Definition of Yooper
: a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan —used as a nickname
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 regional for entry in our dictionaries.
Origin of yooper
yoop- (from the abbreviation UP) + 2-er
First Known Use: 1977
Seen and Heard
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