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Posted: Mon May 02, 2005 9:15 pm
by Walter
What a magnificent site to have stumbled across in a Google search looking for places to find derivations of words! I love to read and am often fascinated by the origins of certain words or phrases. I look forward to visiting this site regularly!

Looks like a gem to me! :-)

Walter

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Posted: Mon May 02, 2005 9:50 pm
by haro
Walter, welcome to the gang. But beware. The addictive power of this site mustn't be underestimated.

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Posted: Mon May 02, 2005 9:54 pm
by Walter
Thanks, Hans! Just what I need...another potentially addictive website. I'll just add it to E-bay, Overstock.com and a few others that truly 'test' my self-acknowledged tendency to certain addictions!

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Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 6:53 am
by Erik_Kowal
Walter, perhaps what Hans meant was that this site has driven him towards other forms of addiction. Surgeons (and physicians) have good access to happy-making meds, you know! ;-)

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Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 9:55 am
by haro
Erik, I guess you know I don't need any happy-pills. This site is sort of addictive. When I am in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where Internet access can be two hours away (one of those areas where distance is measured in hours or gallons), I do have withdrawal symptoms just because I cannot see what is happening here. Crazy? Yup, but man needs a bit of craziness to keep sane.

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Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 1:24 pm
by Walter
No problem, Gentlemen! I'm a physician by training! Actually on a full medical disability with a lot of stiffness/pain of muscles so I have plenty of medicines to keep me 'content.' And what about this Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Hans? You live there part time? I refuse to even consider living in a place in which they put doors on the second floor so you can get out on top of the snow! Lived in Detroit and that's about as far north as I care to live. Yeah...I would go nuts without internet access. When traveling in Europe, you know you have a problem when one of the FIRST things you do is scope out the nearest cybercafe!

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Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 7:00 pm
by Ken Greenwald
Walter, You know what's best for you. And as the physician once said to the St. Bernard, “Heel thyself!" (<:)
___________________

Ken G — May 3, 2005

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Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 10:45 pm
by haro
Walter, in da UP dey do have real snow, not the brownish-gray stuff you saw in Detroit. Yeah, that's where they put shorts on when it hits 50 degrees (Fahrenheit, of course) and where getting dressed up means putting on a clean flannel shirt.

No, I don't live there, but I like the serene atmosphere and the people in the sauna belt. Actually I'm just a candidate for the perma-fudgie status in the Cherry Republic (Leelanau peninsula). My future second wife grew up in Detroit but "emigrated" to the Grand Traverse Bay. They may have pretty long winters also there, but the other four months of the year aren't bad at all ;-). Maybe you know that the wines produced in that area make Californian winemakers green of envy.

Talking about geography - did you know that the southernmost point of Canada (in Lake Erie) is more south than the northern border of California? Amazing.

For non-Midwesterners: The Upper Peninsula (UP) is the part of Michigan between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. The people up there are called Yoopers. The other two thirds of Michigan are in the Lower Peninsula between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron (plus a part of the butt of Lake Erie).

The Yoopers call those folks "down south" Trolls. Yoopers and Trolls are Michiganders, a word coined by Abe Lincoln, by the way, but there are neither Michigeese nor Michigoslings. Michiganders firmly believe they speak American English without an accent. Really. They are told such nonsense in school even. But they eat cayanned bee-anns and enjoy the sound of the rayann on their ruff, yet they still think they have no ayackcent.

The Yooperish accent, however, is completely different. Even in the fifth generation you can still hear that most of the immigrants came from Scandinavia; hence "the sauna belt," which extends from da UP across northern Wisconsin into northern Minnesota.

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Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 11:52 pm
by Walter
FABULOUS, Hans! Thanks for the education on Michigan and the general geography lesson! I was only up there about 3 years in Detroit and never made it to the UP. The furthest north I got was Traverse City. I had no idea about the accents, verbiage, etc. Doesn't surprise me, though, given the relative isolation of the UP. I'm not one who minds winter so much, but I do have a problem with very short summers and winter coming so early. Lived in Denver for six and a half years. We got 3 inches of snow on Sept 12 one year and I went nuts! Everyone said, "Oh, relax...it'll be gone by noon." That was hardly the point, as I adamantly repeated. It was THREE INCHES OF SNOW in SUMMER. :-) What am I saying, though? We are in coldest month of May on record right now here in Indianapolis. Still going below freezing at night in several places. Very unusual. May can be chilly - but this is beyond what is the norm.

Thanks again for the education on Michigan! This site is, obviously, a treasure trove!

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Posted: Thu May 05, 2005 1:03 am
by haro
Walter, maybe you know that Michiganders use their left hand to show other Michiganders where they live. Trolls use the back of the hand. Detroit is at the base joint of the thumb. The space between thumb and index finger is Saginaw Bay. The gap between ring finger and pinkie is Grand Traverse Bay with Traverse City at the lower (= southern) end. The pinkie is the Leelanau peninsula. That's where I live a few months a year.

Yoopers use the palm at an angle so that the fingers point to the right side. The half-way spread thumb is the Keweenaw peninsula on Lake Superior.

Back to languages - after all, that's what this site is about - one might think that 'Cadillac' and 'Pontiac,' both known as cities in Michigan as well as car marques made in Michigan, come from roughly the same source. Way off. Pontiac was an Ottawa chief, whereas Antoine de la Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac, was a French nobleman, the founder of Detroit (1701) and later governor of Louisiana.

'Nuff for now. It's 3:00 a.m. here. Gotta call my Sweetheart in Northwestern Lower Michigan to say 'Nite, then off to bed. You may send me an e-mail (link in my profile; just click on haro in one of my postings) in order to keep private stuff off the forum.

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Posted: Thu May 05, 2005 6:38 pm
by Shelley
I, too, just joined the club after visiting this site almost daily for the past five years or so. I posted anonomously once. I had a false start with registering, but now I'm in and naturally had to look at "just joined site!" How amazing: I get here and people are talking about Michigan, my home state. It's weird to be here with a personality, so to speak. By the way, as a "troll" (never heard that one!), I've always used my right palm as a map. You are right, haro, we ARE taught that we speak English without an accent -- only to find out we're wrong when we leave the mitten. I lived in Denver for two years, too, so this thread and I have a bit in common.
Well, I won't take up too much of your time. Just wanted to post in my new, official member status -- I'm sure somebody's going to come and beat me up, now.
Also, very interesting to learn that Abe Lincoln coined "michigander".

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Posted: Thu May 05, 2005 8:43 pm
by haro
Shelley, welcome to this funnyfarm.

You must go north of the Mighty Mac to find out that Lopers (or actually all those folks "below da bridge") are called Trolls.

Thanks for confirming my remark on the accent. I keep teasing the heck out of my Michiganian Other Half. There was a funny article in the Detroit Free Press (aka FreeP) years ago: http://www.freep.com/features/living/ac ... 000927.htm

As for the background of Lincoln's coinage, there's more information at http://www.umich.edu/news/MT/NewsE/091503/lincoln.html

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Posted: Fri May 06, 2005 12:19 am
by haro
Shelley, come to think of it, I guess the reason why I have encountered the map on the left palm much more often than on the right lies in the fact that people who have to do with the UP can just flip the left hand from "LP" position to "UP" position, which is impossible with the right hand. For instance, you say, "From Grayling" - (half-way up the middle finger on the back of your left hand) - "to Whitefish Bay" - (you flip your left hand over, angle it to the right and point to the little corner between the tips of the forefinger and the middle finger) - "must be about two hours and a half." Trying to do the same thing with your right hand is pretty awkward because you have to angle your it outside, i.e. to the right, to get the "UP" position and then point on it with your left hand. That needs the dexterity of a Thai temple dancer - not quite what you expect to find "up north."

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Posted: Thu May 12, 2005 9:17 am
by William Barclay
Walter

Sorry, I can't resist!

At a recent sporting event, an athlete was seen walking around the track field with a long fibreglass pole balanced over his shoulder. A spectator called to him and asked, “Are you a Pole-vaulter?” To which the athlete replied, “No, actually I’m German; but how did you know my name was Walter?”

Bill

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Posted: Thu May 12, 2005 2:04 pm
by Walter
Bill,

TOO funny!!!!! Thanks for the morning laugh! I needed it!!!!!

Walter