1. Learn thy lingo.
So you’ve officially fallen in love with a dairyland dime. Wisconsinites have a unique dialect, know these few words and phrases before you meet your future in-laws. Topping the list is…
“Where’s da bubbler?” Your man is thirsty and looking for a water fountain.
“D” is frequently substituted for “th” in conversation. As in, “Wanna go over der” or “you know dem guys?”
“Upnort” is a location, describing a vacation destination for Wisconsinites, usually a lake house in northern Wisconsin. If he says something like “We’re goin’ upnort fer da summer. D’you wanna come with?” Be excited. It means he’s really into you.
2. Know thy fashion.
I’ll bet you didn’t know camouflage is the epitome of function meets fashion. You can hunt in the forest all day, head straight to date night without changing your clothes, and you will likely get a compliment. Camo not your thing? Any Wisconsin sports team jersey is acceptable attire, no matter the occasion, seriously.
3. Kill thy dinner.
Hunting and fishing are family rituals in Wisconsin. Deer season is the time where all the men of the family leave to bunker up together in the forest, in tiny wooden shacks, for days on end. The packing list for this annual ritual is remarkably short: weapons, ammunition, and excessive amounts of alcohol. Be prepared to learn what cleaning a deer means. Hint: there is no shampoo involved.
4. Embrace nature.
Wisconsinites love the great outdoors, rain, shine, sleet, snow, it-hurts-to-breathe cold. Your man can handle the elements and feels great satisfaction when he can provide for you in the wild. Whether it’s setting up the tent, building a campfire, or knowing the trails by heart, your Wisconsin man wants to make you feel like the queen of the woods when you’re roughing it together. Keep him on his toes and take the lead on climbing a tree, or cliff jumping into the depths of Devil’s Lake. Remember the lack of basic sanitation is only temporary, and enjoy the bonding experience.
5. Love thy beer.
Miller, Leininkugels, PBR, and New Glarus are just a few of the well-known breweries that originated in Wisconsin. Chances are your dairyland dreamboat loves the suds — for nearly every occasion. An easy way to impress him is to know your IPAs from your lagers. Better yet, look up “shotgunning a beer” and if you can do it faster than he can, he will put a ring on it faster than greased lightning.
6. Cherish thy cheese.
Not the most hospitable place for the lactose intolerant, cheese makes up more than 57% of the average Wisconsinite’s daily calorie intake. Or so says the internet, but I’d bet that number is higher. While every possible variety makes its way into nearly every meal of the day, nothing is quite as coveted or sophisticated as the amazing baby cheddar cheese curd. The quality of the curd is determined by its “squeakiness,” where the squeakier curd indicates a fresher, better-prepared delicacy. Your sweet ‘Sconnie man will swoon if you can treat him to the best curds he’s never had before.
7. Respect Fishy Friday.
It is deeply rooted in Wisconsin culture to indulge in a fish fry and cold beer at the end of the work week. Nearly every restaurant in the state serves up a version of fried cod, potato pancake, and a side of coleslaw for its Friday special. Embrace the fish and order up a side of ranch while you’re at it. Yep, fish and ranch — it’s a thing.
8. Know thy sports teams.
Face paint, funny cheese hats, and enthusiastic battle songs, ‘Sconnies are the world’s most loyal sports fans. Game day is a sacred day, reserved for tailgating, bratwurst, and beer. (Sense a theme here?) Do yourself a favor and know the game schedules for the Green Bay Packers, the Badgers, and the Brewers and be sure to plan accordingly. If you’re watching the game live, mentally prepare yourself for grown men screaming at a television for 4+ hours.