Minnesota Nice

What is Minnesota nice?

Reserved politeness and friendliness

Minnesota nice is a stereotype applied to people who are reserved, polite, friendly, and non-confrontational. The term comes from Minnesota (usage of the term dates back to at least 1986 in the state's Star Tribune newspaper), where many residents exhibit this behavior, partially due to their passive Scandinavian background.

A major tenet of Minnesota nice is being friendly in public and helpful to someone in need. For example, Minnesota nice is helping remove snow from a person's driveway or rallying around a grieving family by sending over hot dishes.

However, Minnesota nice generally does not mean people want to be friends. For example, if your neighbor snow blows your driveway and you want to thank them by inviting them over for dinner, they will reject you at least three times before maybe accepting your kindness back.

The not-so-nice parts of Minnesota nice

While Minnesota nice has positive qualities, there are downsides, as well. For example, some argue that Minnesota nice is a facade. In these cases, people are two-faced, which means they are nice to you in person, but then complain about or insult you behind your back. Some people also argue that Minnesota nice often leads to passive-aggressiveness to avoid confrontation and not to appear "un-nice."


I was up north and my boat stalled out next to someone's dock. Thankfully, they towed me back to my cabin
Gotta love that Minnesota nice
Yup. Before I could offer them money or a drink, they had taken off

Related Slang


Updated April 17, 2023

Minnesota nice definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the slang term "Minnesota nice" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

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