How Well Do You Know Midwest Slang?

How Well Do You Know Midwest Slang?
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About This Quiz

The Midwest is one the least politically predictable parts of the United States. It's a blend of different communities, some of them extremely diverse and others more monochrome. In the Midwest, some of America's most important cities swim in a sea of corn. The Midwest has some of the most economically vibrant parts of the nation, with cities like Chicago and Cleveland where the opportunities just keep growing. It's also tragically home to many of the towns most ravaged by the economic downturns of the last generation, as the industrial manufacturing base that once provided the economic engine of the region was outsourced to the Far East and elsewhere. On the upside, new technologies like renewable energy and the rise of the internet have brought new jobs and businesses to the region.

Despite the variety of people within the region, there are some slang terms that cover several Midwestern states, or perhaps even all of them. They're sometimes used in other parts of the USA, but many are specific to the Midwest alone. That means you'll need to know them if you want to travel or even move there and make yourself understood. It's time to check your Midwestern slang knowledge. Let's get started!

What do Midwesterners say should be knee high by the Fourth of July?
Corn
Corn should be knee high by the Fourth of July so that you can harvest it on time. Plus, it looks good in the barbecue pictures!
People
Knees
New houses

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What do Midwesterners call a tiny freshwater lobster?
Lobsterette
Teeny fishie
Shelly-fish
Crawdads
Crawdads are freshwater crayfish. They look like sea lobsters but they are much smaller. They are just as yummy, though.

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How do Midwesterners say "tough luck"?
Baddest fate!
Tough tomatoes!
Tough tomatoes are bad luck because tomatoes shouldn't be tough. It means you picked them before they were ripe, which is a shame.
Foul fortune!
Sigh, sigh.

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What do Midwesterners call the living room?
Great room
Front room
It's a term that will be understood in most of the USA. However, "front room" is mostly only used in the Midwest.
Drawing room
Big room

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What do Midwesterners call a casserole?
Casserolly
Hotdish
Hotdish is a kind of casserole that has a mushroom cream sauce. You can vary the other ingredients according to what you prefer. One of the classics uses tater tots.
Cassoulet
Pot

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What do Midwesterners call a traffic signal?
Greenlight
Lighttastic
Stop/go light
It's a light that tells you when to stop, and when to go. Thus, it's a stoplight or a golight!
Haltlight.

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What do Midwesterners call a game played at summer barbecues?
Soccer
Cornhole
Cornhole is a bit like boules mixed with hackeysack. It's a summer game played on a lawn at parties in the region.
Skip rope
Jumping jacks

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What do Midwesterners call the bathroom?
Restroom
A restroom is a gender-neutral and entirely G-rated way of saying you need a bathroom. It will also be understood across the rest of the USA.
Washer
Ladies'
Powder room

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What do Midwesterners call a harmless little insect that lights up?
Firebug
Lightning bug
A lightning bug is actually the same thing as a firefly. However, in the Midwest, it has this even more awesome name. Fortunately, it's just pretty and doesn't bite.
Fireflies
Stormbug

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What do Midwesterners say to indicate that someone is very drunk?
Bladdered
Schnookered
If you're schnookered, you're very drunk. This is reminiscent of how, in snooker, you are possibly unable to function if you are in fact snookered.
Sauced
Legless

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What do Midwesterners call a yard sale?
Rummage sale
A rummage sale is what you do when you're thinning out the useless things in your house. It's a great way to get rid of stuff you don't need and remember that your trash may be somebody's treasure!
Estate sale
Curbside sale
Sidewalk sale

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What do Midwesterners call it when you win enough meat to feed your family for some time?
Meat prize
Meat raffle
This is a tradition from local farmers' markets and fairs. It's not very common these days, which is a shame.
Meat win
Meat-eor

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What do Midwesterners call a vacuum cleaner?
Sweeper
A sweeper is a vacuum cleaner. It's really a fancy modern broom, hence the origin of the name.
Sucker
Duster
Hoover

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What do Midwesterners call a carbonated beverage?
Fizz
Soda
Coke
Pop
Pop doesn't just mean Coke, Sprite or any specific drink. It's the generic term for any fizzy or soft drink in the region.

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What do Midwesterners say when they see a car with a missing headlight?
Hurrah!
Uh-oh!
Padiddle!
This nonsense word is part of a local superstition. You're supposed to say it while you pat the roof of the car. Last one to do this is in trouble
Light's out!

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How do Midwesterners say, "Put that away"?
Shove that!
Put that up!
It's similar to "put up or shut up". If you put something up, you've put it away - which ironically means you probably had to put it down too!
Be leaving that.
Ditch it!

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What do Midwesterners call literally everyone?
Y'all
Guysies
Peeps
You guys
This is a gender-neutral expression that people all over the US understand. It's most common in the Midwest, however.

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What do Midwesterners call a chocolatey-peanutty rice cereal snack?
Puppy chow
Puppy chow is not dog food. It's a regional snack involving rice, peanut butter, chocolate and a lot of deliciousness.
Nosh
Nibble
Crumbs

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How do Midwesterners pronounce caramel?
CAR-a-mel
Car-A-mel
CAR-mel
Caramel has only two syllables in the Midwest, with the first being emphasized. It tastes the same however you say it, of course!
Car-MEL

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What do Midwesterners call a pointless prediction that won't be accurate?
Prophecy
Forecast
A forecast usually just means the weather. In Indiana in particular, it means a prophecy that is not going to come true.
Dummy
Nonsense

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What do Midwesterners call a delicious Polish donut?
Beignet
Paczki
This delicious snack or dessert is basically the same as a donut. However, its name shows the Midwest's strong Eastern European cultural legacy.
Polnut
Potter

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What do Midwesterners say to indicate they've made a mistake?
Ope!
This is a contraction of "oops". It's what a Midwesterner says to indicate that they realize they have screwed up!
Oy!
Ding!
Duh!

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What do Midwesterners call a traditional hotdog with chili, mustard, and onion?
Coney dog
A coney can mean a rabbit or an island off New York City. It also means a particular kind of hotdog!
Doggone
Big dog
Standard dog

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What do Midwesterners call a big inter-state road?
Motorway
Expressway
It's an interstate, a highway, or a freeway elsewhere in the USA. But in the Midwest, it's an expressway!
Highway
Freeway

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What do Midwesterners call a pastry filled with meat?
Pasty
In the UK, a pasty is the same thing as it is in the Midwest. It isn't the rather cheeky thing that a New Yorker might think it means!
Meatie
Pastrification
Pie

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What do Midwesterners call the grassy strip between the sidewalk and the street?
Devil's strip
The devil's strip is named because it belongs to no one. One of the things that makes froniter life work - which the Midwest once was - is knowing who owns what, so you don't fight over it and someone takes care of it. Hence, unclaimed land is a place bad things happen.
Sidegrass
Grassacre
Grass line

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What do Midwesterners call shoes that you wear for sporting purposes?
Shoesies
Gym shoes
Gym shoes are the shoes you wear at the gym. Of course, these days you might wear them almost anywhere.
Sneakers
Heels

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What do Midwesterners call the game "duck, duck, goose"?
Duck, duck, chicken.
Duck, duck, more duck.
Duck, duck, gray duck.
This is mainly a Minnesota term. It's a more literal translation of the original Swedish name of the game.
Duck, lion, wombat!

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What do Midwesterners call a public water dispenser?
Fizzer
Fountain
Tap
Bubbler
A bubbler is just a water fountain, anyplace else. In the Midwest, it has a much more fun name!

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What do Midwesterners say to express surprise?
Uff da!
It comes from a Norwegian expression meaning "goodness me!" This is most common in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Huzzah!
Whoa!
Wow!

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What do Midwesterners say to indicate that something is very adorable?
Oh, for cute!
"Oh, for cute" is similar in construction to a variety of other Midwest sayings. For example, if something is very fun, you might say "Oh, for fun!"
Cutie-patootie!
Cutest-est!
Cuterama!

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How does a Midwesterner ask you if you have already had a meal?
Y'all eat?
You nosh?
Jeet?
Just say "did you eat" quickly enough and eventually you will get to "jeet?" If a Midwesterner is trying to feed you, this is what they'll say.
You hungry?

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What do Midwesterners call an elastic cord used to tie back hair?
Scrunchie
Tieback
Hair binder
A hair binder is the same thing as a hair tie. It's just a slightly more descriptive way of saying the same thing!
Rope

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What do Midwesterners mean if they say someone has "the holler tail"?
They're sick.
There's an old superstition in the area that cows that were sick literally had hollow tails. Hence, a holler tail is what you have if you're not well.
They're dying.
They're a liar.
They're ugly.

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What do Midwesterners say to invite you someplace?
Come with?
Leaving out a few keywords is a regional idiosyncrasy. Don't worry if you don't remember the missing word after a while; people will understand you.
Wanna come?
Let's go!
Come with me!

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