Non-Midwestern Guide To 'Ope'
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A Non-Midwesterner's Guide To The Different Meanings Behind The Word 'Ope'

Yep, different situations call for different opes. Who would have thunk it.

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A Non-Midwesterner's Guide To The Different Meanings Behind The Word 'Ope'
Rachel Mount

If you go to school or have moved to the midwest, there's a part of the Midwestern culture that's somewhat unspoken. There are lots of jokes about how much we say ope, and well, that's true. Morning, day and night I'll give at least two or three of them, just because it's such a flexible word.

The trick is, not all opes are equal, and you don't want to be the person that thinks a *just bumped into you* ope is the same as a *just saw something on the news* ope.

1. We're trying to squeeze by you

This ope will often come paired with "let me squeeze by you there!" It's one of the lightest tones, and is often almost inaudible.

2. We tried to slow down, but still bumped into you

When this happens, the ope that often comes out is super quiet because we feel bad. Many times, our head will be down but we'll glance up in a puppy like fashion to make sure you're not mad.

3. We dropped something

An "OPE!" would be for a phone, or if we dropped something in the middle of a busy path. A softer ope is for things that aren't of such character, like a pencil or keys.

4. If we said something we weren't supposed to

When we sputter this sarcastic ope, it'll normally be paired with a quick crinkle of our nose too.

5. When we're singing songs with the word "oh" in them

The classic example is 98% of the midwest population thought Eminem's lyrics went "ope, there goes gravity." And to be honest, it should.

6. When you feel bad for someone

Especially in the wintertime, if I watch someone slip on ice, I let out an amused but worried "ope."

7. If we find something exciting at a store

Me at the grocery store: *searching aimlessly, and I spot my favorite ice cream* "OPE!!!"

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