'Yoopers,' 'Freegan' Added to Dictionary

Merriam-Webster gives nod to Upper Michiganders
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 19, 2014 5:18 AM CDT
Updated May 19, 2014 7:03 AM CDT
'Yoopers,' 'Freegan' Added to Dictionary
George W. Bush acknowledges the crowd as he enters the Superior Dome at Northern Michigan University for a campaign stop in 2004.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Da "Yoopers" up dere in da U. P., Michigan's Upper Peninsula, have hit it big with inclusion of their nickname in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. The moniker for native or longtime residents of the Lake Superior region known for a distinctive manner of speaking and its Scandinavian roots was among 150 new words announced today by the company.

Many of the other new words and terms stem from digital life and social media—spoiler alert, hashtag, selfie, and tweep—while others are food-driven, including pho and turducken, a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck stuffed into a boneless turkey. Fracking also made it into the update, which has already shipped to retailers. So did e-waste and freegan, one who scavenges for free food in store and restaurant trash bins as a way to reduce consumption of resources. "It's a young word, from 2006," a company lexicographer says. "It's one of the youngest in this list. This kind of environmentalism was a Lone Ranger type of activity before but has taken off." (Read more Michigan stories.)

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