think they’re weird.

One hot debate is over a sweet cereal treat mixed with peanut butter and topped with chocolate. Is it a Scotcharoo or a Special K Bar? David Miranj is a senior at MSU who is originally from Oregon. To him, they’re Special K Bars.  

Senior Ceilia Trembley, a resident of southern Minnesota, says that in her household, the sweet treat’s name changes depending on who’s making them.

“My mom would call them Special K Bars, but everyone else calls them Scotcheroos,” said Trembley. “When my mom makes them, they’re Special K Bars and when anyone else makes them, they’re Scotcheroos.” 

However, Microsoft Word fails to recognize “Scotcheroo” as a word, so the Midwest might have to admit defeat for this one.  

With such a crushing defeat, everyone else better just be lucky that good ol’ “Minnesota Nice” is a thing; it’s one of the most common Midwest dialects. 

“It’s the one I’ve noticed the most. Everyone is pretty nice [in Minnesota],” said Miranj.

Furthermore, MSU Kearney International Center Office Coordinator Blake Litzau also noticed the “Minnesota nice” stereotype.

“I’ve noticed that, compared to other places I’ve visited, a lot more people will hold the door open for you here, or say things like ‘scuse me’ or ‘ope’,” said Litzau. 

Litzau claims he commonly encounters the horrifying “Midwestern Goodbye,” a term that describes a goodbye lasting longer than 10 minutes.

“I think it’s just Minnesotans never say goodbye, or they talk a lot so that it’s a 20-minute goodbye when you try to leave somewhere,” said Litzau.

Similarly, Trembley recognized the concept. 

“You’re trying to leave your family’s house or you friend’s house, and then you keep talking and you’re like, ‘alright, I gotta go,’ and then you keep talking for another ten minutes,” said Trembley 

Minnesotans don’t stop at their word choices and kind attitudes; some even have an accent of their own. Trembly was able to characterize this accent as “Emphasizing the o’s. Basically what people in [the movie] “Fargo” did. That’s what I think of when I think of stereotypical Minnesota talk. Like, Minnesoota.”  

Litzau admitted that he has noticed the change in dialect when he’s visited other states. 

“Some words we say and our accent is very noticeable to other people, but I don’t really notice it here,” shared Litzau. “No one comments to me about it in Minnesota.”  

Despite the main Minnesota dialect, depending on what region of Minnesota you’re in, even common objects can differ. Trembley revealed the secret of a southern Minnesota meal, which is the commercial dinner. Dinner entrees depend on what the chef prefers, usually pork or turkey.

“You get two pieces of bread and then you’ll have mashed potatoes, gravy, and beef, like a brisket or a roast beef,” said Trembley.

With all the crazy codes to crack, maybe it’s just best to blend in with the Minnesota nice and “’scuse me” right out of the next awkward debate: hotdish or casserole?

Write to Lilly Schmidt at lillian.schmidt@mnsu.edu

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