Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for September 16, 2019 is:
Yooper • YOO-per • noun
: a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan — used as a nickname
“The district has always elected Yoopers to represent them in Congress, rather than someone from the lower peninsula like Morgan.” — Melissa Nann Burke, The Detroit News, 6 Nov. 2018
“Mezydlo and Turnquist live in the Upper Peninsula community of Mohawk, which is about 25 miles south of Copper Harbor, the northernmost tip of the U.P.’s remote Keweenaw Peninsula. The region is known for having notoriously long, snowy winters—but snow lingering through July? Shocking, even for a lifelong Yooper like Turnquist.” — Emily Bingham, MLive.com, 26 July 2019
Did you know?
The word Yooper comes from the common nickname of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula—the “U.P.”—and the etymology requires the same follow-up question that a challenging joke does: “Get it?” If you’re not there yet, try saying them both out loud: Yooper, U.P. Yoopers have been saying both out loud now for about 40 years, but it’s only in recent years that those beyond the U.P. and its geographical neighbors have begun to encounter Yooper in use. Yoopers refer to people who live in the Lower Peninsula as trolls (they live “under” the Mackinac Bridge, after all), but that nickname is still at this point too much of a regionalism to qualify for entry in our dictionaries.