'Big Gretch:' An unfazed Whitmer earns a Detroit nickname

May 01, 2020, 12:08 AM by  Violet Ikonomova

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's supporters have bestowed her with an affectionate new nickname dripping with Detroit flavor: Big Gretch.

First publicly uttered on the internet last month, Big Gretch became a trending topic on Twitter late Thursday when Whitmer extended the state's coronavirus emergency order in defiance of Republican lawmakers. The move, what some might call "Big Gretch energy," capped off a contentious day in which armed protesters mobbed the state Capitol and the GOP-led legislature approved a lawsuit challenging the governor's powers.

The name Big Gretch appears to have originated in Detroit, where it was popularized last week with a meme featuring Whitmer in a pair of photoshopped Cartier Buffs. She was first called Big Gretch on Twitter in late March. By early Friday, nearly 5,000 posts contained the nickname.

"Big Gretch" represents toughness, attitude, resilience. The Michigan pendant she wears is not a dainty necklace, but an iced-out dirty glove chain — à la the record label that represented legendary Detroit rapper Blade Icewood. Big Gretch is unbothered by "you punks with ARs," Big Gretch says "What up doe," Big Gretch does "her thing and that's period."

Now someone go get Big Gretch to do the Blade dance.

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