What’s a Yooper? Check the dictionary

Yooper license plate

Fans of this site know I keep a watchful eye on the world of popular linguistics. So, big news this week: Our compatriots over in the Upper Peninsula of northern Michigan made the dictionary. On Monday, Merriam-Webster added the word “yooper” to its vaunted list of official words.

Here’s the local news:

As the AP reports, the long yooper campaign of a local U.P. culture enthusiast and public figure proved fruitful, as dictionary editors recognized that “yooper” had emerged from slang usage into documented, widely accepted use.

Can we here on northern Minnesota’s Iron Range do the same for “Ranger?” You’d think it’d be easier to add a fourth definition onto an existing word.

rang·er noun \ˈrān-jər\
: a person in charge of managing and protecting part of a public forest
: a person in charge of managing and protecting part of a national park
: a soldier in the U.S. Army who has special training especially in fighting at close range

So, just add this:

: a resident of the Iron Range region of northern Minnesota.

We’d have to get off our duffs and do the work, though. Kudos to Yooper Steve for his efforts. We are all yoopers today.

You might recall that I’ve explored the history of the “State of Superior” movement, statehood for the upper great lakes regions of the U.P., northern Wisconsin and northeastern Minnesota.


  1. Hurrah! In the end I got a web site from where I know how to in fact take useful data concerning my study and knowledge.

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