Expression of dismay, surprise, or relief
35 was backed up all the way to Hinckley, which made our trip to Duluth 2 hours longer than it should have been.
Uff da. At least you had nice weather!
|Oof||Exclamation of pain or embarrassment|
|Ope||Expression of surprise|
|Whoa||Expression of surprise|
|Woah||Expression of surprise|
|SAT||Sorry about that|
|SBT||Sorry 'bout that|
|Minnesota goodbye||A drawn-out goodbye|
Uff da (typically pronounced "oof duh") is a verbal expression that people in the Upper Midwest of the U.S. often use. They may use it in many contexts, but it is typically reserved for reacting to something sad ("Oh, I'm sorry to hear that"), surprising ("Oh, wow"), or relieving ("Oh, that's great to hear").
For example, if your friend shares that her dog just died, you might reply, "Uff da. How are you doing?" Or, if your mom shares that your uncle's cancer results came back negative, you might respond with, "Uff da. I'll share that with the rest of the family." While most Midwesterners, like Minnesotans, use uff da in real life (IRL), you might also see them use it in messages, emails, and on social media.
Origin of uff da
The slang term "uff da" originated from various Scandinavian languages, including Swedish (e.g., "och då"), Norwegian, and Danish, and is mixed with the phonetic spelling of the oof sound people may make when surprised. Most people that use uff da have some remnant of American-Scandinavian ancestry or grew up in the Upper Midwest with others who often uttered it.
Uff da spelling variations
While uff da is typically pronounced the same way when spoken, there are many ways to spell it. Some variations include uffda, uff-da, uff-dah, ufda, ufdah, uf daa, oof-da, oofda, oof-dah, oofdah, and huffda.