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Old 03-03-2011, 05:41 PM
221 posts, read 934,242 times
Reputation: 372


I started writing this as a reply to the "favorite MN towns outstate" post, then decided it made more sense to start a new thread.

I moved to Northern Minnesota from another state 5 years ago.

During Minnesota's sesquicentennial I tried to get an artist from St. Paul to come up to do a program at my school. She said to me "I'm only going to two places 'outstate'. I was so confused - why was she going to Wisconsin or Iowa or California or wherever for a sesquicentennial program???

I've since learned that the term means "anywhere in Minnesota except the Twin Cities".

As far as I know, only Twin Cities people say "Outstate". I've never ever heard anyone use that term up here.

I find it a kind of offensive term. Does anyone else?

And where exactly are the borders between the Twin Cities and "Outstate"?

Old 03-03-2011, 06:07 PM
10,630 posts, read 22,239,760 times
Reputation: 6661
I've heard people get offended, but honestly don't see why it's offensive. People also often call the Twin Cities "the Cities," and it's rarely the people who live IN the Twin Cities -- just the people who live elsewhere (or perhaps those who grew up elsewhere and got used to it there), which is equally weird. I think it's just a regional fluke. Many states have their own equivalents. As far as borders, that depends on who you ask.
Old 03-03-2011, 06:14 PM
Location: New Hope, MN
2,027 posts, read 4,088,189 times
Reputation: 802
I started that thread and I've never lived in the twin cities(yet, unless you count St. Cloud or Annandale as part of the twin cities)
I don't mean it to be offensive, I just use it to mean anywhere outside of the Twin Cities area. What exactly is offensive about it to you? I said favorite outstate towns because I was referring to what are your favorite cities/towns in Minnesota that aren't in the twin cities.
I love the entire state, The twin cities and everywhere from Southern Minnesota all the way north.
Old 03-03-2011, 06:44 PM
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 10,895,118 times
Reputation: 3156
I don't think "outstate" is offensive, but I only use it when talking to people from the Cities. To me, there's the Twin Cities, and then there's Minnesota.

As far as the boundaries, I'd say anything far outside of the Twin Cities metro. St. Cloud is not outstate, Mankato is maybe outstate (but not really), Marshall and Duluth are definitely outstate.
Old 03-03-2011, 08:06 PM
10,630 posts, read 22,239,760 times
Reputation: 6661
I'm assuming that the reason some take offense is because it divides Minnesota into two, with the Twin Cities being essentially placed at the center (since everything not "in" would apparently be the "out"). I don't think it's meant to be offensive, though, and as kazoopilot demonstrates, there are probably just as many people who think that only the "outstate" Minnesota is the "real" Minnesota.

I'm from Minneapolis and haven't lived elsewhere in Minnesota, so from that perspective I'd say anything outside of the metro area is "outstate." I'm not sure where those boundaries fall, but if it feels rural or small town then I'd say it's not metro area. Northfield is outstate. New Prague is outstate. Even Hastings would be outstate. St. Cloud is outstate. I suppose there would be degrees of "outstate", with any town or city close enough to the Twin Cities to be home for people working Twin Cities jobs isn't fully "outstate," although I wouldn't consider those areas to be truly metro area, either.

I would agree (if this is another point of soreness) that to simply divide Minnesota into everything that is Twin Cities and everything that is not does not adequately reflect the diversity of regions found within the state.
Old 03-03-2011, 08:16 PM
20,793 posts, read 51,040,221 times
Reputation: 10438
I've never heard of anyone being offended by the area outside of the "Cities" being called "outstate". Everyone I know that lives "outstate" refers to the Twin Cities as 'the cities'.
Old 03-03-2011, 09:30 PM
Location: MN
3,755 posts, read 7,698,481 times
Reputation: 1726
It's often called 'outstate' or 'greater Minnesota'.

I'm not sure why. I have lived 'outstate' and while I was 'outstate' I rarely ever heard the term let alone got offended by it. Not sure why it would be offensive either....

It's pretty obvious howerver that Minnesota is clearly divided ino two - the Metro and the rest of the state. There are no two major Metropolitan areas in Minnesota like Texas, California or Florida.
Old 03-04-2011, 06:02 AM
6,745 posts, read 7,877,677 times
Reputation: 1845
"Outstate" is not offensive.

However, I do find it irritating when a person where they're from and they say "the cities"...like us outstaters wouldn't know where they live...so why bother telling me THE city where they reside. Just a pet peeve of mine...
Old 03-04-2011, 06:42 AM
Location: Victory Neighborhood Minneapolis
1,806 posts, read 4,805,790 times
Reputation: 1199
A pet peeve I have is whenever I tell an "out-stater" I'm from Minneapolis I'm asked which suburb, or I'll say I live on the northisde of Minneapolis and they'll ask if that means Anoka or Blaine- I would say this happens 98% of the time in these interactions.

I was just thinking about the "outstate" term as well the other day- I think it's an innovative invention of a word to prevent having to word vomit Greater MN or "non-metropolitan" and people get what you're saying.
Old 03-04-2011, 06:49 AM
6,745 posts, read 7,877,677 times
Reputation: 1845
Originally Posted by Camden Northsider View Post
A pet peeve I have is whenever I tell an "out-stater" I'm from Minneapolis I'm asked which suburb, or I'll say I live on the northisde of Minneapolis and they'll ask if that means Anoka or Blaine- I would say this happens 98% of the time in these interactions.
Irritating...but thanks for reminding me...I was going to put that in my post. The reason people ask you "which suburb" is because people from the Twin Cities area also use Mpls as another generic like "the cities". Not in every case...but we are accustomed to asking because people in the cities think we are mentally slow out here in the sticks
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