Ope, It’s A Midwestern Thing

Today I decided to do something completely out of the ordinary. Why? Because I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and my sister has been pestering me to do it for the longest time. 😉 Love ya, sis!

This week we are going to dive into the crazy world of the Midwest — the friendliest, most amazing part of the entire country (at least the part where I live is 😇. Certain other parts of the Midwest are rather questionable). Hopefully y’all will enjoy it, because here we go!

1. Ope

Pretty much any true blue Midwesterner has a crazy infatuation with the word “ope”. This is not to be confused with the word “oops”. Actually, we don’t even realize we are saying it usually. It comes as fluently and naturally to us as any other word you would use consistently.

Most people outside the Midwest have no idea what “ope” even means, much less how to use it in a sentence. To be honest, it is one of those words that is hard to teach to someone. Midwesterners just know how to use it correctly.

Let me see if I can explain it a little bit anyway. It doesn’t have an official definition, but it most definitely has certain ways it is used. Some have said the definition is something along these lines: “A Midwestern expression used to show recognition of a mistake or minor accident, often as part of an apology.”

We would say something like, “Ope, sorry about that.”

Or “Ope, no you’re fine.” And of course the phrase in my graphic, “Ope, let me just squeeze right past ya.”

If I had a dollar for every time I said ope, I would be a millionaire. I’m not even joking about that. In fact I say it so much, that my sisters bought me a t-shirt with one of my favorite “ope” phrases — “Ope, sorry.”

2. We Can’t Say Goodbye

If you know anything about Midwesterners, it is that we are infamous for hospitality and for taking about two or three hours to say goodbye.

Growing up in the midwest, you just know that it takes forever to leave someone’s house. Like FOREVER. This is how a typical goodbye in the midwest works:

Person leaving: *slaps hands down on knees* “Whelp, I guess we better get going.”

Then they continue to talk for another hour, before finally making their way to the door. They promptly get distracted again talking about something else. Roughly forty-five minutes later they step out the door onto the porch. And start talking some more. This continues until little by little, and about three hours later, they finally leave.

Yeah, we kinda have a hard time saying goodbye…

The funny thing is that every Midwesterner just automatically knows that this is how a goodbye works. Anything less would just be rude, and that is not how we do things in the Midwest. We aren’t into these “say a quick thank you and leave” sorta goodbyes.

3. We Eat Ranch On Everything

You ain’t from the Midwest if you don’t have a bottle of ranch dressing on hand at all times. Ok, who am I kidding? We keep about five bottles of ranch on hand. Never know when you might run out. 😇

A Midwesterner can tell if you aren’t from their parts when they go over to your house and you have no ranch. Of course being a polite Midwesterner, we would never say anything, but secretly we feel incredibly sorry for you. 😆

Really it’s not just ranch dressing that we love. It’s sauces in general, but ranch is an all time favorite.

Moral of the story: Don’t be messin’ with a Midwesterner’s sauces!

4. We Can Never Trust The Weatherman

Living in the Midwest, you just accept the fact that the weatherman is never accurate. We have the most unpredictable weather in the country. It is not at all odd to have a tornado, sunburn, and frostbite all in the same week. When you live in the Midwest, you learn real fast to dress in layers. You can literally experience every season in one day’s time.

Also, we have wind. A lot of it. You have never experienced wind until you have experienced a Midwest wind. It’s pretty fierce.

Long story short, most of us never check the weather station because they are wrong 99% of the time anyway.

5. We Are Extremely Polite

Midwesterners are infamously down to earth and hospitable. Being polite is all part of how we are raised.

For instance if you go to someone’s house — especially around a meal time — most likely you will be asked the question, “Jeet yet?”. (If you don’t already know, we tend to drop some of our syllables and shorten things into fewer words. “Jeet” is a shortened version of asking someone, “Did you eat?”.) So when you are asked that question, and the answer is no, then be prepared for your host to insist that you let them make you something to eat.

Also if you are in the Midwest, just be prepared for pretty much everyone to be super friendly toward you. Most Midwesterners would totally have a full blown conversation with you in the produce aisle at the grocery store. And if we happen to bump into you or feel like we are in your way, we’ll say ‘ope’, followed by a stream of incredibly polite apologies.


I hope you liked this week’s post! I know that it is a little different than what I usually do, but it’s good to spice things up sometimes.

What are some characteristics that define where you live? Let me know in the comments!

Alyssa,

Hebrews 13:8

12 thoughts on “Ope, It’s A Midwestern Thing

  1. Wow! This was epic, Alyssa! Funny thing, I’m from South Georgia…and we do the exact. same. things. Whelp is commonly heard (and goodbyes are basically futile because they. never. end), we learned the hard way not to trust the weatherman, and for some reason I say ope all the time (and had no idea how to spell it, so thank you)!

    And, of course, ranch should be a household ingredient EVERYWHERE. Ranch on chicken, ranch on pizza, ranch on blueberry muffins…actually, I need to try that sometime! XD

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So I’ve never heard of the first one (I live on the Eastern part of the Midwest), but I can TOTALLY relate to number two, four, and five. I can’t stand ranch; it gives me a headache, though I can eat homemade ranch.
    -Lilly

    Liked by 1 person

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