If you've never lived outside the Land of 10,000 Lakes, you probably don't even realize how much us Minnesotans actually use this word.

Now, I've only lived in Minnesota for about six years, and yet I've found myself saying this word quite a bit. (Which leads me to believe that, much like the 'Minnesota Goodbye,' this word is also popular outside Minnesota in other upper Midwest states, like Wisconsin.)

It's a word us Minnesotans say in place of saying the phrase, 'excuse me.' It's almost more of a sound than a word, actually. It's "ope!" and we here in Minnesota use it a lot-- especially when you've just bumped into someone at the store, at U.S. Bank Stadium, or in the subway level at Mayo Clinic.

I've found  myself saying things like "Ope! Sorry about that-- let me get out of your way!" while I've inadvertently bumped into someone while browsing the craft beer section at Andy's or Apollo Liquor.

Or, "Ope! Just gonna' sneak right past ya here..." when you're browsing the aisles at Target for a new pair of winter gloves.

And I'm not the only one to notice our use of "ope!" either. CityPages in Minneapolis did a story about our use of "ope!" a few just last week.

"There is no denying Minnesota's near-ubiquitous replacement for the (actual) words 'Excuse me,' and indeed, we have come to embrace our vocabulary inheritance as something of a point of pride. Don't even bother making fun of us, world! If you will -- ope! -- excuse us, we will gladly make fun of ourselves," the story noted.

So, yeah. Ope! Just gonna leave this right here for ya. Do you use the phrase 'Ope!"?


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