Minnesota Interesting Facts

The Name “Minnesota” comes from the Dakota Indian words meaning “sky-tinted water” or more clearly, “Land of Sky-Blue Waters”

The State Moto is “Star of the North”. When you arrive in Minnesota, you will quickly see that the most popular company name is “Northstar”.

The state is known as “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. Officially Minnesota has 15,291 lakes and counting.

The State Flower is the showy Lady Slipper, a rare wildflower that can live as long as a century.

Three main waterways have shaped the states past and future, the Mississippi River, the Minnesota River, and the St. Croix River.

Minnesota is often referred to as teh Gopher State, a nickname resulting from an 1857 satirical cartoon showing nine gophers with the heads of local politicians. They were pulling a locomotive, and satirizing legislative action for a $5 Million railroad proposal. The nickname stuck and was later adopted by the University of Minnesota by naming their mascot Goldie, the Golden Gopher.

Famous people that come from Minnesota include Judy Garland, Charles Schultz (creator of the “Peanuts” cartoon strip), Charles Lindbergh, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Local Lingo

How to Speak Minnesotan

Brat- no, not an unruly child, but bratwurst, a very big hotdog

Ice House – no, not the beer that is known for hangovers, but a building that is placed over ice to keep you nice and warm while you fish. See the movie ‘Grumpier Old Men’. Also see below under Ice Fishing.

HotDish – otherwise known as a casserole for a potluck get together. Just make sure to bring enough for everyone, and also bring a dessert too.

Ice Dam – no, not a beaver dam that is frozen, but a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof, preventing the melting snow from draining off the roof. A serious problem, in the event of a snowy winter, as the dam can cause water to back up under the shingles and force water into your home.

Out East – anything on the East Coast

Pop – the name for anything others call soda or cola. I actually call everything “coke”, even if it is “sprite”.

Rambler- not someone who talks alot, but a one-level house that is found everywhere in Minnesota

SPAM – no, not the email kind. The real thing, a canned pork-ham product, was invented in Austin, Minnesota and is still produced there today.

The Range- also known as the Iron Range in Northern Minnesota. The Range is where iron ore and other minerals have been mined since the late 1880’s and according to my father-in-law, the birthplace of hockey. He is from a small mining town of Eveleth, which has produced some of the biggest names in hockey and is also the location of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Up North – Northern Minnesota, or above Grand Rapids

Warming House – a must in winter, where any outdoor hockey rink is located. It warms you up as you lace up your skates or after you are finished skating.

Wild Rice – not actually rice, but a wild growing water-grass seed in cold rivers and lakes. It is still harvested much the way local Indian tribes use to do. Wild rice soup is my favorite and is perfect in the winter!

Hockey – God’s sport, well, at least according to my husband.

Ice Fishing- no, not fishing for ice. Locals love to ice fish in the winter. They even have a special fishing rod sized down that can be propped up, so you can sit back and relax. If you drive by a pond and see a bunch of men hunched over the ice in winter, they are not crazy, they are just fishing.

Ya – last but not least is the word ‘ya’. Just watch the movie “Fargo” and you will quickly understand the proper pronunciation. It is a phrase of agreement, like “Ya sure, or You betcha”. I find it quite annoying as I am not a native to the state, but if you live here long enough, you are sure to utter it every now and then by mistake.