Source: Sherman Publications

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Don't Rush Me
Readers weigh-in on nicknames
Trolls Unite! (under the bridge)

by Don Rush

October 27, 2010

Yikes! With the election only a handful of days away I think I may have finally figured out who I'll cast my vote for Michigan's governorship . . . but, as it is a secret ballot, it's none of your business.

What is your business, and a continuing surprise to me, has been the response to the Michiganian vs Michigander debate and what nicknames Yoopers have for us'ins who live south of "The Bridge." The readers wrote:

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Don, I almost wrote you last week to give you three cheers for your Michiganian vs Michigander column. Since you received so much negative feed back, I wish now I would have. Here's a vote of support. You expressed my feelings exactly. Actually, I will express it even more strongly by relating the following true story:

Several years ago my family and I had the unfortunate experience of living in Houston, Texas for a year. Down there, the big thing was "kicker." As in, "Are you kicker?" The sad thing was most of them were, in fact, "kickers." Every once in a while some guy would write a column trying to explain to them being "kicker" meant people not born in Texas, but the message just didn't get thru. One of the most popular bumper stickers was "If you ain't kicker, you ain't BLEEP." To which the obvious remark on the tip of everyone else's togue was, "Well, I guess that means if you are Kicker you are BLEEP!"

MichiGANDER strikes me the same way and those who use it are, sadly, as clueless as all the "kickers" were down in Houston.

Ken M (who walks upright)

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Don, On the topic of Michigander vs. Michiganian, I seem to remember an act of the state legislature in the mid 1990's that made us officially "Michiganians." Funny how no one seems to remember that. Just some more fuel for the fire. -- Keith C.

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Don, according to Yooper son-in-law, those of us living south of "The Bridge" are officially called "Trolls." He also tendered the following: During deer hunting season, they call hunters, "sugar beeters." You are not alone in not wanting to be called a "gander." For years I've cringed whenever anyone referred to us as "Michiganders." Prefer "Michiganian" myself. Appears you no longer can state "you stand alone" on this matter. Pat G.

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Hey Don! I am a Yooper! And we call you all Trolls. I have been away from the U.P. since 1982. I still go up to visit my folks and my older sister and younger brother. I lived in Texas and North Carolina before moving down state here in 1990. God's country is still where my heart is. A wonderful place to grow up! Never thought I would end up near such chaos, confusion and conflict. YOOPERS ROCK! Unfortunately when the copper industry left, we became dependent on the Trolls."

Gale L.

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Hey Don, what do Yoopers call those of us who live south of the Mighty Mac? I will let you know. I am 44 years old. I have lived my entire life in Clarkston and have camped my whole life all over Michigan, including the Upper Peninsula. In bringing up my children we have done the same, camped all over this beautiful state. By the way, I call myself a Michigander. No reason, just because. (I totally respect you calling yourself a Michiganian. To each our own. That's what makes us all unique individuals!) Anyways, on to what I was saying -- my daughter is in her sophomore year of college in Marquette, Michigan. THE most beautiful place on the planet! Yes, she is a Northern Michigan University Wildcat. And, that is when I finally found out, after 44 years, that the Yoopers call those of us who live South of the Mackinac Bridge, Trolls! Yep you heard me: Trolls -- you know those strange little creatures who live under the bridge! And now you know!

From one Troll to another, Robyn A.

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Don, here. I have also heard we are called Fudgies, Apple Knockers and Flatlanders. (Or was is Low-landers? Rats! My steel-trap-of-a-mind is getting rusty. Useless facts that I could once call up on a whim are slipping away.)

Which brings me back to the beginning. You can call me a Troll, a Michigander -- whatever. I don't care. Just don't call me late for dinner (ba-dum-dum).

Hey folks, don't forget to check in on Don't Rush Me -- The Show! A special Halloween tribute to Sir Graves Ghastly . . . click on the following link (ignore the words "Jill's Show ... it's really Don's),