Michigan July 10, 2017
9 Phrases That Will Make You Swear Michiganders Have Their Own Language
Michigan is undeniably unique. From our beautiful beaches to our quirky festivals, there’s no shortage of fantastic traits that set our state apart from the rest. Some of our most noticeable habits, though, come in the form of spoken word. Here are nine phrases that might make non-Michiganders feel like they’re listening to a foreign language.
1. "I’m going to Meijers."
We Michiganders tend to add the letter "s" to the end of many words, whether they need it or not! Many speculate that this habit came about during the early days of the Ford Motor Company, when employees would say that they worked at "Ford’s," as in "Ford’s Motor Company." Either way, it’s classic Michigan!
2. "My boyfriend is a Yooper."
Non-Michiganders might wonder what sort of gibberish you’re spouting when you mention that your loved one or friend is a Yooper. Here in Michigan, though, we know that "Yooper" is simply a loving term for someone who resides in the U.P.
3. "My best friend is a troll."
What? How dare you insult your best friend like that?! Oh, wait — you’re from Michigan, where a "troll" is just another word for someone who lives in the Lower Peninsula, thus residing "under the Mackinac Bridge." Crisis averted!
4. "Faygo is the best pop ever."
No matter how many times we reiterate this point, it never loses its truth: that fizzy beverage is called pop! You can refer to it as soda if you want to, but we Michiganders will remain loyal to our beloved "pop" until the day we die.
5. "I’m going to swing by the party store."
No, we’re not planning a surprise birthday party for you. Sorry to disappoint. Here in Michigan, a party store is just another name for a small convenience store where we head to pick up liquor and other adult beverages. We understand the confusion, though!
6. "Show me where you’re from on your hand!"
If you’re not from Michigan, this phrase certainly sounds like a foreign language. We’re lucky to live in a state that’s conveniently shaped like a mitten, meaning that we can easily place our hometowns and favorite areas by pointing to our own palms!
7. "I was trying to make a Michigan Left today…"
Ah, the classic Michigan Left. Rumor has it that these sorts of turns exist in other states, but they’ll always be known as Michigan Lefts to us — and the mere mention of them might make our out-of-state friends scratch their heads in confusion.
8. "I need to go to the SecretariahState tomorrow."
What’s that you say? Ohhh, you need to go to the Secretary Of State! Here in Michigan, we have the tendency to combine some of our words instead of enunciating. This is never more true than when we need to head in and get our IDs updated or take care of some other important business at the ever-so-exciting "SecretariahState."
9. "She lives over in the Thumb."
Yeah, we Michiganders have a thing for hands. It’s not our fault we live on a giant mitten! Anyway, perhaps you’ve heard a Michigander mention that one of their loved ones resides in the Thumb. No, there’s nothing weird going on — "the Thumb" simply refers to a large peninsular area on our state’s Eastern shore.
Did we leave any of your favorite Michigan slang terms or sayings off our list? We’re always eager to hear from you! Share your thoughts and stories with us in the comment section below.