You Betcha!

I usually return at least once a year to my home state (place where I was born) of Minnesota. Although I love living in beautiful Los Angeles, California, there are things that only Minnesota can offer (can give you; can provide). One thing is great-tasting corn. August is a wonderful time for sweet corn in the Midwest (the middle, central part of the U.S.), and if you are lucky as I was yesterday to be driving out near the farming areas in the country (outside of the city where few people live), you can stop at a roadside stand (a small place where food is sold next to the highway or street) to buy some freshly (newly; recently) picked (removed from the plant) corn.

I stopped and bought some corn that had been picked only a few hours earlier. As you may know, sweet corn is best eaten (will taste the best) when it is cooked soon after it is picked. Naturally (of course), I went immediately to the place where I was staying back in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul, the main cities in the state) and cooked it. It was perhaps the best corn on the cob I’ve ever eaten. (The cob is the hard, round, long part of the plant that holds the corn, as in the photo above.)

Another thing Minnesota is famous for is its particular vocabulary and pronunciation. (I’ve lost almost all of my “Minnesota accent” in the past 20 years since moving to California.) Minnesotans have a very distinct (unusual; noticeable) accent compared to other places in the U.S., especially when they pronounce their “o’s.” The “o” in Minnesotan (the language of the people in Minnesota) is long (like the “o” in “soda” or “toe”) and drawn out (pronounced for a long time), so the word “Minnesota” sounds like “Minnesoooooota.” To hear a good example of Minnesotan, watch the movie Fargo, which is about people living in northern Minnesota. (Fargo is actually a city in North Dakota, a state to the west of Minnesota, but don’t worry about that).

Minnesotans also have certain terms or words they use that are different from what people in other states say. They say “pop” instead of “soda” for drinks like Coke and Pepsi. They call a casserole (a kind of thick stew cooked slowly in the oven) a “hotdish.” And they like to use the phrase, “You betcha!” (or simply, “You bet!”). You betcha (the “cha” is a combination of the “t” sound of “bet” and the word “you”) can mean “You’re welcome,” so if you thank a Minnesotan for helping you with something, he or she would say “You betcha!” You betcha can also mean “Of course,” “You’re right,” or indicate you completely agree with the other person. If you said, “Lucy Tse is a wonderful writer,” a Minnesotan who knew Lucy would say, “You betcha!”

So am I going to have some more corn today for dinner?  You betcha!


Photo credit: Wikipedia PD-US

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17 Responses to You Betcha!

  1. Talal says:

    well, we have this problem also Dr.Jeff, I am from Libya originally but, in the moment I live in Greece (Athens) because my father works here in Libyan embassy as a diplomat, but we has some difficulty of communicating with other Arabians because simply we have 22 countries I think , as you probably know , Egypt accent, Kuwait accent and Syria accent, Tunisia accent …etc, so how about if u have 50 states roughly, I dont blame u even if u completely dont understand a local accent. because I know I do, but , dont u think that we should do something about this phenomenon ..!!, for America this is not a problem but for us , we may need an interpreter or translator in the near future. so if we ESLPodcast listeners go there to the united states , and travel from one place to another . do u think that we will have problem with your various accent ???
    you betcha !!!


    I think this is a global problem and soution will never have. English language in USA is very different to english from the UK. Spanish language has no comparision between different nations that speak it; more, within the same country, Colombia for example where i am, there are many ways, according to the region, to pronunce that is varied and so is very easy to know where each person is

  3. Peter says:

    Hi Jeff

    could u tell me the difference between court and trial
    down here we use trial for trafic violation so this conclude that we use court for serious violation of law
    but family disputes or fuels are typically setelled through court apperaences not trials
    that is the part that throws me off
    could you indulge us

  4. Peter says:

    I personally believe American English is a fraction of British English

    it is a known fact that British English is more sophisticated and , in a way, more compelte

    By that I mean British way of speech is more allogant and figurative

    Believe you me

    take the word get away from American; soon after they start crying :))))))

    Jeff still you are my God
    sorry no offence just it is funny as hell

  5. Peter says:

    I have been living in Canada ling enough that I understand Americans fully even while I m asleep

    but still have problems comprehending British

    put on a British movie for me but don’t dare to ask me about trAnslating the dialogs because I am as clueless

  6. Fabio says:

    Here in Brazil we have different accent in some regions, specially when you move to the north, south, countryside or some regions near the sea. For us isn’t a problem at all but like Talal wrote maybe will be impossible to understand each other in an near future. Jeff I liked that story about corn. As I kown The USA is the most important market of corn industry. They produce 350 milions tons per year! For that huge culture is necessary an enormous army and transport systems. I’d like to see my country growing in that direction one day. And about American English and Brithish English, I prefer American English because is more easy for me to undestant and I thing in Canada they talk in an way that you can understand very well.
    Have a nice weekend
    Fabio Bastos

  7. emiliano says:

    Yes, I have to laugh when I remember this film “Fargo” despite is so brutal but it´s the way of the Cohen Brothers of making films.
    I saw the movie again last june, but in this occasion I was watching to the movie thinking at the same time “this is the land of Jeff”……brurrrrr… and snow everywhere.
    It´s freezy, so much cold, I couldn´t see any three the the frozzen land I was seeing in the movie, where are the threes? and the
    mountains?, I know there must be, but in the movie it´s like a depressive frozzen flat land or frozzen lakes.
    I told Cuca: Seeing this movie I know why Jeff left their home land and went to the beautiful city of Los Angeles, California.

    But the story don´t stop here.

    Last July we shaw “New in Town” with Renée Zellweger, Harry Connick, and it´s about a woman who has go go to a little town
    named “New Ulm” in Minnesota. She is coming from Miami, so warm, and appeared in the most coldest land of the earth.
    The town is full of friendly peculiar people who probably said to her “you betcha¡ but she wanted to disapear as soon as possible
    from the cold city.
    Also in the movie all people said to her something about religion and God every moment, and she is astonished all the time.
    Coming from a big city like Miami to a little town like that with so odd friendly people is too much to her who wanted to came back
    to Miami at the four or five day.

    Her mission in the plot is to fire people from a “food factory” or just to close it, little by little she is delighted with people of the land, the city and their “you betcha’ every moment at the end she found her love in Minnesota, despite so much cold, and return from the worm Miami to “New Ulm” the coldest city of the world to star a new life fighting against
    the ice and the frozen wind…. six months by year or even more time.

    It´s not a good movie, just a little silly comedy but it´s interesting as we could see the land of our dear teacher Jeff, who just
    did the contrary of this girl and stablished his real in our beautiful city of Los Angeles, California.
    A big, very big, contrast.
    Seeing these movies (“North Country” with Charlize Theron….”so incredible gorgeous woman” and good actress by the way……
    is another movie made and about Minnesota) I do really understand you Jeff.

    You betcha¡

  8. emiliano says:

    Sorry, another thing…….

    Frequently I use to listen to the radio by Itunes, and to the station of “The Minnesota Classic Music” that is really very very good.
    Everyone may find it in Classic Radio Music of Itunes Radio, but the most agreeable thing it´s that when the speakers talk you could
    understand them very well, as we are accustomed to listen to our dear teacher Jeff.
    The music is marvellous and the accent of the voices are familiar to us, just quite a good option listening good classical music
    and Minnesota English accent.

    You betcha¡

  9. Tania says:

    Hi! Thank you for accessing of the MattTrailer the best movies. It’s a novelty for me. I have to watch the movie Fargo and those mentioned by Emiliano.

  10. Tania says:

    Hi! Is it your annual vacation? I like the sweet freshly picked corn very much , too.

  11. Fernando says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Im from Mexico.

    This is the first time I post a comment in your blog, since almost 2 years ago I’ve been listening your podcasts and I think they are great! Regarding the accents in your language, Im always wondering about the pronounciation of the letter R among the Americans and Britains, for example: Better, Water, letter etc. Why is so different?

    Other topic related to letter R is when you pronounce it in a smooth way or in a stronger way. One day I asked to a US citizen about this and he told me that he didn’t realize about it.

    For me, one of the difficult accents I’ve heard is from the people living in texas, for example the accent of the president Bush.

    Thanks for your effort teaching english!!

  12. Tania says:

    Hi! I watch the 5th Anniversary Video Podcast every day. And a lot of ads appear every day – music, stars, jokes, including new addresses for learning English.
    I am not an Eminem’s fan but I like Eminem – Superman. The lyrics are too tough, slang.
    Oh, Dr. Jeff ! Album The Eminem Show uncensured? It’s August and we are in vacation.

  13. emiliano says:

    Listening aloud to the PodCast 602 what I can say about it is that I like specially this lesson, so interesting as all of them ……but I would like to ask you Jeff right away a question…..why don´t you like cats?.

    Did they do something to you in the past? or were you jealous of them when you were a child?….cats don´t bark as neighbour´s dog.
    Tell us the truth if it is possible.

    By the way I have one at home with the name of “Gatufo”, I told all of you about him before, the cat loves to be here with me listening to you Jeff when you are telling us the lessons, your voice is so nice to him….yes you betcha¡ and Gatufo likes Lucy´s voice too because if he is doing something in other room he comes inmediately to my studio when Lucy´s voice started in the lessons.
    Well, to me Lucy and Jeff voices are like music, so often they are aloud in the pc., “Gatufo” listening and Cuca asking me about something she thinks it´s has been posssible for her to understand.
    Yes, we have lot of fun at home.
    The best of all is when I pick up the phone and Jeff is talking very high, everyone asked me ……what´s happening? who is that voice?
    are your emiliano?…., yes, I am but you are listening to my english teacher Jeff, I like to reply.
    This is a good method to get more friends to the ESL PodCast., as everyone in Spain wants to learn English.
    …and where is he coming from? they asked, from the web in USA L.A. California, he is the best teacher of the world I said to them……
    From two months or more I am listening to the lessons aloud, but now I´m thinking in doing this through all the next year, a good way of
    learning and getting friends to our PodCast.
    Also it should be possible to the kitten to learn English?…..who knows?

    Jeff if you could see my cat listening to you it would be sure that you like this little Gatufo by all means.

  14. Karl, Austria says:

    American English is heavily influenced by hundreds of years of immigration. All immigrants contributed new words and phrases to their new country. So it’s no wonder, that nowadays some British regard AE as a second language.

  15. Talal says:

    I have the same attitude like you emiliano when I listen to ESLPod in the morning, but instead of a little kitten, I have a toy kitten( or used to have it since my childhood), but apparently she doesnt like English because she cant speak a word, she doesn’t speak Arabic too, hahaha. anyway , I sip green tea while I am listening, usually in the balcony, we have a good view especially in the early morning, it is spectacular, with Dr.Jeffs first voice I hear in the day , everything runs smoothly the entire day. keep up the good work Dr.Jeff . and I would like to point out that you have a talent in acting, when I first saw the 5th anniversary video, I like it a lot especially the part that when Dr. lucy (the boss) called you , in that scene, your natural talent just flooded, you showed a lot of expressiveness. anyway ,
    best regards to all of you guys especially emilianos smart kitten .

  16. Kuong Do says:

    I love the USA’s cities.

  17. Farahnaz says:

    Hi, Jeff
    In my country Iran there are some languages for example Farsi, Turkish, Arabic, Kordish and a lot of accent and dialect, but Farsi is the main language which everyone knows in all over my country. In some cities people speak in Farsi with beautiful and funny accent. If you speak with someone who comes from another city, immediately you’ll recognize where he/ she comes from. Furthermore their accents don’t affect on the meaning of their words, it’s easy to understand them.
    By the way I love corn especially which is roasted over a fire. It’s delicious.
    Lucky you Jeff,
    “You betcha”

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