Michigan is a unique state with many of its own traditions and names for things we have to explain when someone from out of state pays us a visit.

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9 Things Michiganders Have to Explain to Out-of-State Visitors

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There are a lot of things Michiganders have to explain to family, friends, and strangers who are not from Michigan. I'm going to stay away from using our hands as a map, the Michigan and Michigan State rivalry, there are two seasons summer and construction, calling soda "pop" since these are becoming more common for out-of-staters to know about thanks to the internet.

1. Firearm Deer Season Should Be a State Holiday

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Buyenlarge/Getty Images
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With firearm deer season kicking off next week on November 15, I wanted to start off by talking about how many times I have explained to people that the opening day of deer season is not a good day to plan an event in the state. It has been a long tradition for Michiganders to head to deer camp, call in sick or take the day off for that chance at bagging a big old buck. Some parts of the state have so many hunters out in the woods, some schools call off the day so kids don't get hit with a stray bullet at the bus stop. Not to mention that many kids are also in the woods for opening day.

2. Tell Their Guests Not to Throw Their Cans in The Trash

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CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
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Every time one of my family members comes to visit I am constantly digging cans and bottles out of my trash. Since 2004, Michiganders have been able to return their bottles and cans for a 5 or 10-cent refund. It has been a great way to keep bottles and cans off the roads and out of the parks plus a great way to recycle. I don't how many times in the last 18 years I've had to explain to visitors to Michigan we save our bottles and cans.

3. Trolls and Yoopers

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Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty
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I have had a few friends come to hunt in Michigan and when I take them to the Upper Peninsula my guests feel like they are in a different world when they hear the "Yooper" accent for the first time. I have not had a guest yet repeat the phrase "You Betcha" after hearing it. I had a buddy from Florida get called a "Troll" one time and he got mad enough to want to fight because the Yooper had a million ways to refer to him as a Troll. My laughing didn't help but I had to explain to my buddy that people who live in the Upper Peninsula call people who live below the Mackinac Bridge "Trolls" and people from Florida are the deepest of all the Trolls.

4. Who Needs the Ocean in Michigan?

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I have been invited to Florida and California countless times to spend time on the ocean and have to tell my friends and family that I'm all set here in Michigan. We have the largest bodies of freshwater which mean no "saltwater" to deal with. We don't have to deal with sharks or jellyfish although we do have freshwater jellyfish. When I tell people from out of state that we do have freshwater jellyfish they think I'm crazy and don't believe me.

5. How Come it Smells Like Fish or Worms When it Rains?

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If you have lived in Michigan your whole life you may not notice that when it rains it smells like fish or worms. I've had plenty of relatives come to visit and ask why it smells like fish when it is raining here. I have to explain it's not fish but it's the worms who are coming to the top of the soil and usually wind up in parking lots, driveways, and roads to get out of the watered-down soil.

6. Vernors Ginger Ale is Our Secret Potion

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Most of the time it's around holidays when out-of-state guests come to visit Michigan. This means there is usually a lot of eating or a weather change for the visitor so if there is a belly ache or a sore throat naturally I'm going to the store to grab a couple of cans of Vernors for the cure. My guests think I'm crazy until they begin to feel better within an hour of drinking one.

7. Michigan Sauce on Your Hot Dog

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It seems almost every state has a different way to eat its hot dogs and in Michigan, there is a special sauce that is the preferred way. It's called "Michigan Sauce" which is a meaty, tomato-based Coney sauce that is often covered in chopped onions and mustard. I even add ketchup to mine for an extra tomato kick.

8. What the Heck is a Door Wall?

The Washington Post via Getty Images
The Washington Post via Getty Images
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I grew up in Michigan and there was one phrase that got me and maybe that is because my parents are originally from Kentucky and didn't use the phrase "Door Wall." My parents never referred to our sliding glass door that leads to the deck as the "Door Wall."  I have been at friends' houses whose families originated in Michigan and heard the term and had to ask what is a "Door Wall?" Then have it explained that it's the sliding glass door and "Door Wall" is what Michiganders call them.

9. Having to Correct Someone on How to Say Mackinac

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Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty
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When you are from out of state and you see a sign that says Mackinac, I get how you would pronounce that one wrong. Even Michiganders have trouble with that one when they are kids because it's so easy to Mack-i-nack when in fact it is pronounced Mack-i-gnaw.  It gets especially confusing when you also see a sign for Mackinaw City.

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