Michigan August 03, 2017
9 Silly Sayings That Will Only Make Sense If You’re From Michigan
Nothing defines a region’s culture quite like its slang and speaking patterns. Here in Michigan, we’ve got our fair share of unique sayings — some of which are more amusing than others. Here are nine silly sentences that you’ll only fully understand if you’re from the Great Lakes State.
1. "My grandma is a troll."
Hey, that’s no way to talk about your grandmother! Oh, you’re from Michigan? It all makes sense now. Here in the Great Lakes State, a "troll" is someone who lives in the Lower Peninsula — "under" the Mackinac Bridge. Chances are good that your grandma actually IS a "troll!"
2. "And MY grandma is a Yooper!"
Of course, plenty of Michiganders live in the Upper Peninsula too — and this earns them the title of "Yooper." Whether your beloved granny lives in Marquette, Sault Ste. Marie, or Munising, she’s likely proud of her title as a Yooper.
3. "Beaches are better unsalted."
People from outside of Michigan might be a bit confused by this saying: since when is "unsalted" used to describe anything other than a food item? Here in Michigan, we’re proud of our freshwater lakes for countless reasons, and we love to point out that they’re unsalted… not a drop of saltwater to be found!
4. "He lives in the Thumb."
We know, we know: this one sounds pretty bizarre. But it’s simply a way to explain that someone lives in the thumb-shaped part of Michigan’s "Mitten." If you've never visited the Great Lakes State, the Thumb region is a great place to start — and its funny name is just an added bonus!
5. "I just moved from Charlevoix to Kalamazoo."
Michigan has its fair share of oddly named towns and cities. Out-of-towners give themselves away when they mispronounce names like Dowagiac, Ypsilanti, and Sault Ste. Marie. Kalamazoo and Charlevoix also top the list of tough-to-pronounce names, but they’re two of our most unique cities.
6. "I need to go to the Secretariah State today."
If you’ve ever spoken to a Michigander about visiting the Secretary of State to take care of some official business, you’ve likely heard this pronunciation. We just don’t have time to enunciate on every single syllable, so you’ll likely hear us explain that we’re filing paperwork at the "Secretariah State."
7. "There are so many fudgies here."
Every year, hundreds of tourists venture north to bask in the beauty of Michigan’s natural splendor and manmade wonder. While the northern sections of the Great Lakes State are grateful for business, there’s always room to poke a little fun — and you might just hear us refer to out-of-towners as "fudgies."
8. "I love living in the The Mitten."
Hey — our state has a distinctive shape, and we’re proud of it! There’s no other spot in the United States that can refer to itself as the Mitten State, so we’ll continue celebrating our unique name for generations to come. It might sound strange to non-Michiganders, but the Mitten is our favorite place on earth.
9. "There’s nothing like a day on the Big Lake."
Which big lake are you referring to, exactly? Every Michigander knows that Lake Michigan is also known as "the Big Lake," and with good reason — it seems to stretch on forever. While the name might sound generic, it’s spoken with love, and we’ll always be grateful for our proximity to the stunning shoreline.
Alright, fellow Michiganders: it’s your turn! Are there any silly sayings we omitted from our list? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.