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How to Talk Minnesotan: A Visitor's Guide
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How to Talk Minnesotan: A Visitor's Guide

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  245 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Based in part on material written for "A Prairie Home Companion", How to Talk Minnesotan will help visitors to Minnesota keep from sticking out like sore thumbs when they don't know the difference between "not too bad a deal" and "a heckuva deal". Illustrated with line drawings.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 4th 1987 by Penguin Books
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Oct 29, 2009 Janene rated it it was amazing
What I've noticed about this book..and it's reviews...are that the people who aren't rating it very high...and saying it's 'really not that funny'...likely aren't from Minnesota and not presently living in Minnesota.

That being said, I read this book and pretty much laughed my ass off through the whole thing. I am Minnesota born and raised. This book is the truth! If you are from Minnesota and are willing to laugh at yourself & your neighbors...this is the book for you! OMG..ROFL!

Jun 08, 2011 Joanne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Chris
Shelves: non-fiction
This isn't the sort of book to read straight through, but to dip into, and in parts it is laugh-out-loud funny. Like the chapter on emotional outbursts (there aren't any) and on using negatives to express positive feelings, like saying, "Not too bad," or "It could be worse" when someone asks how you are. This stoic style also applies to doctors and hospitals ("We pretend we aren't sick until our symptoms are unmistakable...anybody could diagnose us by the time most of us make an appointment. On ...more
Feb 25, 2015 Colette rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, midwest
I would give it to my parents, but I think they wouldn't get the joke. That's how close to home this hit.

Better yet is identifying those who speak Minnesotan around you. Just the other day I heard someone describe a man: "He's an optimist. That's all right, I guess." CLASSIC MINNESOTAN.

But for that person who just doesn't know how to refuse food three times before accepting it, or that good-byes actually last a half hour, this is a great resource into the minds of Midwesterners.
Nov 12, 2007 Martha rated it really liked it
My friends gave me this book right before I went off to college in Minnesota. I read the book and thought it was pretty funny, but quickly discovered how true a lot of is was once I was there. Which, of course, made it even funnier.
Dec 26, 2012 David rated it liked it
Shelves: humor
This was okay. Some of the jokes are good, but the laughs are fewer and further between than I'd hoped.
Karen Korb
Jul 16, 2013 Karen Korb rated it liked it
About The Book: Based in part on material written for "A Prairie Home Companion", How to Talk Minnesotan will help visitors to Minnesota keep from sticking out like sore thumbs when they don't know the difference between "not too bad a deal" and "a heckuva deal". Illustrated with line drawings.

About the Author: A one-time radio script writer, Howard Mohr has become known as the man who translated Minnesotan for the rest of the world. Early in his career, Mohr wrote for Prairie Home Companion, cr
Julie H.
Jan 20, 2013 Julie H. rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
Howard Mohr's How to Talk Minnesotan: A Visitor's Guide is both spot-on accurate and hilarious.

Having only lived in the Land of 10,000 Lakes for five months, I've already observed many of the linguistic and non-verbal cues--as well as the more multi-faceted cultural phenomena tackled here such as the "The Minnesota Long Goodbye." Mohr, self-styled creator of Minnesota Language Sytems, is to be congratulated on providing this useful tool for us non-Minnesotans who visit or relocate to the Gopher
Apr 09, 2012 Amber rated it it was amazing
Shelves: realistic
This book was something I acquired from my great-grandmother. I was quite astounded that someone had written a book like this (because I am from Minnesota) and I noticed that even today, the author was right. Everything he says, even though it sounds funny in the writing, is basically a true account of Minnesotan talking. I just had to smile reading about the lutefisk and casserole! (Which, by the way, is true. We Minnesotans are very fond of our casseroles XD))
Kari Mathias
Apr 06, 2011 Kari Mathias rated it really liked it
Very, very cute. It made me remember why I love Minnesota so much, and why I'm so proud to live in such a enchanting place. I think that the humor is accessible to everyone, but only people from Minnesota will get the special thrill when they see a phrase that they've actually used in a serious conversation. I only gave it four stars, because I don't think I'll read it again, but I loved it.
Aug 31, 2009 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, nonfiction
An offshoot of the glory days of "Prairie Home Companion," this book purports to explain Minnesota culture to the rest of the country. It is subtitled "A Visitor's Guide," and gives examples of local idiom. The humor is not laugh-aloud funny, but more in a gentle style. Still, it's an enjoyable bedtime book, since it can be read a little at a time.
Rachel Heinrich
Oct 19, 2007 Rachel Heinrich rated it really liked it
This is a really cute book. A very dear friend of mine moved to Minniapolis four months ago and brought this home for me on a recent visit. The book is so funny because it's so true! The author, Howard Mohr, has written for A Prairie Home Companion, if that gives you an idea of his humor. I am really enjoying it's simplicity and light-heartedness.
Aug 25, 2014 Pwagner rated it it was ok
I grew up in MN and moved to ND when I was 20. I could relate to what the author said about phrases and the dialect however, North Dakotans say the same things. I really don't think it's a Minnesotan thing but a Midwestern way of life and way of speaking. I thought the book was rather boring and it did not hold my attention.
Feb 11, 2008 Jaclynn rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008
This is a hilarious book! Learn all the ways of what it means to be a true Minnesotan. =P I'm pretty sure some of it isn't true, merely legends and rumors. The ads are pretty funny too. If you want to get a good laugh and
learn a little about the state of Minnesota then you should read this.
Jason Williams
Jul 21, 2010 Jason Williams rated it it was amazing
I picked up this gem at a used book store's going-out-of-business sale that I happened upon almost a decade ago. With my Minnesota roots, this book is an absolute treasure to me.

I still pick it up for reference when I need a quick laugh. The taco recipe was spot on!
Erich Franz Linner-Guzmann
At first I gave this 3 stars because some of it was pretty funny... then I got to thinking that what I thought was funny wasn't all THAT funny and just okay. So, now 2 stars is what it gets. Maybe you just have to be from Minnesota in order to get this humor, hmmm....
Aug 05, 2012 Laurie rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
As a former Minnesotan with relatives in the state, I found this pretty funny because of its accuracy. Mohr's guide goes the way of the Norwegian jokes I grew up with: It's unfunny and odd to those on the outside, but if you're making fun of yourself, well ...
Jan 15, 2009 Megan rated it it was amazing
This book is hilarious! If you are from Minnesota, have ever lived in Minnesota, or know anybody from Minnesota, it is something you will want to check out.

Here's to the "Minnesota Ice" ....errr.....ummm....I mean the "Minnesota Nice"
Angela Joyce
Jul 24, 2012 Angela Joyce rated it really liked it
Shelves: fun
I was given the cassette tape of this many years ago when I nearly moved to Minnesota, and now I've finally read the book. It is gently hilarious and perhaps more universally relevant than some might think.
Nov 06, 2008 Ericka rated it liked it
A visitor's guide to everything you need to know about this great State. Even if you're from Minnesota, it wouldn't hurt you to learn a thing or two. You'll be able to relate and laugh out loud.
May 11, 2013 Elsa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, minnesota
Is this book funny to non-Minnesotans? Probably not, but it is a heckuva book. You might think it's just a little different, but a guy could do a lot worse when selecting reading material. You bet.
Feb 12, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
It was quite humorous and helpful in understanding the MN culture. I thought an update would be fun, and I see there is a new 2013 version. I'll have to check it out!
Lauren (strangled)
Sep 21, 2011 Lauren (strangled) rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
Despite the heckuva good chapter on lutefisk, and I almost laugh every time I read it, it is what it is. It could be worse.
Jan 16, 2008 Jillian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor
Hilarious. I'm a MN from birth through grade school. This book reminds me of my distant relatives now.
Jul 09, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it
Hilarious and accurate. And the half-hour video based on the book is even better!
Apr 11, 2008 Heather rated it really liked it
A necessary read for anyone who has visited or lived in Minnesota. HILARIOUS!
Dec 05, 2015 John rated it it was ok
Shelves: various
Humor? Or a guide to life in Minnesota? Perhaps some of both.
Matt Friedman
Jun 02, 2013 Matt Friedman rated it it was amazing
Very funny, but actually quite informative amid the silliness.
Nov 20, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it
This sounds just like my friends and family! You betcha!
Jan 09, 2009 Hannah rated it really liked it
a friend gave me this-always cracks me up.
Spencer Hill
Dec 13, 2010 Spencer Hill is currently reading it
So far it is a hilarious book. You bet!
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Howard Mohr was a writer and performer for several years on the radio program A Prairie Home Companion. He has since created two long-running musicals based on How to Talk Minnesotan. Twin Cities Public Television filmed a popular award-winning version of Howard’s book in 1991. He lives with his wife in Cottonwood, Minnesota.
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“Two- to four-finger waves are commonly used between fast-moving vehicles, but the nicely executed single-finger wave is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. To me, it perfectly sums up the Minnesota character that I love so much. The finger wave from the steering wheel: when you get it right, you'll know you've arrived and you don't ever have to leave again if you don't want to.” 3 likes
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