7 Common Reactions to Revealing You Come From North Dakota

When Eric Sevareid used to tell people he came from North Dakota, he said they would merely nod politely and change the subject.  Now I’ve had enough experience to know that this event does not always occur so unremarkably.  Here’s a list of common reactions I’ve heard when telling someone I come from North Dakota. I’ve included my snarkiest replies and categorized them for future reference (you know, just in case you need to refer back to them). But if you come up with some of your own reactions and replies, please add them in the comments. I could always use a few new retorts.

Variations in Disbelief

  • Really? [spills beer from open mouth]
    Yes, I sometimes forget to warn people about that.
  • Really.  Yeah, sure – very funny…  [skeptical eyebrows]
    Damn – that one usually works.  Next time I’ll say Mars – at least people will know I can’t be serious about that one.
  • Really?? [amazement]
    Yes, Son of Jor-El, now KNEEL BEFORE NOD (AK)!


  • Wow – North Dakota, huh?  What’s that like?
    Like…um I dunno like its kind of like, uh, like a state – u know wut i mean?  and we’ve got like people and the internet and like roads and stuff.  its cold sumtimes but like kinda hot sometimes LOL.  i dunno u should just like read us on Wikipedia or sumthin!  lolololol
  • Oh.  Isn’t it cold there?
    That’s about as informative as asking “Doesn’t it have weather?”  But maybe that is impressive when you come from LA.


  • Huh, I’ve never met anyone from there before!
  • Huh, for some reason, I never really imagined people were actually from there.
    Was the article in National Geographic that confusing?

So ridiculous they don’t merit a response:

  • So…do you guys still ride around on horses/pull covered wagons/live in log cabins/etc.?
  • So…you’re Canadian?
  • You know, I’ve actually been there before.  Mount Rushmore is awesome, isn’t it?

Just FYI:


About Jeremy T. Bold

Librarian (sometimes anArchivist) Intelligent and outgoing (sometimes ridiculous ;) Capable of entertaining faculty, students and the general public. Skills in multimedia print, audio, and video productions. And I like Catz. Yes, the animalz; I've never seen the musical. View all posts by Jeremy T. Bold

One response to “7 Common Reactions to Revealing You Come From North Dakota

  • Elizabeth S

    The two that I get most often are “That’s the only state I’ve never visited” and “Mount Rushmore, right?” Now that I live in Australia, I just tell people I’m from the Canadian border. Australians are under the mistaken impression that nobody would ever want to live in Australia unless they were from really awful places. North Dakota meets that requirement in their minds.

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