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Many Michiganders Utter This Strange Noise to Replace ‘Excuse Me’

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Someone mentioned this online last week and it’s something I never realized before…this is something I’ve noticed in others here in Michigan as well as in myself. We make a public noise that seems to be a mixture of a grunt and an exclamation.

Did you ever bump into someone and instead of “excuse me” make a weird substitution for it?

If we bump into someone in a store, etc., we make this utterance that sounds ALMOST like “oops” but it usually comes out as “ope”. Are we subconsciously mixing “oops” and “oh” or are we stopping short of saying “oh, bull”?

This not only happens when we bump someone, y’know……if we’re home lifting something heavy, then it usually comes out as “hoomp” or “mmff.”

After accidentally dropping something on the floor, I’ve heard variations of “ope”….like “ode” (short for ‘oh damn’?), “ahd,” “ahk,” “gaa” and other undecipherable grunts.
When we’re trying to make our way through a crowd, most of us say “excuse me” but I hear others go “hmm,” “hup,” “hip,” “mmp” and the popular “uh.” But “ope” seems to be the most-used. I admit I’ve used many of these.Of course, we sometime mix a grunt with “excuse me” that comes out something like “koomie,” “yoomie,” “kyoozmie” or “scooz.”

Has anyone else noticed this? And do you know of any other weird noises we make in every day life?

We in Michigan are unique, no doubt about it.

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