Oh Yah! Dat’s a Good vun!

Blame me for stereotyping, but they really do talk that way in the city of Fargo, North Dakota!

I just finished a fun weekend of speaking at a church in Fergus Falls in Minnesota, a small town about an hour’s drive from the Fargo airport. From Fargo to Fergus Falls I was immersed in Scandinavian culture. The weather is cold, the accents are thick, but the people are warm and personable.

As soon as they discovered I was from California, the response was usually, “Oh, California. Nice weather there, eh?”

That’s the thing about this northern country. It’s really easy to adapt to their language. You just need to add any one of these phrases to the end of your sentence


…don’tcha know?

…you betcha!

Or if you really want to emphasize something…


I have know idea what “Ufta” actually means, but I think it is the sound that a person riding a snowmobile makes when he crashes into a snow bank. Snowmobiling is big out here don’tcha know! (At least they aren’t like California where we just end every interaction by exclaiming, “Dude!”)

I think the cold weather here affects electronics. When I first got in my rental car, my GPS started blinking and then went black for three seconds before finally rebooting itself. I kid you not, when it came on again, the voice changed to a lady speaking German or Norwegian. I thought, Even the electronics are swayed to speak Scandinavian out here.

All said and done, the trip was really rewarding. I never saw any wood chippers, but I did hear “you betcha” more times than one could count.


About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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2 Responses to Oh Yah! Dat’s a Good vun!

  1. Corey Roskamp says:

    First, I would like to say that I am bummed you were that close and I was not aware. I would have come to hear you speak. Second, its Uffda! and my understanding is it would be like an explicative similar to oh s#@&! do you post your speaking schedule? maybe i should just check the website don’t cha know.


    • Ha… I guess I shouldn’t say “Uffda!” then.

      As for you not knowing, I blogged about it three weeks ago, blogged about it Friday afternoon, tweeted about it, and it’s posted on my speaking page. Would you like me to send a carrier pigeon for you? 🙂