A Conversation for Michigan, USA

mitten vs. rabbit

Post 1


I would just like to point out that the author's contention that people use hand shapes to show geographic locations in the Upper Peninsula but not in Lower Peninsula is wrong. The further contention, that LP Michiganders claim their peninsula looks like a mitten because they are jealous of the UP's rabbit shape, is also dead wrong. (In fact, I would argue that the reverse is true, that people from the UP are jealous of the LP's neat and obvious mitten shape, and had to contrive the "rabbit" shape to make themselves feel better!)

I grew up near Detroit, and I know for a fact that school children are taught that Michigan is the shape of a mitten. It's part of our culture. I learned it in 4th grade.

"What about the UP?" we would ask the teacher.

"Oh, I don't know," she'd say. "Maybe a rabbit?"

I live in Minnesota now, but I still use the palm of my right hand to show people where I'm from. (Of course, no one here understands it like they do back home.) It's a reflex reaction.

mitten vs. rabbit

Post 2


I tend to agree with the above and I have an un-biased view. I am English, but I am staying over here in Michigan for 2 months on business. I am staying in the Lower P, in Ann Arbor and one of the first things I learnt here in Michigan is that the locals identify places by holding up their right hand to simulate the Lower P, and use then point places out on their right hand.

mitten vs. rabbit

Post 3


I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and around here, perhaps, people don't use the held-up palm to show location as much as they might elsewhere in the state (I really can't say for sure), but I have seen it done- it's just the natural thing to do, and quite useful. And all my life, I've heard that Michigan resembles winter clothing- a mitten for the LP (lower peninsula) and a scarf for the UP (upper peninsula). I don't think I've ever heard about the "rabbit."

mitten vs. rabbit

Post 4

Amosini Amarillo Amers

When I was little, in the first grade, my teacher told us that Michigan resembled a mitten and Oklahoma resembled a gas pump. Anyways, she also said the UP was just another mitten but in a weird position, with the thumb tucked to the side and a pinkie sticking up or something. Besides, what to the Upers do when people ask where they are from? Do they hold up their pet rabbit and point?

mitten vs. rabbit

Post 5

Amosini Amarillo Amers

But then how many Upers carry around rabbits in their pockets?

mitten vs. rabbit

Post 6


I dont know about other U.P.'ers but I dont talk about a rabbit, that is for sure. I was told by teachers that the Upper Penisula was more like a shark. Where the dorsal fin was where Houghton and Hancock were. At the base of the dorsal fin is where Marquette is. I was Born an raised in Marquette so to me it made sense. Where as the rabbit can be seen by alot of others and see it alot clearer. It might sound odd to people who were not raised around Michigan that holding up your hand as a map and give it a name like "Mitten" or "Rabbit" Or "Shark" are wierd but look at it sometime soon it makes sense. Without a handy map on hand it is a good way of explaining where cities are. Lol No matter how corny it sounds.

mitten vs. rabbit

Post 7


I do not carry around a rabbit in my pocket. Lol I dont know many that do

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