The Michigan Accent & Slang Words

Updated on March 15, 2018
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Melanie was raised in New Buffalo, Michigan. She just finished her honors BS in physical science at Purdue University Northwest. (Hire her!)

The Michigan Accent (and fun Michigan terminology)
The Michigan Accent (and fun Michigan terminology)

Groups of people from every US state and, really, every place in the world have a unique accent and have their own slang. People from the great state of Michigan are no different! If you’re not from Michigan and have heard our accent, it might seem a little bit odd to you. And, top it all off, we also have our own vocabulary.

If you’re not from the Midwest at all, you might think, as many do, that the Michigan accent (or dialect, really) is similar to the Minnesotan accent or Chicago accent. I can see why people might think that, but the Michigan accent is one of a kind.

Growing up close to Chicago, I have a sort of hybrid accent, a bit more on the Chicago side of pronunciation. I can’t say it’s fully Chicagoan, though. I often get caught ‘Michiganizing’ words. My mother, however, has a stronger Michigan accent, which is different than mine (sometimes we’ll poke fun at how her accent is like Michael Moore’s.)

I’m going to share some of the colloquialisms and pronunciations that my mother and other Michiganders I’ve met (particularly those from the western/southwestern part of the Mitten, where I grew up) use.

The Michigan Accent!

Michigan Slang/Colloquialisms

There are some words and phrases we use in Michigan that aren’t often used elsewhere around the country. Here are some things you may hear if you spend enough time in the state:

Meijers and Krogers: (instead of Meijer and Kroger) – We like to put an S in the name of everything to make it possessive. Everyone around here says it as Meijer’s. Others, from out of town, have actually called it “Meijer” and it sounded weird. Friends will point out when we make these stores (and other place names possessive.)

The Mitten: (Yes, it’s a proper noun; it’s the name of a state for Pete’s sake!) This refers to the state of Michigan because, on a map, Michigan is shaped like a mitten. Mittens are of extreme importance to Michiganders because it can get fairly cold here.

A "handy" map of Michigan I use this map to show folks that I live in New Buffalo (the wristy region.)
A "handy" map of Michigan I use this map to show folks that I live in New Buffalo (the wristy region.)

Michigander: A person from Michigan. (This is probably actually a nationwide term, not just a local thing.)

The U.P.: I've seldom heard a Michigander say "the Upper Peninsula." It sounds so formal! Perhaps it's only said when teaching people what U.P. means. You say each letter like "You Pea," not like the direction "up."

Up north: This is where you go if you're traveling within Michigan.

The union: "The union" is so integrated into Michigan life that when I was a kid, I thought the student union at Michigan State had something to do with the United Automobile Workers (UAW). When a Michigander says "the union" it generally means UAW. In my area, however, it's used to describe unions in/near Chicago.

It's pop, not soda:
'Nuff said!

Ope: This is a Midwestern thing and not just a word used in Michigan. It's used in the place of oops, for example when running into someone by accident. "Ope! I'm sorry!"

In Michigan, we drink pop, not soda!
In Michigan, we drink pop, not soda! | Source

Party store:

Where a Michigander buys alcohol.

Michigan left:
This is a U-turn. The name comes from the road design (common throughout Michigan) to allow for U-turns at intersections where cars cannot turn left. Instead, they are expected to make a U-turn, then turn right. The design includes a lane made specifically for U-turns. Interestingly enough, in some states U-turns are illegal. More about the Michigan left.

This Is a Michigan Left

Depiction of a "Michigan Left" road design.
Depiction of a "Michigan Left" road design. | Source

In Michigan, We...

...go tuh the store, not "to" it.

...yoosta' have jobs in Detroit, not "used to"

...go huntin' in the wuds, not the "woods"

...get our tires slashed for driving a Tie-ota, not a Toyota.

...say er, not "or."

...feel like we're ki-nuh like Minnesotans, not "kind of."

Faygo and Better Made are Michigan made
Faygo and Better Made are Michigan made

Words for People (Tourists and Locals)

Townies: A townie is a derogatory term actually used by non-Michiganders visiting Michigan. Michigan's coastline is lined with small tourist towns frequented by wealthy people. Calling a Michigander a townie is like calling someone a commoner or a peasant. But it's okay, we've got a word for the out-of-staters slinging around such terms...

FIPs: This is what Michiganders in the southwestern areas of the Mitten (particularly in Berrien County) call people who visit from Illinois. There are a number of FIPs who are actually very nice, but often Michiganders feel they are rude. The term FIP is an acronym for *ahem* "F*cking Illinois People."

FOPs: FIPs from Ohio. This term is less commonly used.

Yoopers: This is what people from the upper peninsula are called.

Flatlanders: What Yoopers call those from the Lower Peninsula.

Fudgies: This is what Michiganders call tourists visiting the northern parts of Michigan.

Trolls: This is what Yoopers call those who live in the lower peninsula. This is because they live "under" the bridge.

Adding Syllables

Sometimes in Michigan, we like to add things to words to make them longer. However, we ONLY do this if it makes it easier to say.

Realtor is just too hard to say, so it's "real-uh-terr."

I live near Cook Nuclear Power Plant, "nuke-yuh-ler."

Michiganders Like to Save Time

A big part of the Michigan accent is about saving time. We talk really fast here, so in order to do so, we utilize two elements the French call the liaison and the elision. This is basically a way to mash up words in order to make pronunciation easier and faster.

The French language has a nice set of rules as to how to use a liaison. Unfortunately, there really are no rules for how we butcher our words in Michigan; it's often just what's most convenient.

A great example is a phrase my mother uses:

Jeet?: When I was a teen, my parents hosted a foreign exchange student from Hungary. Before she got here, someone came over to give my mom a sort of linguistics lesson on how to avoid using phrases like "Jeet?" so as to not alienate the exchange student. So what the heck does "jeet?" mean? It means "Did you eat?"

People from other states might shorten that to just "Didja eat?" but that's still not acceptable to a Michigander. Another one, very similar to this is "imunna" which means "I am going to." Again, others just shorten this to "I'm gonna'" but we're innovators, so we shortened it further!

"Ope" is very much a Midwestern thing
"Ope" is very much a Midwestern thing | Source

Yuh guys: In Michigan, we say "yuh guys," even when speaking to women. Since many Michiganders won't say "y'all," "yuh guys" is what we're left with. Note the time-saving "yuh" versus "you." Keep in mind that's it's a really quickly spoken word, so don't drag out the "uh" sound.

Secretariah State: In Michigan, we go to the Secretary of State to get our driver's license, not the Bureau/Department of Motor Vehicles as in other states. In order to save time, we just change the pronunciation of "of" to "uh" and mash it onto secretary.

Lookit!: This one is kind of tough to explain, but it is definitely something a lot of people around here use (though I actually don't do this anymore). This is said when you find something cool, gross, or worth a look. You say, "Lookit." I think it's a combination of the words "Look at it" and is comparable to saying "check this out."

Where at?: This is NOT a time saver, but something my mom says all the time. Instead of just saying "where?" she adds the "at." In fact, I've noticed that a lot of people around here end their sentences with prepositions. I try to avoid it, but sometimes it slips out unnoticed.

Fyer: It's pronounced "fyer," not "fire." (I can't even pronounce fire the "correct" way!)

It's "meer" not "mirror."

We don't say "clothes," it's "cloze." "Ya' left yur cloze on the floor."

Melk - Some Michiganders say this to mean milk. (We don't say this in the southwest of Michigan, but it can be heard elsewhere.)

Quick Poll:

How do you say Chicago?

See results

Michigan Place Names

Pontiac - This is pronounced pah-neeack, if you say the "t" sound, you will give away that you're not from Michigan.

Dowagiac - You say this like "D'waah-jack" with an emphasis on the "waah" part.

Livonia - This is pronounced like "Lih-vone-yuh" so don't do an "ia" at the end, it's definitely "yuh."

Grand Rapids - The first part of this city name is apparently too much for Michiganders, so we just skip parts of it: Grranrapids.

Houghton – Ho’un

Michigan Place Names

Pontiac - This is pronounced "pah-neeack." If you say the "t" sound, you will give away that you're not from Michigan.

Dowagiac - You say this like "D'waah-jack" with an emphasis on the "waah" part.

Livonia - This is pronounced like "Lih-vone-yuh," so don't do an "ia" at the end. It's definitely "yuh."

Grand Rapids - The first part of this city name is apparently too much for Michiganders, so we just skip parts of it: "Grranrapids."

The Michigan Accent

The Michigan accent is a strange breed of something from Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ontario. I've been able to stop using words like "lookit" but I cannot stop myself from using my Midwestern accent. When my sister and I tease my mom when she says "car", she gets miffed and shouts, "Well, how am I supposed to to say it?" This comes out sounding like, "Well, how my spose'ta' sayit'?" (Note that "how am I" in her speech comes out like "how my.")

The letter "A" as in "car" is a kind of light "ee-yeah" sound. If you're familiar with diacritical marks, it would be kind of like ēă, but much lighter and less noticeable.
Crayons are crēăns (similar sounding to "crans").
Dad is dēăd (again, only a slight difference from "dad").


The long "e" sound, like the "i" in "mirror" is a bit longer and really nasally. Also, we don't waste our time with the "or" in "mirror", so it's just "meer." Make it really nasally, though.

Glottal stop
: This is when your voice kind of stops in the middle of a word and then starts again. Think of a kid saying, "Uh-oh!" In Michigan, we like to do glottal stops at the end of our words, which is kind of like a last bit of forced breath. For example, when we say Detroit, we don't say the "t" sound at the end. Instead, it's like "Detroi" and then a bit of forced breath.

If the word has a double consonant 't' in it, like "kitten" or "button", there is a glottal stop without the t sound actually being pronounced: kitten = kih'ihn, button = buh'ton or buh'ohn. (Thanks to from Doe·Wah·Jack for pointing this out!)

The letter "t": Leave it to a Michigander to screw up the pronunciation of a consonant! If the letter "t" occurs in the middle of a word, it has a "d" sound. This is so embedded in my speech, that I can't say a word like "city" with a "t" without sounding like I'm trying really hard for that "t" sound. It's "ciddy."

"Ah" as in father has to be drawn out. In Michigan, you don't have a mom. You have a "maahm." And after school, you go to "haahckey" practice. On a slightly related note, Chicago is "Chic-aah-go," not "Chi-caw-go."

Everybody's going snurfing!

The concept of snowboarding was invented in Muskegon, Michigan where it was originally called snurfing. The first snowboard was a wide ski ridden like a skateboard (no binding.) Nowadays, everyone just calls it snowboarding.

Say, "Ahhhhhhh!" Congratulations! You've just mastered the Michigan accent!
Say, "Ahhhhhhh!" Congratulations! You've just mastered the Michigan accent! | Source

Are you from Michigan?

See results

What Accent Do You Have?


What American Dialect Do YOU have?

The New York Times has an online quiz you can take that will analyze your accent to show which area of the country you're from.

It chose Grand Rapids for me (see the map above for my results.)

Take the quiz to get your own personal dialect map.

Where does it say you're from? Let me know in the comments below!

Questions & Answers

    © 2011 Melanie Shebel


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        Marquis De Sade 420 5 days ago

        Houghton is pronounced "Ho-Town" by the locals. Has been since at least the 1980's. Pretty sure it's obvious why. Interesting article , explains why the word month is such a pain in the ass and comes out "mundh"...clearly born and raised in the U.P. family trees tend to lack branches after all.

      • Msfyt profile image

        Mysfyt 3 weeks ago from Novi, MI

        Took the dialect quiz: it was spot-on (pretty much). With the exception of Spokane, Washington, it said I was from Grand Rapids or Detroit -which is absolutely right. I am from Detroit!

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        Andy 7 weeks ago

        It said I was from Detroit. I live in the suburbs. Grew up in the suburbs and lived for 17 years in Orlando. I'm now back in Detroit

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        Maggie1023 2 months ago

        My husband and I just moved to the Detroit area from Mississippi (he was offered a job here). I've lived in various parts of Mississippi my whole life (born and raised), but I've never really had a typical "Southern Accent." My mom is from Sacramento, CA, and she didn't pick up much of a Southern accent when she first came to MS. Net result: I don't sound like I'm from the South...

        UNTIL I GOT TO MICHIGAN. OMG. Apparently I must talk funny: during my first couple of months here, I had to repeat myself just about every single time I said something. Lol. I've met a few people here who are "transplanted Southerners" like myself or at least have family in the South that they regularly go visit. They've all said something along the lines of, "yeah as soon as you opened your mouth I could definitly hear that southern drawl!"

        "But I don't have THAT much of a Southern accent."

        "Oh yes you do. It's not subtle. At all."

        "Well... that's, uh, news to me."

        Some other observations:

        1. I was immediately and quickly corrected for pronouncing Livonia wrong. It's not "Luh-VAWN-yuh." Noted.

        2. State and US highways have both a name AND a number. M39 is Southfield Freeway, US24 is Telegraph, M153 is Ford... when you already have NO CLUE where you are going, and there's also more snow on the ground than you have ever seen in your entire life, AND you can't turn left... hold on- the roads have TWO names. My car's SatNav said: "take the exit for M-39." What did I do? I drove right past the giant sign that said "Southfield Freeway exit." Oops.

        3. Another note on driving: I go to school at Henry Ford (planning to transfer to Wayne State). I used my car's SatNav to figure out how to get to school on the first day and it told me: "use the left lane to turn right onto Evergreed Rd." Use the Left... To right? Huh? There seriously needs to be a MICHIGAN SETTING on the GPS that will tell you to take the Southfield Freeway exit (not the M-39 exit) and will give a better description of what to do at some of these weird intersections y'all got here ;) Getting around is not a big deal for me anymore, but at first... I just stayed perpetually lost. Lol.

        4. My husband and I went to dinner one night after we first got here. We were chatting with our server, and she said that we should take a trip "Up North." I said, "How much more north can we go? We're already in the North. Canada?" Aaaaaand that's when I learned what "Up North," means in Michiganese. :)

        5. Vernor's is delicious. I had no idea how deprived and dark my first 27 years of life have been. If there's no Vernor's in heaven, I don't want to go.

        So far I love it here! The people seem genuinely nice, friendly, and welcoming. They show a lot of pride in being from the Detroit area and the state in general. It didn't take long for Michigan to start feeling like home to me. :)

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        Maleah 3 months ago

        I was raised in Michigan and the small town I live in and I don’t know about other people be we call vacationers That come in spring and summer fuggies

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        Amy 4 months ago

        Born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI. Everything in this article is so true. But what I thought was crazy is I never knew Michigan was the only state that did this. I thought everyone talked how we do. I didn’t even know these words were supposed to be pronounced a different way. Lol

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        Simon 4 months ago

        there is slang which i sort of a baby swear. It's "Jeeze-o-petes" There also is slang for a store that doesn't sell gas, we call that a "party store"

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        George Tackett 4 months ago

        The quiz had me down as being from detroit,Toledo or granrapids lol. Born and raised in metro Detroit. Pretty cool : )

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        Kellie 4 months ago

        The quiz listed me from Toledo but I've lived in mid Michigan (the Flint area) pretty much my whole life.

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        Terry B 5 months ago

        Ohio people - stinkin buckeyes

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        Suzanne Hill 5 months ago

        I was born in Kalamazoo and lived in the Detroit area from age four to age eleven. Then we moved to Muskegan, for 8 months, then to Jackson for 15 years. I moved back to Kalamazoo, Plainwell, Otsego, Paw Paw and Mattawan, where I live at present. I have been in this area for 38 years. It showed me Grand Rapids, Detroit and Rockford, IL! Pretty good.

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        Paul Wiener 5 months ago

        Wonderful! After living on Long Island, NY for 32 years, my wife never lost hers. But after being brought up on the edge of the Bronx, I've never had a NY accent!

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        Suzanna 5 months ago

        I grew up in "Granrapids" and we usually call it "GR," which ends up sounding like "jar" in Michigan quick-talk.

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        Julie 5 months ago

        Pretty spot on! I was born, raised and still live in Kalamazoo and it showed me as near Grand Rapids, Detroit and Toledo!

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        Karen 5 months ago

        Technically I live in the Mitt not the hand :) We are the only ones that God gave a physical map. Top of the thumb Mid Mitt. Loved this :)

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        Marmarjon 5 months ago

        Grew up in Michigan, but close to Chicago. Never realized I had any type of "accent" until I was away at a convention and someone asked me if I was from Chicago; LOL. It was fun to listen to other people speaking their own accents, but I never asked anyone where they were from because of their accent. I still do the "Mitten" map thingy. Michigan is a very cool state. I often refer to it as "God's Country." Your article was very informative and fun to read . . . tried out a few of those pronunciations, too. Never realized I do speak like this -- "Lookit". Thanks for all that hard work on your article, too.

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        Heather Clapham 5 months ago

        It says I'm from Detroit and it would be correct! Great article! We Michiganders are one of a kind!

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        Kate 5 months ago

        we also pronounce Elementary as LMN tree. unlike people in New York who pronounce it ele ah men tary

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        Penny 5 months ago

        FYI - In 1965, when Patrice Gaunder (from Stevensville, MI, I believe) won the America's Junior Miss pagent, some of us in the SW MI area started calling ourselves "Michigaunders" in her honor. I've lived in IL for 38 years now, but still consider myself from MI.

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        Makenzie 6 months ago

        Well lotsa people in michigan think if you can't pronounce things correct then you aren't really from michigan. we also say Iron different then people from flordia (my aunt came from flordia and said Iurn xD) And a lot of those i don't use... i was kinda shocked people didn't know how to pronounce Mackinac xD its like Mack-i-naw ... and everyone should call tourists, to michigan, Fudgies xD

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        Karson 6 months ago

        Some of this is definitely localized, but I'm glad other people know that we call tourists fudgies (I'm from Traverse City). I went to college in Grand Rapids and most of the Western Michiganders (versus the Northern Michiganders) have no idea what I'm talking about.

        I don't always say everything in the "Michigan Accent" (mine's more of a mix between Michigander and Californian), but great list!

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        gneiss guy 7 months ago

        I was born in Ann Arbor, spent the first year or two in Ypsilanti - but then we moved to Wisconsin and stayed for a while in New York. Funny thing is...I am always asked if I'm from eastern Europe - or somewhere in Europe, anyway. In fairness, I grew up in many foster homes and my Grandmother is an Estonian immigrant and was a big part of my life, so there was definitely a lot of foreign influence on me growing up. I guess the accent that results from that combination of things comes across as European. I think learning Mandarin and Estonian for many years (I'm a dual citizen) made it more "foreign" sounding - and spending every day around my Chinese wife can't help. I'm constantly asked where I'm from - but never does anyone suspect Michigan or Wisconsin or New York. Despite the fact that my first words were spoken and learned in Ypsilanti. My mother and father were not from MI, it might be noted.

        Anyway, I guess I was never aware of this accent. Because I have never been back to MI since.

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        Mysfyt 7 months ago from Novi, MI

        "Doorwall"?? The first time I ever heard that word, I just shook my head in disbelief. (And I wasn't a child either. I was an adult.) What exactly is a "doorwall", I thought. A door is a door and a wall is a wall. A "doorwall" cannot be something that you can go through because you can't go through a wall! Those two words don't even go together. They're mutually exclusive. I now know what it is but I still cringe when I hear it. (I guess what people are trying to say is that a "doorwall" a sliding wall that you can walk through.) Why not a "walldoor"? That actually makes more sense.

      • Mary Fadie profile image

        Mary Fadie 7 months ago

        One thing I almost never hear since leaving Michigan is "I seen" her/him/it etc... at the store etc.... it drive me nuts! I have seen or I saw him, etc....

      • Msfyt profile image

        Mysfyt 7 months ago from Novi, MI

        You know you're from Michigan when you dictate on your iPad and Siri comes out with almost EVERY word different than what you said. (Siri often combines words or splits a single word into two words. Occasionally, Siri will add an "r" to the end of a word - instead of the word "two", it will put in "tour".) Please tell me it isn't just me! And I've tried it different times of the day, thinking that my early-morning speech isn't understood. (Siri doesn't understand me any better in the afternoon than in the morning.)

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        Bill Sayo 7 months ago

        Lived her most of my life. Some hold true for me and mine, but just as many do not. Maybe it's the out-of-state influences...?

        I've been annoyed most of my life by the way most of the folks in SW lower MI add the "r" sound to words like wash - "warsh", only to drop the "r" sound from February - "Febuary".

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        Kevin Mummery 8 months ago

        Apparently I outed myself as a Michigander when I told someone "yarnt sposta" when they asked me if something was permissible. I just though everyone talked like this...wrong again.

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        Da'Naja 10 months ago

        I started crying because I just realized that all of this is true and I didn't know that we were the only ones that have an accent like that! I thought that a lot of other states sounded like us but apparently that's not true. I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan and I'm 11/12 y/o and I sound like all of these. It is amazing to see that our state and country is very unique and I would love to hear more of what we actually sound like than other people who aren't from Michigan. This a really cool website and I send lots of love! Thank you!

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        Venessa 10 months ago

        I love this!! I love being from Detroit

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        Mysfyt 10 months ago from Novi, MI

        When it comes to geographical locations of the state of Michigan, you can live in the U.P or you can live in the hand. But the hand has subparts, like the "thumb". Having spent a lot of time driving the roads of Michigan I can tell you this is where a lot of people will tell you they live especially dairy farmers. Maybe you could add that to your list of being either from the "U.P.", "the hand", "outta state" ( otherwise known as "otta state"), or "the thumb", LOL.

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        Margaret Willis 10 months ago

        Here's one that no one can say unless you're from "around here" (another Michigan saying which means "within about a 30-mile radius of the place"): NOVI. Some people say "NO-vee", with the accent on the first syllable. Others say "Nah-vee", with the accent on the first syllable. Still others say "Nah-VEE", with the accent on the second syllable. Like I said you don't know how to say it unless you live "around here": "NO-vi", with the accent on the first syllable (as opposed to: "No-VI", with the accent on the second syllable. As you see, there are at least four different incorrect ways to pronounce it and only one correct way. Have a nice day! :-)

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        KPOM 10 months ago

        You do realize that about 75% of "Michigan" pronunciations and terms apply to those of us from Chicago.

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        Kate the Great 12 months ago

        Seriously; this is one of the best write ups on a Michigan accent I have found. I never thought it was a real thing- a Michigan "accent", but somehow people could always place me as being from MI when we traveled. Now it's just something that happens, I don't try to correct myself, because what's the use, eh?

        I HAVE made an effort to say certain things correctly... Like MEIJER (no s. lol) And Realtor (real-tohr) lol.

        But there's always gonna be the short speak and abbreviation of words that don't need to be abbreviated. (Gonna, yep, goin ta tha store, etc)

        And the words we just say funny... like melk (milk), bahg (bag), tuh (to), yoosta (used to), etc... well, they're just gonna haf ta get yoosta't.

        One thing, though... wtf is a door wall. It's a sliding door in West Michigan. Never been a dang door wall. Don't make us look dumb. (hahahahaha totally kidding.)

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        Cody 12 months ago

        Man I've lived in Southeast Michigan all my life, I swear I haven't heard more than half of this stuff pronounced that way. I agree with some of the weird slang we use, glottal stops for sure, and even the nasaly "e" uses, but a lot of it ive never heard commonly.

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        AShady 12 months ago

        Detroit, MI. Yup you got that right :)

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        13 months ago

        My family was from Michigan

        . Moved to Indy when I was young. Kids in school would say I had a Michigan accent. Thanks to your post. I finally get what they mean.

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        Andrew 14 months ago

        It's always amazing to me as a Michigander how bad of a slang we have!

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        Cynthia B Turner 15 months ago from Georgia

        It's always interesting to listen to the dialect from other parts of the country. I often try to guess where the speaker is from. I confuse Boston area accents with Michigan. (I hope I'm not committing some kind of offense. LOL) I'm from the South and we have our own thing going on down here! Lol. Take care

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        GreenMind 15 months ago from USA

        Hey great hub -- love the attitude and accuracy!

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        former michigander 16 months ago

        Oh man...thank you for the great laugh. My daughter gives me so much grief saying "I'm gonna throw you in the gross nasteee crik" or mauhhh!!! I had to send her this link so she could get a good chuckle as well. I was born in the mitten and lived there for a short part of my life.

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        Leeleebee 17 months ago

        My mom says "warsh" for wash, and "sandwich" instead of sandwich.

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        Me 17 months ago

        Funny. I'm from WV, and I talk like I'm from Michigan.

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        West Michigan girl 19 months ago

        I have live in Michigan all my life. East side Flint & Detriot area. & now West Michigan Grand Rapids. & I have never hear the sliding door called a door wall. I saw this on a nother site. But could not write a comment on it.

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        John 22 months ago

        How could you possibly not include "doorwall"

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        April Richardson 2 years ago

        Oh so true! I'm from Port Austin in "The Thumb".

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        Amanda 2 years ago

        I'm from Kentucky but I am datin a guy from MI. He loves my southern accent and I love his northern one! Although he says he doesn't have one

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        Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

        Wow.....I don't know if I may have previously commented here and I'm surely not going to scroll through over 600 comments to find out! When you wrote this, did you even think you'd receive such a response??

        I am fascinated by our different accents, manners of speaking & how this often gives away where we hail from.

        I am scratching my head now though, because as I read through many of the pronunciations, it's clear to me that I pronounce a lot of the words the very same way...?? I'm not from Michigan, nor were any of my extended family members. I don't believe I even KNOW anyone from Michigan. Hmmm....this is strange to me.

        Long ago, I had a friend who constantly told me to stop using "er" for "or"......she annoyed me! LOL

        Very interesting hub. Thanks. Peace, Paula

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        moonlake 2 years ago from America

        We also say pop and Up. FIP is used often around here. Wisconsin has a lot of the same accent as Michigan. Northern Wisconsin is very different from Southern Wisconsin.

        My friend could not understand why the Mackinac Bridge and Island are pronounced MAK-in-aw. She was getting mad when we were on the island and the people there kept correcting her.

        I thought it was pretty funny because she corrects my Arkansas accent all the time.

        The one thing that drives me nuts about Wisconsin accent is my kids say, "Can I go with." They leave you out of the sentence. We often here the Canadian accents here. They took him to hospital.

        Enjoyed your hub and will share it with my Michigan family.

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        Paul Richard Kuehn 2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Being originally from southeastern Wisconsin, I greatly enjoyed reading this hub. Although I learned a lot about peculiar Michigan vocabulary and pronunciation, I did find a lot of similarities. For example, in Wisconsin we did say "pop" instead of soda when growing up and we also went up north when we even went from Milwaukee to Marshfield in the central part of the state. "Tuh" for to and "yoosta" for used to was also used a lot. Thanks for a great hub which I am sharing with Hubpage followers.

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        Peter 2 years ago from England, UK

        I would agree with Hezekiah to some extent. However the more research I do in to different American accents, the more I think there are more differences than with those of the UK!

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        Dayanara 2 years ago

        I sound like I come from ARIZONA?! WUT?!

        Good Goddess. Offend my little Michiganian heart, why don't you!

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        Cyber 2 years ago

        Agreed. We really do make Meijer plural for some reason. Everyone around here says it as Meijers. I had a friend from Ohio come up (Believe it or not) and she calls it Meijer. When I called it Meijers, she was plain confused.

        That was the best weekend ever.

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        Kat 2 years ago

        You dont realize the way you talk until you are trying to read this to somebody the correct way and you can't! Love it

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        Teresa Ouellette 2 years ago

        When I say " these ones or those ones " I'm always corrected but thats how everyone I know in Michigan says it. It sounds weird saying just these or those without the ones on the end

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        Linda 2 years ago

        You betcha I'm from Michigan! ;) This was fun. I didn't realize that I say most of this list but I do! We actually do say "cran" instead of crayon and "Krogers" instead of Kroger. Also we say "grossry" not grocery (most Michiganders I know don't say "groshry" however). Also we say "wha-ever" instead of whatever.

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        Tina 2 years ago

        I LOVE this! My business partner is from Michigan. I had never heard the term "Michagander" until after meeting her. Once in a while I can hear the "abo-ut" come out of her mouth! I speak with people from Michigan just about every day and yes, I can usually pick up the dialect!

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        bof 2 years ago

        and we like to add "s" on things like meijers vs meijer or fords vs ford

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        mark 2 years ago

        you left out the two main words. Is it creeeeeeeeeeeeek or crick? Is it rooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooof or ruuf

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        Mary Fadie 2 years ago

        Funny! Didn't know I was saying some of these things. I've been out of Michigan for 4 years. I have noticed that the glottal stop with the double tt like button "buh in" and "Manha in" is heard everywhere, not just Michigan. I hear mostly youngsters saying it on TV. I recently caught myself saying "acrost" and was wondering where it came from.

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        glo 2 years ago

        I've lived in MI since 1979. What I notice most is the "a" sound, very up front and nasal, and saying pitcher when they mean picture.

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        Donna Maki Paul 2 years ago

        Very nice article so accurate thanks

        It makes me wonder how my grandson is doing in Oklahoma in the Army oh boy!!!

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        Nancy 2 years ago

        WHOOOO hooooo shows I'm most like Wichita, Louisville, or Lexington and I am a MICHIGANDER (Michiganian) transplanted to CA!!!!!!! See I don't even know WHERE I am from by the way I TALK!!!!!

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        NCCaniac42 2 years ago

        I now live in NC. Y'all does fall from my mouth as easily as yuh guys. I was at an event over the weekend and started talking to the woman behind me in line. I immediately asked her what part of Michigan she was from. :-) I was born Yooper - raised Troll. My grandmother, born and raised in the UP, always said things like 'Lets go store' or 'Lets go show' because Finnish was her first language and they don't have the word 'The'. Funny this article was posted today - I was explaining to two Cary, NC Police Officers at a drivers license check stop - where Ferris State was by showing the location on my hand.

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        JG 2 years ago

        There are Yoopers and there are Flatlanders, but those of us who live north of Grand Rapids to the Bridge, prefer calling ourselves Uplanders. We live in the Kettle Moraine area of Michigan, definitely not flat.

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        GoneBlue 2 years ago

        Anyone use 'needs' instead of/as shorthand for 'needs to be?' E.g. 'the car needs washed' or 'the dog needs out' My husband pointed this out to me (he's a no-good bruddah from Illinoise) and his Michigan coworker said it was a Michigan (eastern) thing. I never noticed I did it until he said something.

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        Rosa Malaga 2 years ago from Indiana, U.S.A.

        Very interesting article. I think that much of your article applies to northern Indiana as well, at least in regards to pronunciation. I remember encountering people out West who would ask if I was from Minnesota. I thought that was strange since I had never been there before, but now it makes a bit of sense.

        Interesting side. Decades ago I was helping Khmer refugees learn English in California. One day a gentleman asked me what the word "jeetyet" met. I kept having him repeat it and could not figure out what he was saying. After continuing to inquire about the context, I finally realized someone had asked him if he had eaten yet, but to him it sounded like "jeetyet." I laughed and explained that sometimes we say it that way, depending on where you are from. I laughed because the poor guy was trying so hard, even looking in his dictionary. Of course when I moved to Georgia, I don't know how many times I had to ask people what they were saying.

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        Tamara elias 2 years ago

        I loved this ..I didnt realize i was saying things wrong. . Oh well. ..♡♡♡

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        Jeanie 2 years ago

        Went to Catholic school for 12 yrs. and the nuns said that we are Michiganians..........NOT MICHIGANDERS !!! Never argue with nuns, they are "always" right. Hence, a great education, for sure!!

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        Hezekiah 2 years ago from Japan

        Interesting, but nothing compared to the various accents we have in the UK.

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        diane 3 years ago

        Here's two missing from your list.

        Opossum, is possum in Michigan.

        Minnows, are usually called minnies.. lolol.

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        LuAnn Braley 3 years ago from Crab Orchard, KY

        OMG. Baltimore and Washington? I need to take a class or something and get rid of that crap. *LOL*

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        Hawk2112 3 years ago

        The one that bugs me the most (I'm a Michigander) is when people pronounce Milk as Melk.

        I lived in California for a while and a buddy used to tell I pronounced taco as tack-o. I didn't think I did, but who knows. I have heard people around here pronounce it that way

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        Inez Robinson 3 years ago

        .Enjoyed this----wonder if I still have a Michigan accent? I've lived in Florida for 15 years where there are people from every state in the Union, as well as Canada and many other Countries around the World.

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        jimmar 3 years ago from Michigan

        Raised in the U.P. but live now for many years in the Lower. The quiz shows my accent to be upper LP and eastern UP, mostly.

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        Carol 3 years ago

        When I read the title of this article I thought "I don't have an accent!" Now I realize that I do. LOL

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        Nashley Grier 3 years ago

        Idk about everyone else, but I know that instead of can you, I say cin you. as in "Cin you pass me the remote"

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        Melody Lassalle 3 years ago from California

        This was interesting! There was a PBS documentary called "Do You Speak American" which went around the country recording accents. I didn't realize how many accents there are in the US.

        I always feel that in California we have a very flat way of talking. It's everyone else that has the accents...LOL I enjoy the quiz as well. Turns out I talk like someone from Seattle. Well, that's close.

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        buzz 3 years ago

        in michigan they call ya michiganders,in texas they call ya texans.where would you find a list for the 50 states of people. like floridians?

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        Em 3 years ago

        It told me I had a Detroit accent! I grew up and still live 20 minutes outside of Detroit!

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        Steve White 3 years ago

        One word mash-up I got called on when moving out of state was saying [a-CROST] as in "whass that new place acrost the street?"

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        jen 3 years ago

        How about not pronouncing Gs on the end of words . It's not hunting, it's huntin'... and the t isn't pronounced in it either so it's hun-in' or fishin' or dancin', etc.

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        Katinka 3 years ago

        Though I've lived elsewhere since 1981, I still fit the Michigander mold. The mitten will always be home for me. I grew up in Detroit and after all these years the dialect test nailed it. Showed Detroit, Ontario and Grand Rapids(don't know how that one got in there). When I moved west 30+ years ago I was always surprised when people said I had an accent. Most guessed Chicago or Canada. Thanks for the memories. Still love Vernors and Better Made!

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        Don A. Hoglund 3 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

        I grew up in Minnesota, lived 20 years in Illinois and presently live in Wisconsin. For a short time I lived in Kansas city. MO. I was told that I had a Northern twang. When my kids grew up and moved to Minneapolis from Illinois they were told they had southern accents.

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        NikkiN 3 years ago

        How about adding an "s" to the end of store names. Such as "I'm going to Meijers" (instead of saying "I'm going to Meijer"). My Grandma also used to say KMark instead of Kmart.

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        DEBORAH HARGETT 3 years ago

        I am from Michigan (Brighton) moved to Alabama after my father died in 69I still get accused of being from Chicago (down her they pronounce it Chi-car-go) my accent is still northern even if I don't live in the state of Michigan most people can still tell I'm Northern and most of these slang words I still say just the same

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        blackconnor 3 years ago

        ..took the NYT quiz.. results are in..Detroit.Close..I was born and raised..still am in Pontiac. Or ponneeeac

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        Kelly 3 years ago

        Great article! I am working in NY now and everyone tells me I have an accent. I never understood until now!

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        brooke 3 years ago

        K'yoo instead of could you. "K'yoo hand me the remote?"

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        Annalisa 3 years ago

        That was really helpful. I'm a Michigander trying to learn a third language that uses a lot of glottal stops, and I'd been having a hard time with that definition/practice. Now that I know that I've been doing them all my life, I'll be fine. :)

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        bob 3 years ago

        i like penguins

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        ROBERT CENTALA 3 years ago

        Wow ..this was so made me come out of the " cla zit " ,,, not " claw zit " uneek...we have our own language. ..what about " how uz guys doing " ..thanks for posting ..made me laugh

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        Susan Gelderbloom 3 years ago

        The thicker Michigan accents pronounce "bag" like "bage". I've lived here a long time and never heard of FIP, don't say secretariah, and say "you guys" instead of yuh guys. Maybe it depends on where you live in Michigan? Even the South has some areas where there is very little accent and others where it is really thick. The more rural areas of Michigan seem to have more of an accent, too.

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        Amy 3 years ago

        My map gave me Detroit, Grand Rapids and Toledo. Glad to know I'm still a Michgander after 16 years of being away in the military.

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        Shaina 3 years ago

        Have you ever had to say "chalotte" to an outsider? Shar- lot.

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        reasonablerobby 3 years ago

        How fascinating I love idioms and accents. I've visited Chicago and loved it but not being local or from the U.S. I wasn't really tuned into the subtle differences of accent. Most UK folks can distinguish between New York and Deep South and that's about it. I'm from Nottingham or Nottnum as we say and the famous phrase for hello here is 'ay up mi duck' :)

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        ybnormal07 3 years ago

        Everyone else has an accent. Michiganders don't.:)

        ps...we pronounce Chicago correctly:) I had a room mate in college from Chicago. It is usually those from Chicago that put the "caw" sound in where the "ah" sound should be.

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        Mandi 3 years ago

        So glad someone mentioned GR as Grand Rapids, Kazoo and the D abbreviation. You better add A2 that is how we say Ann Harbor. Ippsey meaning Yippsilanti. GH is Grand Haven ( Havin). Some other things we say creek ( instead of river) mittin instead of Mitten. Same for Mountin pronounced (moun -in). Roof on a house is Rouf exaggerated vowel sound. Moose, has extra o sound. Ask us to Wolf. You'll hear us mash it Wulf.

        Pasties are something we eat not wear. Instead of saying lake us West siders say going to the beach / dunes meaning Lake Michigan. We're headin to Superior, Huron etc.. . My favorite heading to the SUE means Sault Saint. Marie. Petoskey is our favorite stone and a city too and yahkno ( you know) a dive is a really good place to eat or hole-in-wall. The takes to long to say. Don't forget ay. Yupper talk after most things said ay? Bakeries are abundant all over the state and we know what a Cream Horn or long Johns are pastries filled with creamy goodness. If your from Muskegon we call it Muskiegin. My favorite we name the closest city to our small town. Example I'm from Fremont so I say an hour away from GR or 20 minutes outside of Muskegon.

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        Melanie Shebel 3 years ago from Midwest USA

        Rj, John is my brother!

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        Val 3 years ago

        We grew up with Faygo and Paramount Potato Chips.

        I don't even recall seeing Better Made Chips in our house growing up.

        Paramount with Slim Chiply, then eventually Frito Lay -remember the Frito Bandito?

        And at our house is was Ma, not Maahm.

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        Gordan Zunar 3 years ago from New York

        Very interesting. It's funny, in New York they also say "where at". Who took it from whom?