Definition of Yooper
: a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan —used as a nickname
Yooper was our Word of the Day on 07/22/2014. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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 and Etymology of yooper
yoop- (from the abbreviation UP) + 2-er
First Known Use: 1977See Words from the same year
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up Yooper? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).