Uff da (pronounced "oof duh") is an multi-purpose Scandinavian phrase used in some regions of the upper Midwest of the United States.

Here's a partial list of the many uses of Uff da.

  • To express disappointment:
    "How'd that cholesterol test go?"
    "Uff da."

  • To express anger:
    "Did that ref just call a foul?"
    "Uff da."

  • To kvetch about the price of something:
    "That'll be 87 cents."
    "Uff da!"

  • To express surprise:
    "Happy birthday! I got you this."
    "Uff da!"

  • To express weariness:
    "I hear we're getting another foot of snow today"
    "Uff da."

  • To express pain while lifting things or getting out of a chair:
    "Uuuuuuff da! God that was heavy."

  • To respond to a bad joke with measured politeness:
    "I went to Viagra Falls but I didn't Cialis."
    "Uff da."

I have heard entire conversations consisting almost entirely of the phrases uff da, der den, and fer cute.

In some ways, uff da is similar to the French word merde, although uff da does not share the same literal meaning. If you want to say that in Norwegian, use "skitt" or "dritt" (the latter being the more common of the two where I grew up).

Uff da is sometimes incorrectly spelled as one word.

U.F.F.D.A is also the United Foundation For Disabled Archers. Hopefully not blind archers. But if you do get an arrow to the head, remember to say "uff da".

yikong says "do you think the expression might be derived from the Swedish 'usch då'? The Swedish 'sch' sound _can_ sound somewhat like 'ff' sometimes"