Whoohoo! We made it into the dictionary—the Miriam Webster Dictionary to be specific. Who are we? We are Da Yoopers! Natives and expats of the U.P., Michigan’s glorious Upper Peninsula.
It turns out the Urban Dictionary has recognized us since 2005.
“Yooper is a common term for residents of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is derived from the initials U.P. which is pronounced you-pee. U.P. stands for Upper Peninsula, as opposed to the lower peninsula of Michigan.”
Oh, yeah…our favorite refrain back in the—ahem—when I was in college was: “You pee, I pee, we all pee on the L.P.!” L.P., of course, meaning the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. If you are not familiar with Midwest geography, you might not have ever realized that Michigan is divided into two large peninsulas, connected by the five-mile-long Mackinac Bridge.
|Photo: Justin Billau|
The Urban Dictionary goes on to say, “It is not a derogortory term. It is used mainly by residents of lower Michigan and Wisconsin.” I don't know about that. Personally, I’ve only ever heard native and expat Yoopers use the term to refer to ourselves. It’s a source of pride to find another Yooper anywhere in the world and be identified as such.
As for those that live below the Bridge? Well, they’re “trolls,” of course. No insult intended.
A few interesting fact about Michigan’s U.P.
- Size: 16,542 square miles, more than a quarter of of the land area of the entire state
- Bordered: on the north by Lake Superior, on the southeast by Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and on the southwest by Wisconsin, which isn’t a lake except during flood season (1,700 miles of Great Lakes shoreline)
- Climate: cold
- Cuisine: pasties
- Dialect: eh?
- State Bird: the mosquito
- Home to one of the world's largest living organisms, Armillaria gallica, better known as the Humongous Fungus, roughly 37 acres in size