MI travel guide


U of M gets tons of international and out-of-state students every semester. Often times, these students get mildly confused at the quirks that we as Michiganders do every day. I understand that some people might like to have an explanation of sorts while they are here in the Ole Mitten. I’m here to try and clear up your confusion! For the next few weeks, I’m going to explain a few things about Michigan or Michiganders that might be confusing for you!


Section 1: Food and other Consumables

Michiganders tend to be real proud of our “Made In Michigan” products. If you mention that on your food, we’ll buy the heck out of it. 


  1. Faygo. It’s a Pop or soda as some people in the South call it, that is made in Michigan. There are all sorts of flavors, but Rock n’ Rye and Orange appear to be our favorites. Red Pop, a strawberry flavored Faygo, is one of my personal favorites.
  2. Vernors. It’s a Ginger Ale, but no one calls it that. Most of us have grown up with it; either a family member drinking it, or we ourselves drinking it. It is used by us mostly as a recreational drink or (and this is a FACT) to help stomach, head or other internal aches. The funny thing? It usually helps. If you’re a native of Michigan and you DON’T like Vernors, then Canada Dry might be the Ale you go for but get tons of crap from your family members.
  3. Sanders’. It’s a brand of desert-like items that are all made here in the ole- mitten state. Caramel and Fudge sauce, Ice Cream…you name it, they sell it. 
  4. Better Made. Surprisingly, not all Michiganders are real Crazy about this home-brand. The Plain chips are thought to be “too plain” but we love their BBQ flavor one.
  5. Coney Islands. They’re everywhere, just about as often as a McDonald’s is! Don’t believe me? Take a drive through any city for a day. You’ll find that there are just as many Coney Islands and Family Diners as there are McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Arby’s and Burger King’s. The most popular one you’ll see is probably a “Leo’s Coney Island.” If you want a REAL Michigander Coney, go to Detroit and find the Lafeyette Coney Island. The address is 118 W Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226.
  6. Pasties. As hard as they are to pronounce, they are one of the easiest things to get messy eating. A Pastry dough filled with potatoes, meat, and veggies topped with a dark gravy, this iconic dish is absolutely delish if you can find a homemade recipe!
  7. Fudge. Not just any Fudge, but the Mackinac Island Fudge. And that city is pronounced “MAC en naw” not “MAC en ACK”. The fudge isn’t too different from fudge you’ll find elsewhere, but if you tell someone you’re making fudge, you’ll get a whole crowd at your door. If you see it at a street fair, BUY IT. It’ll be the richest, creamiest fudge you’ll have in your life. 
  8. Apples. We are the Bread Basket state after all. So it makes sense that Apple Farms are a fun activity. Apple Charlies is a popular location where you can get Homemade Apple Cider and Apple Doughnuts. Want some apples for dinner? Cop a good 3-4 and put them in a skillet. Put butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in with them and stir often on medium heat. Soon, you’ll have wonderful fried apples that taste ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT.
  9. Square Pizza. Pizza isn’t always round. I like to have a nice thick slice that has a crispy crust, and whatever toppings I ordered. Square pizza is very Michigander! It’s referred to as Detroit-Style Square pan pizza in some Non-Native Pizza places. 
  10. Germack Pistachio Co. This is a LEGENDARY company that simply deals in Nuts. Peanuts, almonds, and above all, of course, Pistachio. You might not be impressed, but as I said before, we Michiganders are real fierce about our products. 


Section 2: Sayings and Weird Actions


    1. Oop!” You probably hear this often. If you haven’t figured it out, it’s the Michigander way of saying “Oops!” For whatever reason, we cut off the “S” at the end.
    2. Secretariah State.” People from the Midwest have a verbal tic where we slur a lot of our words together. If it’s easier to say a sentence one way, rather than the correct way, we’ll probably use the easier one. This funny phrase is “Secretary of State.” A lot of Michiganders will slur words together! You’ve probably heard it before.
      1. Probly or Proly instead of Probably
      2. Ne’ermind instead of Nevermind
      3. Meer instead of Mirror
      4. Adding -a where the word of is and sluring the “smaller words” in a sentence.
        1.  “Insteada goin’ there, we ‘re thinkin’a going there.”
      5. “Mightuv” or “Mighta”  the combination of Might Have.
      6. Yoosta instead of used to
      7. Go tuh the store
      8. You wanna go ‘er what? Or is non-existant sometimes!
    3. Overpronuncing our Vowels. This is a regional thing! 
      1. Mop pronounced as Maw-p
      2. Pop paw-p
      3. Allen as AH lin instead of Ahllen
      4. The list is so long!
    4. Yes and No. Often times in the Midwest, you’ll hear someone ask a yes or no question. Have you ever heard someone say:
      1. No, yeah (Meaning, Yes)
      2. Yeah, no (Definitely No)
      3. Yeah, no for sure (Absolutely)
      4. No, yeah, no. (Oh, nothing to worry about with that.)
    5. Adding ‘s to the end of EVERYTHING.
      1. If you go to the store, you might be going to Meijer’s, K-mart’s or Kroger’s.
      2. If you used to work in automotive, you might have worked at Ford’s or GM’s.
      3. If you were at the mall, you might have gone into Penny’s.
      4. If you went to a restaurant, you might have eaten at Qdoba’s.


  • YooPee or Yooper


      1. This is the U.P or a person who is from the Upper Peninsula 


  • Jeet? Or Dijeet?


    1. The slang way of asking if you ate. Jeet=You eat? Dijeet=Did ya eat?