Photo: David Prahl/Shutterstock

9 Differences Between a Michigan Local and a Transplant

by Nicole Wildman Nov 1, 2016

1. A Michigan native knows how to play euchre.

A Michigan transplant, on the other hand, will look confused if you ask them how to play, have no idea how to pronounce ‘euchre’ if they see it written, and will misspell it if they hear it out loud. Euchre (pronounced Yoo-ker) is a card game played between two teams of two, and it’s great for going up north.

2. A Michigan native recycles.

Michigan natives grew up returning glass and plastic cans and bottles to the store, where they received a 10 cent deposit refund in exchange for each one. A Michigan transplant, however, might peel the label from a bottle or throw it in the trash.

3. A Michigan native celebrates Fat Tuesday with a paczki.

Michigan has a strong Polish influence, and every true Michigander gets paczkis on Fat Tuesday. Transplants, on the other hand, are unlikely to recognize the jelly-filled donuts as anything special and don’t understand why on one Tuesday a year, everyone in the state is eating them.

4. A Michigan native isn’t afraid of Detroit.

A Michigan transplant, however, will likely look at a Detroiter as if they have a second head, and wouldn’t dare go in the city alone, especially after dark.

5. A Michigan native can pronounce ‘Mackinac’ correctly.

A Michigan transplant might say ‘Mack-i-nack’ but the correct pronunciation is ‘Mack-i-naw’. Natives can also correctly pronounce Euchre, Ypsilanti, Charlevoix, Sault Ste. Marie, and Kalamazoo.

6. A Michigan native knows that Ohio is only good for Cedar Point.

Whether they enjoy football or not, a Michigan native sees Ohio as the home of Ohio State, which is any Michigan university’s biggest rival. Ohio is also the home of slow speed limits and strict police, and Ohio is in the way of driving nearly anywhere south or east. The state’s one redeeming quality: the best roller coasters in the world at Cedar Point, which happens to be not far from the Michigan border.

7. A Michigan native believes that lakes are better than the ocean.

True Michiganders grew up far from the ocean but spent plenty of time swimming in lakes and rivers. The great lakes are often compared to oceans but they’re better – they still have waves and Lake Superior even has tides, but they don’t have sharks, they’re full of fresh water, and they’re close to home.

8. A Michigan native knows how to Function during winter.

A Michigan transplant might call in sick when it snows, or stay inside when it’s too cold. But, in Michigan, school isn’t canceled unless there are at least 2 feet of snow on the ground — so we natives know how to drive in the snow. Halloween is often chilly, so children’s costumes are designed around winter coats. Lakes and rivers freeze, so instead of cars, sometimes we use snowmobiles or skis. It’s all about being adaptable!

9. A Michigan native is either a Michigan State fan, or a U of M Fan.

Michigan transplants may not have a preference, or they may choose an out of state team, but every Michigan native, whether they enjoy sports or not, chooses one over the other. The MSU vs U of M football and basketball games are two of the most intense days in the state.

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