We’ve been having a lot of fun trying to master the accent here in Northern Michigan, which primarily involves elongating your “o’s” by pulling in the sides of your mouth. For example, you say, “Oooooooh yeah.” Or “Minnesooooota.” But beyond the accent, there’s also a colorful regional vernacular, which I will now share with you.
The U.P. – Pronounced “the U-P.” This is the Michagenese abbreviation for the Upper Peninsula, the horizontal finger that is north of Lake Michigan and south of Lake Superior. Check out this state map if you don’t follow.
Yoopers – These are people who live in the U.P., which is pretty much an entirely different world. Case in point: the Yooper language was named the official state dialect by the Michigan legislature in 2003.
Trolls – What Yoopers call people who live “below the bridge,” or in other words, south of the famed Mackinac Bridge, which connects the Upper Peninsula and Lower Peninsula. Thus, folks in Grayling, where I am, or Detroit, three hours south, are all trolls.
Fudgies – This is Michiganese for “tourists,” particularly those who visit the popular Mackinac Island area. Apparently there are an inordinate amount of old-fashioned fudge shops on the island. I’ll find out how many when I head there this Sunday, so stay tuned!
Oh, and one more thing. Mackinac is not pronounced "Mak-in-nac," as it would seem. It's pronounced "Mak-in-NAW." Say it wrong, and you'll out yourself as a serious first-time fudgie.
4 years ago