Photo: RossHelen/Shutterstock

13 Things Only Wisconsinites Truly Understand

by Roger Paige Jan 26, 2017


The only resemblance it has to cheese is the fact that it is made into a block. There has been no recorded use of cheese in its production… ever. It is made from the offal of a butchered swine’s head. Born from the days of survival and nothing going to waste, the head is boiled and the offal removed, ground, and mixed with spices, then generally packed into bread pans to cool and set in a glorious gelatinous block.

Cheese Curds

The cute little white ones located in the refrigerated dairy aisle belong in only two places: your dog’s bowl to ensure a shiny coat and the pie-hole of anyone wearing yoga pants. True cheese curds are battered deep fried cheddar chunks made from local cheddar cheese.


If you’re thinking the things that cover an exotic dancer’s naughty bits you need to get your head out of the gutter. Pasties, pronounced pah-stee not pay-stee, originated as a solution for quick meals miners ate underground during their shift. A gorgeous brown crust enveloping potatoes, beef, pork, and onions. Glorious they are… glorious.

Up North

You are not up north in Wisconsin until you enter the city of Minocqua located on Highway 51. It’s a sort of uncontested line in the sand separating the rest of lower Wisconsin from the wonderland of sleds, skis, ATVs, and boats.


No, this is not a person that chromes out their truck. It’s the unofficial cap of Wisconsin. Made of woven wool, it has a movie classic “Christmas Story” appeal.

Dis, dat, dese and dos

Hey, phonics is amazing. That’s probably why we all took it in grade school. “Dese have got to be da best brats in da county!”

The Frozen Tundra

For nine months of the year this may very well refer to the entire state of Wisconsin, but to natives there is only one true point of reference: Lambeau Field, the home of the Green Bay Packers. The Packers, by the way, are the only publicly owned team in the NFL.


Melting down ingots of metal and forging them into trinkets it is not. In the wee hours of the night during the spring thaw, natives from near and far will grab their buckets, nets, waders, and beer, then head to creeks and rivers along the banks of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan in hopes of dipping their nets into pots of silver fortune. Smelt are small fish, no bigger than six inches, which spawn when the ice thaws on the great lakes. We are not quite sure if we do it for the fish or the partying. They are fried and eaten, bones and all.


A heavy wool woven trouser created for rugged weather and wear. Whether you are working on the farm or sitting in a deer blind, the classic trouser for the men is a Malone.

Er no

Two examples of this little phonetics gem are, “You gonna finish dat, er no”, and, “does dat have cheese in it, er no?” Hey, we need to know you understood the question.

Spotted Cow

Yes they are in our fields but it is also the name of our pride and joy beer. Made by the New Glarus brewing company, and only available for purchase within the dairy land state.


No you hoser, it’s not the sound a balloon makes when violated. It’s what we call soda. You wanna pop, er no?

Ya ey

Toyvo said, “Boy, dat is some great sausage.” To which Gladys replies, “Ya ey?” All replies in Wisconsin require an answer accompanied by a quick check inquiry. Ya ey covers both bases.

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