Is Ewan McGregor right? Is the Minnesota accent 'bonkers'?

The actor made the claim while accepting a Golden Globe for his role on Fargo.

What happened? 

Ewan McGregor won a Golden Globe award for his performance in Fargo, playing Minnesotan brothers Emmit and Ray Stussy.

During his acceptance speech, McGregor thanked a co-worker for helping him with that "bonkers accent."

"Bonkers," if you didn't know, if British slang for "crazy."


I know, right? McGregor is one to talk given he speaks with a strong, Scottish twang (although Scottish accents are very popular among Americans).

That said, Brits tend to think of New Yorkers, Californians and Texans when they hear the term "American accent," dontcha know? 

As such it's quite likely that Fargo has been most non-Americans' first experience of Minnesotan 

Does he have a point? 

If you've ever carried out repairs on your ruff, or pulled up some rutts from your yard, you're talking Minnesoootan.

Some have thicker accents than others, head into rural Minnesota and you're going to find a whole lot more "yahs," "oh geezes," "hons," "oh fer cutes" and "for Pete's sakes" than you will in the Twin Cities.

And while Minnesota embraces its Scandinavian/German-influenced pronunciations, it nonetheless sounds unusual to first-timers from outside the upper Midwest.

McGregor himself said last year it was "the hardest accent I've ever done," while a survey by Business Insider a few years ago found that Minnesota ranked as the fourth-weirdest accent in America, based on a survey of other Americans.

The Pioneer Press spoke to accent expert John Spartz and found that while it's not just confined to Minnesota (Wisconsin and the Dakotas get some of it too), the Minnesota accent and dialect is pretty unique for America.

It's taken phrases like Uff Da directly from Scandinavian, as well as "come with" – a German/Scandinavian-derived conjugation – that sounds "very odd to people in other parts of the country," Spartz said.

How is Minnesota reacting?

Ever the defensive state, needless to say many Minnesotans reacted when McGregor made his (probably not that controversial) claim.

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