A guide to words only Michiganians, er, Michiganders would know.
Is there a word you would like to see defined here, or do you need help determining what a particular Michigan word means? Contact the Library of Michigan at email@example.com.
Big Mac: A nickname for the Mackinac Bridge, which connects Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas.
The Bridge: The Mackinac Bridge, which connects Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas.
The D: A nickname for Detroit.
D-Town: A nickname for Detroit.
Downriver: The Wayne County suburbs south of Detroit along the Detroit River.
Downstate: Michigan's Lower Peninsula.
Eh: A spoken interjection commonly used by Upper Peninsula natives to solicit a response or add emphasis. For example:
- Speaker One: "Michigan is a great place to live, eh?"
- Speaker Two: "We sure like it, eh!"
Eight Mile: The boundary between the city of Detroit and Detroit's northern suburbs.
Euchre: A trick-taking card game that is quite popular in Michigan and other Midwestern states.
Fudgie: What people in northern Michigan, known for its fudge shops, call tourists.
Lake: Whatever lake the speaker means. Also used as a nickname for Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie.
Michigan Bankroll: A large roll of money in small denominations, often with one larger bill on the outside to give the appearance of a roll filled with larger amounts of money. Also called a Michigan roll.
Michigan Handshake: A firm handshake that imparts a farwell, as in, "Hit the bricks."
Michigan Left: Popular in urban areas, these traffic devices require drivers wanting to head left to first turn right at an intersection, drive a few yards forward and then make an immediate U-turn to change directions. The Michigan Department of Transportation has more information on Michigan Lefts.
Michigander: A nickname for Michigan residents; sometimes used specifically for a male Michigan resident.
Michiganian: A nickname for Michigan residents.
Michigoose: A nickname for Michigan residents, sometimes used specifically for a female Michigan resident.
Mighty Mac: A nickname for the Mackinac Bridge, which connects Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas.
Motor City: A nickname for Detroit that pays tribute to the city's rich automotive history.
Motown: A record label and music style that originated in Detroit. A reference to Motown may indicate the label, the music or the city of Detroit.
Mystery Spot: Located in Saint Ignace, the Mystery Spot is an area about 300 feet in diameter where unusual physical sensations and events defying gravity occur.
Pasty: A hand-held meat and vegetable-filled pastry popular in the Upper Peninsula. Pronounced PASS-tee. History of the Pasty has information on where the pie originated and how it is prepared and eaten.
Pop: What Michigan residents call soft drinks. Pop vs. Soda is a map showing the use of these names for soft drinks by county nationwide.
Say yah to da U.P., eh!: The unofficial motto of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Spartan: The mascot of Michigan State University in East Lansing.
Thumb: The region of Michigan that looks like the thumb of a hand.
Tip of the Mitten: The Straits of Mackinac, at the very tip of the mitten, i.e., Michigan's Lower Peninsula.
Troll: A resident of the Michigan who lives below the Mackinac Bridge, i.e., in the Lower Peninsula.
U.P.: The abbreviation for the Upper Peninsula.
Up North: North of wherever you are in Michigan.
Wolverine: The mascot of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Yooper: A resident of the U.P., Michigan's Upper Peninsula.