Yoo-per: noun: a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan – used as a nickname.
If you've lived in Michigan or know people who do, chances are you've used the regional term. Now thanks to Steve Parks' 12-year campaign, the nickname has moved from being purely vernacular to Miriam-Webster official.
A resident of Gladstone, Michigan, Parks first fought for the legitimacy of the term during a scrabble game with a friend. After learning that "yooper" was not in the dictionary, he took action.
Parks began correspondence with editors at Miriam Webster in 2002 and was immediately rejected. Using lunch hours at his law practice, he persisted by penning letters equipped with documentation of "yooper's" relevance throughout the decade that followed. This year his efforts finally paid off. "Yooper" has a place not only in the mouths of Midwesterners, but also in the 2014 edition of Miriam-Webster.