Yoopers and Trolls... two very distinct Michigan terms for two very different groups of people. The only thing these two terms have in common is they both represent Michiganders and that's it!
Let's begin with the Trolls:
- Trolls is the Yooper term for Michiganders who live below the Mackinac Bridge because afterall, only trolls live under bridges. This means any person who lives in the lower peninsula has earned the nickname "Trolls" courtesy of our friends from the north.
- Trolls LOVE their Detroit Lions and refer to their biggest City, "Detroit". Did I mention they despise the Packers!?! This is important to remember later in this blog.
- Trolls refer to being "up north" and northern Michigan as anything that is north of Clare.
- Trolls use their hands as a map to show where they live. If you haven't noticed yet, the Lower Peninsula of Michigan looks like a mitten which makes it a readily available map for trolls to use when describing where they live.
- Many trolls play Euchre for fun. Euchre is a card game that is played primarily in the Mid-West.
- Inland Lakes are typically All-Sports Lakes with weekend cabins/cottages all around them.
- Second homes "up north" are called Cabins by Trolls.
- Snow days occur in the Lower Peninsula for children with 3 or more inches. Six inches of snow can shut down school districts for two days!
- Weatherman brace Trolls for snowstorms that may drop only 3 or 4 inches of snow. The BIG snow storms come with 6 or more inches.
- Famous musicians from the Lower Peninsula of Michigan include Eminem, Kid Rock, Madonna, Ted Nugent, Bob Seger... to name a few.
Now it's time to explain da Yoopers....
- Yoopers are people born and raised in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. There is so much to explain about the Yoopers.
- The first notable difference between Yoopers and Trolls is the Yoopers' distinct accents and the unmistakable "eh" that comes at the end of their sentences/questions. "Say yah to da U.P., eh!"
- Yoopers LOVE the Green Bay Packers and associate with the "big city" of Green Bay. Many yoopers especially on the western side of the U.P. associate themselves with Wisconsin more than they do with the Lower Peninsula/Detroit.
- Pasties are a common Yooper meal that can be found at many different restaurants. Pasties are a pastry case filled with meat and vegetables.
- Mining is a LARGE part of the U.P. economy and in fact almost everyone works at a mine or knows someone who works at a mine especially around the Ishpeming Area.
- Cribbage is popular card game in the U.P.
- Inland lakes in the U.P. are often no-wake lakes and do not have cabins around them. For example; Teal Lake in Negaunee, MI.
- Along with the famous, "Eh" in the Yooper dialect. They also have interesting phrases only unique to them. For example, "Borrow me a pencil" or "Stupid hurts" when someone falls out of chairs.
- Second homes of Yoopers are referred to as Camps and are often near their original homes. Camps usually do not have electricity or indoor plumbing which means outhouses.
- Da Yoopers love their Sauna's (pronounced Sow-na). As cold as it gets up there, I'm sure anyone would appreciate a nice warm stay in a sauna.
- Snow days only occur for Yooper Children when there is a foot or more of snow. Children of the U.P. will sing the Heikki Lunta song, flush ice down the toilet, and sleep with their PJ bottoms inside out with spoons under the pillows to ensure a snowday the next day.
- Snow storms often bring a foot or more of snow.
- Streets in the U.P. remain snow and ice covered until spring which means Yoopers do not see black pavement until spring arrives.
- There are more bars in a downtown stretch than there is people in that town...or so it seems.
- The famous Yooper musicians are "Da Yoopers" based out of Marquette County.
- Deer camp is extremely important to Yoopers.
- Heikki Lunta is the Snow God of Yooper mythology and is the product of the Finnish-American presence and the large amount of snow in the U.P.
- Halloween costumes and Easter dresses are often accompanied with snowpants because snow typically arrives in October in the U.P and doesn't leave until May.
We could go on and on about the differences between Trolls and da Yoopers. We may all be from the great state of Michigan, but we are cearly two separate cultures and identities.