Michigander or Michiganian? Newly Published Book Re-Sparks Debate
How do you refer to someone who is from or who lives in Michigan? Michigander? Or Michiganian?
Based on those I work with the correct answer is Michigander. However, a seemingly innocent post promoting a newly published book seems to have re-sparked this debate. And, it's getting heated.
In the Facebook group Michigan History, a man named Gregory H. posted a picture of a book written by the author Michael J. Thorp. The book's title reads, "Michiganians You Should Know (Plus Some You Do and Don't Know Why)."
The book is described as a collection of stories about famous inventions by Michigan natives, baseball stars, famous explorers, and so on. You can find it on Amazon:
As you can imagine, given the history of the heavily debated 'correct' term for those who live in Michigan the comment section is getting a bit...intense.
Starting off with Bill K. who said,
He spelled Michigander wrong.
However, Mark H. chimed in with,
It has always been “Michiganian” to those in the know.
In the know of what? What are those who say 'Michigander' missing? Steve R. may have the answer. In his comment, he wrote,
I read a post once explaining that "Michiganander" is a derogatory political name for complaining politicians from Michigan. I personally think it's a name that people that moved here from other states gave themselves.
Sure enough, a quick google search on Michigander being a derogatory term pulls up an article written in April of this year that points to Abraham Lincoln, of all people, as the person who used Michigander as an insult.
The article, published by The Sun Times News, says that in a speech to Congress in the year 1848 Lincoln said,
But in my hurry, I was very near closing on the subject of military tales before I was done with it. There is one entire article of the sort I have not discussed yet; I mean the military tale you Democrats are now engaged in dovetailing onto the great Michigander [i.e. Lewis Cass].
He apparently meant it as an insult leading to the current belief held by some that Michiganian is the correct term.
Judging by the 140 comments on this very simple post, it seems that most people in Michigan lean towards the identifier of Michigander versus anything else. However, Joanie K. made a valid point when she said,
I think it's more important to be defined as a Troll or a Yooper.
There seems to be no debate around those terms.
Whether you refer to yourself as a Michigander, Michiganian, Michigonian, or any other term we can, surely, agree that these are the best things about living in Michigan: