We Michiganders are a little weird, and we aren’t ashamed to admit it. But who says “weird” has to be a bad thing? Despite our quirks, we’re proud to be from the Great Lakes State. Here are nine one-of-a-kind traits that you’ll only fully understand if you’re from Michigan.
1. Pointing to our hometowns on our hands.
Let’s get the most famous Michigan habit out of the way first. If you’re a Michigander, there’s a solid chance that you’ve used your hand to designate your hometown at least once or twice. People like to poke fun at us for this, but hey — wouldn’t you do the same if you had a built-in map on your very own body?
2. Inexplicably adding a possessive "s" to the end of words.
Meijer? What's that? Our go-to grocery store is a place called "Meijer’s." Unless, of course, we’re shopping at "Kroger’s" or "Aldi’s." Many believe that this habit can be traced back to the earliest days of the Ford Motor Company, when employees frequently stated that they worked at "Ford’s" (as in Ford’s Company).
3. Bragging about the lack of sea creatures at our beaches.
There are plenty of benefits to our freshwater lakes, and we’ll gladly rave for days about how much we adore our beaches and shorelines. But one amusing habit we Michiganders have is consistently bragging that our bodies of water are "shark-free." It might sound silly to others, but we’ll use this fact to defend the superiority of our lakes for as long as we live!
4. Referring to our friends as "trolls" and "yoopers."
Every state has its fair share of odd traditions and nicknames, but Michigan’s truly take the cake. If you’re not from Michigan, it might sound insulting to refer to your loved ones as "trolls," but true Michiganders will know that "yoopers" (Upper Peninsula residents) use this term to describe their friends "under the Mackinac Bridge" lovingly… most of the time.
5. Maintaining our very own Michigan dialect.
We Michiganders have a unique way of speaking, and it often garners ridicule of confusion from some of our out-of-state friends. But, as with any accent, we simply can’t help it! You’ll just have to get "yoosta" our pronunciation of words like "melk," "bayg", and "real-a-tor." Translation for our non-Michigander pals: that’s "used to," "milk," "bag," and "realtor."
6. Packing both shorts and a winter coat for in-state getaways.
We Michiganders know that our weather is simply unpredictable, and we like to be prepared. So we tend to pack a variety of clothing items when taking a quick trip within our home state. After all, we’re pretty used to the fact that Michigan weather can alternate between snow, rain, and sunny skies within the course of a few hours.
7. Guzzling Vernor's like it’s some kind of heal-all elixir.
We’ve mentioned this before and we’ll mention it again: there’s nothing quite like Vernor’s when it comes to alleviating a stomach ailment. When nausea hits, we reach for our favorite brand of ginger ale — and it has yet to let us down.
8. Asking for "pop" wherever we go.
This is another classic that never loses its relevance. Whether we’re traveling abroad or simply visiting a friend in another state, we Michiganders refuse to accept that our favorite fizzy beverages are referred to by any name other than "pop." Sure, we know what you mean when you say "soda," but we certainly won’t adopt the word for our own use anytime soon.
9. Talking about Michigan all the time — to anyone who will listen.
To out-of-staters who don’t fully understand the beauty and charm of the Great Lakes State, it might seem odd when we constantly talk about how wonderful Michigan is. Sure, our state has its fair share of problems, but it’s a genuinely amazing place to grow up and reside. No matter how far from home we stray, we’ll always maintain a sense of Michigan pride — and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
What are some strange habits that you’ve noticed among your fellow Michiganders? We’d love to hear your insight in the comment section below!