Uff da

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Norwegian-Texan mug

Uff da (sometimes also spelled huffda, uff-da, uffda, uff-dah, oofda, ufda, ufdah, oofta, or uf daa) is an exclamation or interjection expressing bafflement, surprise, or dismay. Of Norwegian origin, the phrase was brought by Scandinavian Americans in the Upper Midwest, New England, and Pacific Northwest regions of the United States during the 19th century. The Swedish exclamation oj då is similar in meaning and usage.

North American usage[edit]

Uff da can be used as an expression of surprise, astonishment, exhaustion, relief and sometimes dismay. Within Scandinavian-American culture, Uff da frequently translates to: "I am overwhelmed", somewhat similar to the Yiddish phrase oy vey. The phrase has become a marker of Scandinavian heritage, particularly for people from Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Wisconsin, northern Illinois, Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and Western Washington.[citation needed] Rutland, ND holds an annual October Uffda Day Scandinavian food festival with parade that was a date on the state political calendar in 2018.[1] Uff da can often be used as an alternative for many common obscenities.[2]

Norwegian usage[edit]

In Norwegian, uff or huff is an interjection used when something is unpleasant, uncomfortable, hurtful, annoying, sad, or irritating.[3] Uff da is most often used as a response when hearing something lamentable (but not too serious), and could often be translated as "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that".[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Martin, Jonathan, "Court Battle Shifts the Political Terrain for Senators in the Heartland", New York Times, October 7, 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  2. ^ Lein, Rob. "Vikings bumble in draft? Uff da". Bismarck Tribune. Bismarck, North Dakota. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  3. ^ "Søk i Bokmåls- og Nynorskordboka". Retrieved 2009-09-19.
  4. ^ Haugen, Einar (1985). Norwegian English dictionary : a pronouncing and translating dictionary of modern Norwegian [Bokmål and Nynorsk], with a historical and grammatical introduction. University of Wisconsin. ISBN 0-299-03874-2. OCLC 810529510.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]