10 things only Michiganders do and say

From the term 'party store' to using our hands to tell people where we're from, here are things only Michigan residents do

There’s no denying that Michigan is a unique state, offering everything from the Great Lakes to wild weather extremes for all seasons. In fact, there are some things that only Michiganders do. Read on for 10 examples of things Michigan residents do all the time, most of which are completely unique to the Great Lakes State.

We use our hands to tell people where we’re from

Can you imagine living in Tennessee and trying to explain to someone where you live with your hand? Here in Michigan, when we’re trying to tell a new friend where we live or are from, the hand goes up, and we point to where we live in the Mitten. It’s the easiest and quickest way to tell someone where we live, and it’s definitely unique to Michigan.

We use the term “party store” to get beer

Did you know that in other areas of the U.S., a party store is really, well, a party store? In Michigan, a party store is a liquor store, where people go to pick up their alcohol. It’s not a store with confetti and birthday cards.

We make a “Michigan left”

MDOT even has an official definitely of a “Michigan left,” so it’s not just slang. “A Michigan Left is an intersection at which left turns are restricted. Instead, to turn left, drivers must continue straight through the intersection or turn right, then make a U-turn at a median crossover.” According to MDOT, Michigan Lefts have been part of Michigan roadways since the late 1960s, perhaps sooner.

We cheer for a losing football team- no matter what

I would love to see the Detroit Lions finally make it to the Super Bowl. But, ever since I was a child, all I’ve ever witnessed is the Lions having disappointing season after disappointing season. Let’s hope there’s still a Cinderella ending for the Lions, but you have to give Michiganders props for rooting for a team that usually loses.

We call “soda” “pop”

“What’s pop?” That’s a question you’ll hear if you go outside of Michigan and order a pop at a restaurant. Michiganders call carbonated beverages “pop,” while everyone else calls them “soda.”

We rely on Vernors for everything

Have a stomach ache? Drink a Vernors. Feeling low energy? Drink a Vernors. Michigan residents love their Vernors, and the special drink is their go-to when experiencing tummy trouble. Vernors is simply a Michigan staple.

We use terms such as “Yoopers” and “Trolls”

People from the Upper Peninsula are called “Yoopers,” and those who live in the Lower Peninsula are called “Trolls” by Yoopers because they live “under the bridge.” Does any other state have such enduring terms for those living in a different area? We don’t think so.

We keep our cans

In most states, people drink their “soda” and throw their cans and bottles in the trash. But, in Michigan, we keep our cans, because a 2004 law made it illegal to dispose of beverage containers in Michigan. Michiganders are asked to return cans and bottles for cash, and boy, we do.

We have pride in our big bridge

Michiganders fondly refer to the Mackinac Bridge as the “Mighty Mac.” We have lots of pride about that bridge, which connects the Upper and Lower Peninsulas.

We have strong vowels

Did you know Michiganders have an actual accent? Our vowels are nasal and strong, and we have an especially unique way of pronouncing “a’s” and “o’s.”

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