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Michigan is proud to be the home of the Yoopers, a special breed of people who inhabit Michigan's Upper Peninsula (UP for short). Like some other distinctive groups of people, the Yoopers have evolved their own brand of humor, vocabulary and short stories. Here, at RING!, we have compiled just a sampling for your light-hearted pleasure! Please laugh along with us and feel free to add your own at the bottom of the page.
We might publish them, too!


  A down-stater was sitting at the bar in Republic and asked the bartender if he would like to hear a Finnlander joke. The bartender leaned over and said, "Do you see that guy in the corner? He is the local sheriff, and he is a Finn. The man at end of the bar works for the DNR and he is a Finn. And buddy, I myself am of Finnish descent. Now, are you sure you still want to tell a Finnlander joke?" The down-stater replied, "No, not if I have to explain it three times!"

Lempi took a job with Odovero Construction to paint lines on M28. The first day he painted ten miles. The boss was very impressed. The second day he painted two miles. The boss was a little disappointed. The third day he only painted 500 feet. The boss sat him down and said," Lempi, how come you paint ten miles the first day, two miles the next day, but only 500 feet today?". Lempi replied, "Well boss, each day I get farther and farther away from the paint can".

Teemu and Eino were driving their pickup truck to Michigammee. When they got to the traffic light in Negaunee, Teemu drove right through the red light. Eino cried, "Holywha, Teemu, what are you doing?" Teemu kept driving and replied, "Don't worry, my brother taught me to drive". When they got to the light in Ishpeming, Teemu drove through another red light. Eino asked, "Why do you keep running red lights?". Teemu said, "Don't worry, my brother taught me to drive". When they got to the light in West Ishpeming, Teemu slammed on the brakes and screeched to a halt at a green light. Eino asked, "Teemu, why do you drive through red lights but stop at green lights?". Teemu replied, "My brother might be coming the other way".

An Italian, a Chippewa Indian and Toivo were hunting together in the Porkies and got lost. After many hours of wandering around trying to find their way back to camp, a genie appeared and said he would grant them each a wish. The Italian answered, "I wish I was back in Kingsford with my family". Poof! He was gone. The Chippewa said,"I wish I was back in Baraga with my tribe". Poof! He was gone. The genie turned to Toivo and asked him what his wish was. Toivo thought about it for a minute and said, "Boy, I really miss those guys, I wish they were back here with me".

Toivo was at the bar in Channing drinking a Stroh's and watch the Packers on the television when a big tall rancher from Texas came strolling in. The Texan started drinking and bragging to Toivo about how much money he made and how many head of cattle he owned. He said to Toivo in a loud voice, "I can drive all day and never reach the end of my property!". Toivo replied, "Yah, I got a pickup like dat too, mister."

Eino & Toivo was chikin (hitch hiking) down da US cement highway when Toivo says to Eino "Eh look a dose two Polacks out dare in dat subble field rowin a boat." Den Eino says "Yah hey is dat dumb or what?" Den Toivo says "Don't chu tink ve auta tell dem day can't row no boat in no stubble field." Den Eino says "Ya eh, but we got no boat to git out dare en tell dem wit."

Two Yoopers brothers were putting siding on their house. The older one started on the east side, the other on the west side. After a while, the older brother walked over to the west side to watch his younger brother, (who was dumb as a house,) and see how his work was going. His younger brother would carefully look at each siding nail, and would throw away about half of them. "Why are ya trowing away all da nails?" asked the old brother. "Because da got da heads on da wrong end!" said the younger brother. "Stupid," said the older brother, "I can use dem on MY side of the house!"

Two Yoopers are roofing a house, when a big wind comes along and blows down their ladder. Well, it gets dark and they still have not figured out a way down, when the first Yooper gets an idea. He says, "Hey. I got this flashlight. I'll shine it on the ground and you can climb down the beam of light, set up the ladder, and then I'll climb down." The second Yooper says, "No way. I'll get half the way down and you'll shut off the light."

Two Yoopers head for the Motor City. When they get across the bridge they see a sign that reads "DETROIT LEFT." So they turn around and go home.

Eino just got married and he and his wife are driving down to Saginaw for their honeymoon. As they are driving, his wife slides over next to him, and he starts rubbing her leg. She says, "Honey, now that we're married you can go a lot further than that!" So Eino drove all the way to Detroit!

This French trapper came through the camp and took a lot of heat from the lumberjacks because he seemed so frail. Considering a pair of lumberjacks weighed about a quarter-ton, he was. He told us about the time he came upon a bear while checking his trap line. "I not scare! Shotgun on my arm, shell in my hand. Then she old bear come chase Jacques! I not scare, shotgun on my arm, shell in my hand. I run fast, she old bear run fast! I not scare, shotgun on my arm, shell in my hand! Bear chase Jacques up tree! I not scare, shotgun on my arm, shell in my hand! She old bear start climb up at Jacques! I not scare, shotgun on my arm, shell in my hand but I so damn mad I crap my pants!"

Anio is a lumberjack, and Toivo, well he sells chain saws. One day, Toivo is in Anio's shop, and he says, "wat da heck is des here chain zaws anyways?" Anio responds, "Wat, u a lumberjack, and u ain't never used no chain zaw?" Toivo - "nope" Anio - "well, ere, take dis one out in da woods wit you tomorrow, and I guarantee u will cut tree times de amount of wood ya usually do." Well, Anio is gone all the next day, and at the end of the day, he comes strolling into Toivo's shop. "Dis ere chain zaw ain't no good! I cut and I cut and I cut, an I only got one tird de amount of wood I usually do!" Toivo says "Dere must be sumptin wrong wit it, ere let me see it" Toivo grabs the chain saw and starts it up "GZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ" Anio jumps and yells, "Whats dat noise?"

Toivo and Eino left Hubbell one afternoon heading for Shop-ko in Marquette. They got as far as Champion before the car broke down. They worked on the car for a while, but couldn't get it going again, by this time it was pretty late. They walked up the road a bit to the first farmhouse on the left. They asked the woman inside for help, she said she couldn't help them with the car, but they could stay the night and get help in the morning. The next day they got up thanked the woman, got their car fixed, went on to Shop-ko and went home. NINE MONTHS Later...... Toivo goes over to Eino's house....

A few years back, on the opening day of deer season, Eino and Toivo went hunting together. Sure enough, as was bound to happen with Eino and Toivo in the same swamp with guns, Eino accidently shot Toivo. Well, Eino jumps into the truck, drives down to the nearest bar and calls the ambulance. Soon, the police, game wardens, fire trucks, paramedics and the ambulance all show up at the scene of the tragedy. The paramedics work frantically on Toivo while a nervous Eino waits nearby. Finally, one of the exhausted paramedics comes over to Eino. "I'm sorry," he says, "We did everything we could. We just couldn't save him." "OH NO!" cries Eino. "My best friend! What will I do? I'm so sorry, Toivo! What could I have done to save you?" "Well," said the paramedic, with a look of disgusted anger on his face, "It would've helped if you hadn't gutted him first!"

One day, Toivo and Eino were hunting in the woods. Toivo instructed Eino that if he got lost, to fire 3 shots into the air. Eino agreed and they went on their way. After a few hours, Eino had gotten lost. He aims his weapon into the air, fires 3 shots and prays, "Please God, let Toivo see my arrows."

Eino & Toivo made their living working in the woods. After seeing commercials on tv they decided that the Air Force would be a perfect choice for a new career so they went to the recruiters's office to sign up. A few days later, Eino got a letter in the mail stating that he had been accepted as a pilot and was given instructions on where and when to report. Toivo heard nothing. Toivo was outraged and went back to the recruiter's office to find out why they took Eino and not him. The recruiter explained that they had openings for pilots and Eino said he was an experienced pilot, but they just didn't have any openings for a woodcutter which was the occupation Toivo had stated. "But, " in an exasperated voice, Toivo explained, "if I didn't cut the wood, Eino couldn't pile it (pilot).

An out-of-stater dies and goes to Heaven. St. Peter is showing him around. Everything is glorious. There is a music hall with every kind of music, all played with angelic perfection. The dining hall offers food beyond compare. And the residences, St. Peter assures him, are comfortable beyond all imagination. On their way to the residence halls, they turn down a hall where everyone is chained to the wall. St. Peter offers no comment as they continue down the long passageway. After a few minutes the man asks St. Peter. "If this is Heaven and everything is so wonderful why are these people chained up?" St Peter answers, "Oh. Those are the downstate Michiganders, If we don't keep them chained up they try to go to their cabins in the UP on the weekends."

Eino, and Tovio went fishing one sunny bright day and were catching fish like crazy. Eino said, "We better mark this spot so we can come back and catch more fish." Torvo then proceeded to mark the bottom of the boat with a large X. Eino asked him what he was doing, and Toivo told him he was marking the spot so they could come back tomorrow to catch more fish. Eino said, " You big dummy, how do you know we are going to get the same boat tomorrow?"

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Da Yooper Pledge

I _____________________ pledge allegiance to the U.P.

I promise to:

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Da Creation of Da Upper Peninsula

In the beginning dere was nuttin'.

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And remember... "Say ya to da U.P., 'eh?"

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Yooper or Troll...All are welcome at RING!!

This collection of Michiganian regional jokes comes from various sources, and was gathered primarily from the usenet group alt.great-lakes. To add your favorite "Yooper Humor" fill out the form below!

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