Uff da (sometimes also spelled huffda, uff-da, uffda, uff-dah, oofda, ufda, ufdah, oofta, or uf daa) is an exclamation of Norwegian origin adopted by Scandinavian-Americans in the 19th century. It is an exclamation that is relatively common in the Upper Midwestern states of the United States.
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 Scandinavian-American culture, Uff da frequently translates into: I am overwhelmed. It has become a mark of Scandinavian roots, particularly for people from Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, northern Illinois, Minnesota, and Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Uff da can often be used as an alternative for many common obscenities.
In Norwegian, uff or huff is an interjection used when something is unpleasant, uncomfortable, hurtful, annoying, sad, or irritating. 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.
The following are some examples of how Uff da has become established in parts of the upper Midwest of the United States, often in a humorous way:
- Uffda store in Red Wing, Minnesota selling various Scandinavian and Minnesotan souvenirs, craft, gifts, and folk art.
- The Uff da Mountain Boys is a band from the Fergus Falls, Minnesota area, playing Scandinavian and bluegrass music.
- New Glarus Brewing Company markets a brand of beer called Uff-da Bock.
- The logo of the Fargo Marathon includes the phrase 26.2 miles ... Uffda!
- Panaracer, a Bicycle tire maker, has a tire type called Uff Da! . It is intended for urban Dirt Jumping use.
- Uff Da Airport (2WI1) is located in Stoughton, Wisconsin.
- A citizens' group called Uff-Da Wal-Mart campaigned against the construction of a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Stoughton, Wisconsin.
- There is an OOVVDA Winery in Springfield, MO that is a homonym for Uff da and is also an acronym - opened in 2005.
- Uff-Da Tacos is a food stand based in the St. Paul exurb of Stillwater that travels to county fairs and other events across the Midwest.
- The Uff Da Mud Run is an athletic event in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
- Uff Da: Norwegian-American expressivity (Tormod Kinnes. The Gold Scales)
- Clark, Jayne (July 25, 2002). "True blue North? You betcha!". USA Today.
- Lovoll, Odd S. The Promise Fulfilled: A Portrait of Norwegian Americans Today (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998)
- "Søk i Bokmåls- og Nynorskordboka". Retrieved 2009-09-19.
- Haugen, Einar Norwegian American Dictionary/Norsk engelsk ordbok (University of Wisconsin. 1985) ISBN 0-299-03874-2
- Writers, John Ewoldt; Lynn Underwood; Staff. "Dollars & sense; What's in store in Red Wing?". Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minn.).
- "Enderlin Independent: North Dakota". Retrieved 2009-09-19.
- Williams-Masson, Ellen (2006-03-15). "New Glarus Brew-haha on Tap". The Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin).
- "2009FargoMarathonNewsletter012009". Archived from the original on February 5, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
- Panaracer Uff Da! 26 x 2.3 Urban Jumping Tire. Panaracer.
- "FAA Information about Uff-da Airport (2WI1)". Retrieved 2009-09-19.
- Williams, Beth. "Stoughton Group Wants Wal-mart Plan Reconsidered". Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI).
- About OOVVDA Winery (OOVVDA)
- "OOf-da Tacos".
- "Uff Da Mud Run". Retrieved 2013-01-06.
- Allen, Harold B. 1973. The Linguistic Atlas of the Upper Midwest, Volume 1. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
- Batt, Al 2007. "Rock Bend Folk Festival", YouTube Al Explains Uff-da.
- Haugen, Einar. 1957. Beginning Norwegian: a grammar and reader. Appleton-Century-Crofts.
- Mohr, Howard. 1987. How to talk Minnesotan : a visitor's guide. New York, NY: Penguin Books.
- Stangland, E. C. (1987). Red Strangland's Norwegian Home Companion. Barnes & Noble. ISBN 1-56619-815-1.
- Stangland, E. C. (May 1988). Uff Da Jokes. Norse Press. ISBN 0-9613274-0-5.
- Lein, Rob. "Vikings bumble in draft? Uff da". Bismarck Tribune (North Dakota).