Big 7 Travel recently conducted a survey of the sexiest accents in the United States, and it looks like people aren’t very fond of Minnesota’s — it landed third-to-last in the results. Behind Minnesota are New Jersey and — the least attractive accent on the list — Long Island, known to some as “Lawngunland.”
On the other side of the list — from sexiest to least sexy — are Texan, Bostonian, and New York. According to Big 7 Travel, most people can’t resist the Texan drawl, which is described as a “Southern accent with a twist.”
The results are from the travel website’s “1.5 million social audience,” although it didn’t go into the reasons why people found certain accents, such as Minnesotan, so unappealing.
What exactly is the Minnesotan accent?
City Pages reports that it’s a variation on the Upper Midwest accent that also appears in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Canada. People familiar with it will probably think of phrases like “Oh ya?” and “You betcha,” but in terms of popular culture, it’s commonly associated with the 1996 black comedy Fargo, which highlighted its ability to express both politeness and disdain depending on the situation.
Colin Hanks, one of the stars of Fargo, told The Wire that, along with the snow and the wood chipper, “everyone remembers the accents.”
— City Pages (@citypages) May 16, 2019
Allison Tolman, who plays Molly Solverson, spoke about how she approaches the accent.
“I remember when I went into the audition I sort of told them, my accent that I’m going to do for this audition is somewhere between Chicago and Canadian, but if I get the job I promise I’ll whittle it down to Minnesota.”
“I’ve been doing a kind of silly version of this accent for years because it was always the accent that I used when I did mom characters when I did sketch comedy—Minnesota mom, kind of like Bobby’s World,” she added.
The actress said that she used a diluted version of that accent during the initial taping.
If you’re looking to talk in a Minnesotan accent yourself, a dialect coach Keely Wolter says you have to focus on “not moving your jaw as much” and keeping tension in the corners of your mouth. This tension — as if you’re smiling when you’re not really happy — is what shapes the mouth to create the Minnesota vowels, per MPR News. And if you’re doing it properly, saying words like “lot,” “cloth” and “thought” should be using the same vowel for each word.