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“Yooper” Finally A Real Word In A Real Dictionary!

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It all started with a game of Scrabble!

To Michigan residents, the word “yooper” applies to people who live in the state’s Upper Peninsula. Mention that word to anyone who doesn’t live in our mitten state and you get raised eyebrows.

Until now. The term “yooper” will be formally recognized as a word in the 2014 edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

The entry has been 10 years in the making. Steve Parks, a Gladstone resident, started writing to the dictionary’s editors in 2002, after a friend challenged the use of “yooper” in a game of Scrabble.

In the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, “yooper” will be a noun and the likely definition will likely be “a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan-used as a nickname.

I’m glad that everyone can use “yooper” in a game of Scrabble now, but I wonder how long it will continue to pop up on my spell check!

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