Yoop·​er | \ ˈyü-pər How to pronounce Yooper (audio) \

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.

First Known Use of Yooper

1975, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Yooper

yoop- (from the abbreviation UP) + -er entry 2

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The first known use of Yooper was in 1975

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Cite this Entry

“Yooper.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Yooper. Accessed 18 January 2020.

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