Anyone who’s enjoyed blackly comic crime drama Fargo – or visited Minnesota, where it’s set – will know that the residents have a particular way of doing things, and a particular way of talking about them.
“Minnesota nice” means always being polite – even when you secretly hate something – and never swearing, even if you’ve just murdered your wife.
Here are eight key conversational phrases to help you feel authentically Fargoan – all to be pronounced with that uniquely Norwegian-tinged accent…
“Uff-da!”: This is a brilliantly flexible word and can be used to express astonishment, frustration, relief or exhaustion. So if someone tells you a story about their recent trip to the store, which had run out of their favourite pop*: “Uff-da!” If they got to the store just in time to buy the last case of their favourite pop: “Uff-da!” Or if they’d just carried a couple of very heavy cases of their favourite pop into the house and dumped them on the kitchen counter: “Uff-da!”
*Minnesotans always call fizzy drinks pop, never soda
“Dontcha know?”: Tag this on to the end of a sentence during conversation, just to make sure the other person is still listening (or just to make yourself sound authentic Minnesotan).
“You betcha!”: Likewise, on the other side of the conversation, use this to show you’re still interested – or simply to agree. See also: “For sure.”
“That’s different!”: I don’t like the sound of that, but I’m too polite to say so.
“Um, I guess that might be okay”: I really don’t like the sound of that, but I’m too polite to say so.
“Oh yah!”: Yes/no/I have no idea what you’re taking about. Throw this into conversation as much as possible, you can’t go wrong.
“Oh jeez…”: I’ve just murdered my wife.
“For crying out loud!”: You’ve just murdered someone in my living room.
Fargo season 1 is out now on Blu-ray and DVD
Fargo Season 1 is drenched in the trademark humour, murder and “Minnesota nice” that made the film an enduring classic. Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton stars as Lorne Malvo, a rootless, manipulative man who meets and forever changes the life of Martin Freeman’s small town insurance salesman Lester Nygaard, played by Bafta winner Martin Freeman
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news