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to Journey to the Past, I'm Brenda (Glover) Leyndyke and I believe researching your family history is a fascinating journey.

Talk Like a Michigander

03 April 2018

No matter what part of the world you are from there are words that only locals know.  The same is true for Michigan.  If you are visiting Michigan for the upcoming NGS Conference, in Grand Rapids Michigan these terms will help you speak like a Michigander, the word for those living in Michigan.


The Mitten: Lower Michigan is shaped like a mitten.  If you ask someone where they are from and they point to a place on their hand, that is why!  We use our hand as a map.

U-P: If you hear the word U.P. (You Pea) it means the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

The Thumb:  A part of Michigan that looks like a thumb in the mitten.  I grew up in the thumb.

Yooper: Someone who lives in the U.P.

Trolls: What Yoopers call those who live under the bridge, or in the lower peninsula.

The Bridge: Refers to the Mackinac Bridge

Mackinac: Pronounced Mack-i- naw!

Fudgies: Tourists are called this by Northern Michigan residents.

Party Store: It is a place that sells all things alcoholic.


Michigan Left: It is a U-turn when left turns are not permitted.

Pop/Soda: We drink pop and bake with soda.

Great Michigan Food Items:




Faygo: A brand of pop popular in Michigan.


Superman Ice Cream: A fruity creation of red, yellow, and blue swirls, well know throughout Michigan and the Midwest.


Better Made Chips: A Michigan made potato chip.












Traverse City Cherry Coffee: Traverse City is known for its cherry growing and this flavored coffee is one of the best.  Also, Traverse City Cherry is made into ice cream











Mackinac Island Fudge Ice Cream: Deliciousness you must try. It is vanilla ice cream with chunks of fudge.







Coney Dogs: A hot dog in a bun with a special sauce and other condiments.  If it is a Koegel hot dog, all the better.







Other Tips:
  1. If you don't like the weather, just wait, it will change.  Michigan has been known to be warm one day and snow the next.  Hopefully, we won't have to worry about snow in May.
  2. We have a tendency to chop letters off words.  Example: Grand Rapids=GranRapids
  3. We add 's' to words.  Example: Meijer (a local grocery store)= Meijers
  4. We have two seasons: Winter and Construction!
I hope you have a great time in Grand Rapids and get to see a little of our wonderful state.  



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