Tuesday 10 August 2010

Michigan, the upper peninsula

I'm beginning to love these maps with the little pictograms.  It's a great way to spend some time in trivial pursuit of answers.

I know almost nothing about this area at all (hence the pursuit of answers) but one thing has struck me, that Mackinaw City is spelt with a final "w" whereas the Island has a final "c" in spite of having the same pronunciation, or so I'm told.

The message from the sender tells me that the upper and lower peninsulas are connected by the Mackinac Bridge (again the "c") and that people in the upper peninsula are called Yoopers (UPers).  They call lower peninsula inhabitants trolls because they live under the bridge. :)
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  1. I never know how to say it right. My mom lives there and she says it both ways for some odd reason.

  2. These maps always have disproportionate parts. Look at how skinny the finger of the lower peninsula. :)

    You may recall that Michigan was settled by the French, and so they got to name a lot of things. The French spelling is Mackinac and the English imitation for later names is Mackinaw. Mackinac is pronounced Mackinaw. Mackinac is the name of the strait, the bridge and the island. The bridge was named much after the French of course, but it is named after the strait it traverses. Mackinaw is the name of the town on the lower peninsula at the top. (Mackinaw City.)

    Well, actually Mackinac is short for Michilimackinac, the name of a fort. Something to do with turtle in (Chippewa?) so maybe not so French. :)

  3. The other island next to Mackinac is Bois Blanc which I'm pretty sure IS French, though I haven't a clue what it means.

  4. @Ancient Digger, well if someone who lives there pronounces it both ways, I have no chance. :)

    @Max, that it was originally French does explain a bit. In French the final "c" isn't pronounced as in "tabac" pronounce "taba", so it's not so odd any more. Bois Blanc means White Wood.


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