Tonight I was IM’ing with a friend who’s favorite saying is “Pull my finger” to which I responded “Uff-da.”   My friend didn’t know what uff-da meant, and accused me of swearing in Norwegian.   So I went to my favorite source, Google, to find the definition of Uff-da in plain simple English.  My source was: http://www.eons.com/groups/topic/355035-The-meaning-of-Uff-Da-

‘UFF DA’ is …
* trying to dance the polka to rock and roll music
* losing your wad of gum in the chicken yard
* having Swedish meat balls at a lutefisk supper
* spending two hours cleaning up my room and mom says “Uff Da”
* walking downtown and then wondering what you wanted
* arriving late at a lutefisk supper and getting served minced ham instead
* looking in the mirror and discovering you’re not getting better, you’re just getting older
* trying to pour two buckets of manure into one bucket
* having a mouse crawl up your leg when you’re on a hay load
* eating hot soup when you’ve got a runny nose
* getting out of bed in the morning with a backache
* getting swished in the face with a cow’s wet tail
* waking yourself up in church with your own snoring
* forgetting your mother-in-law’s first name
* when two steady girlfriends find out about each other
* noticing non-Norwegians at a church dinner using lefse for a napkin
* eating a delicious sandwich and then discovering the spread is cat food
* sneezing so hard that your false teeth end up in the bread plate
* NOT being Norwegian … !

From Wikipedia we have this definition: Uff da is often used in the Upper Midwest as a term for sensory overload. It can be used as an expression of surprise, astonishment, exhaustion, relief and sometimes dismay. For many, Uff da is an all-purpose expression with a variety of nuances, and covering a variety of situations. The expression has lost its original connotation, and it is increasingly difficult to specify what it means now in America. Within Midwestern culture, Uff da frequently translates into: I am overwhelmed. It has become a mark of Scandinavian roots, particularly for people from North DakotaSouth DakotaWisconsinIowa, and Minnesota.[2][3]

Another fun site I found tonight was this free translation tool:


So you can know if someone is indeed swearing at you in another language or if you… nevermind….

2 Replies to “Uff-da”

  1. My Dad used to say Uff-Da (and probably still does). But, he has his own take on it. He’d say “Uff-Da Birdies”. Not sure where he was going with that, but there you go. Now I find myself saying it from time to time…usually when I am picking up something heavy or bending over to grab something off the floor.

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