Yoopers are kind of an odd mixture of people, and watching them in an objective sort of way (and let's not forget, I'm one of them), they remind me of what you would get if you put "The Red Green Show," "Northern Exposure," and a strange and bewildering twist of world cultures in a blender and hit "Puree," but they are some of the nicest people you'd ever like to meet, and they are unlike any other people anywhere else in the world.
The area's earliest European settlers were primarily Scandinavian, and this has influenced thelocal dialect. There are many words, phrases, and expressions that are unique to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and this page contains many of these.
Writing in 1944, the UP's own Robert Traver said of north country Finns: "Their brogue is inherently the funniest I have ever heard."
He then gives an example, a no-hunting sign posted by a Finn landowner. It read:
WHOS TO GIVE IT YOU PROMISS FOR
HUNT IT MY LAN? BETTER YOU LOOK OUT ELSE
I SOOT IT YOU WIIT DA 2 PIPE SOT GUN.
AND DATS TO BE NO PULLSIT.
Traver continues: "But it would be a distortion for me to present a picture of the Finns in the false role of mere New World comedians, unwitting or otherwise. They are so much more than that, a fine people, a deep people...." [Source]
The term "Yooper" is slang for a person who lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, or the "U.P." (the area north of Wisconsin and Lake Michigan, and south of Lake Superior). Those who live in the Lower Peninsula (aka Lower Michigan) are called "Trolls," because they live below the bridge (the Mackinac Bridge that connects the U.P. to the rest of the state). During Deer Hunting Season (a mandatory regional holiday), the Trolls are also called "Apple Knockers" because it is generally believed that they couldn't hit the broadside of a barn if it had a huge red target painted on it, and rather than actually shooting the deer, they just knock the apples off the trees.
A person who was born and/or who lives in the U.P. is a "Yooper." Simply moving here and taking up residence among us, however, does not necessarily make you a Yooper. Sometimes it takes YEARS of acclimatization and survival in our harsh winters before the rest of us consider you to be a true Yooper, but you do get points for having the good taste to move here in the first place. You also have to frequent the local bars and buy us lots of drinks. There may also be secret initiation rites involved which center around things called "Deer Camp" and "pasties". [The word is pronounced PASS-tees and if you don't want to be mistaken for a Troll, you'd best know how to pronounce it, and remember... the best ones are homemade. -- See recipe below!]
Perhaps the major difference between the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula of Michigan is that living through the U.P. winter every year is an exercise in preparedness and survival. When roads can be expected to close for days at a time and ice plays havoc with power lines on an annual basis, and snow storms of up to 5 *FEET* at a time aren't unheard of, a wood-burning stove isn't something you think about installing "for looks." We don't panic and the schools don't close because there's three inches of snow on the road, like they do in the Lower Peninsula. The road commissions in all the U.P. counties put tall sticks of wood along the roads, so they'll be able to find them after the snowstorms hit. Yoopers also put tall sticks on their mailboxes for the same reason.
Yoopers are so ingenious, they even invented their own brand of gigantic snow shovel... it is called a Yooper Scooper. Sure, the snow gets deep up here, but thousands of snowmobilers and skiers from below the bridge (The Trolls) don't seem to mind. They fill up the northbound lanes of I-75 on Friday nights all winter long. Yoopers even have their own God of Snow named Heikki Lunta (Hey-Key Loon-Ta), and there's even a song about him.
Another thing that is unique about the U.P. is that Yoopers can out-drink anyone, anywhere, anytime. This is not a boast, it's a fact. They practice up all year long, over a lifetime out at "Deer Camp," but they often frequent the local bars, as well. Don't ever try to challenge them by saying something stupid like : "I can drink youse guys under da table," because you are guaranteed to lose, no question about it. And don't think you will out-drink the women either, because you won't. You might make friends more quickly, though, if you buy us all beer at the bar, or show up at our houses or Deer Camps with a few cases in tow. At least until the beer is gone.
im bored, so there ya go now... dude is a yooper, aww yeah...
the moooooooore you know!