List of U.S. state and territory nicknames

Map of the United States showing the state nicknames as hogs. Lithograph by Mackwitz, St. Louis, 1884.

The following is a table of U.S. state and territory nicknames, including officially adopted nicknames and other traditional nicknames for the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, as well as five U.S. territories.

State and territory nicknames

Current official state and territory nicknames are highlighted in bold. A state nickname is not to be confused with an official state motto.

State,
federal district,
or territory
Nickname(s)
 Alabama[1][a]
 Alaska
 American Samoa
  • Motu o Fiafiaga (a Samoan phrase; in English, it is "Islands of Paradise")[9] (currently used on American Samoa license plates)[10]
  • Football Island[s][11]
 Arizona
 Arkansas
  • Bear State[14]
  • Bowie State[14]
  • Hot Springs State[14]
  • Land of Opportunity (former official nickname; previously used on license plates)[14]
  • The Natural State (currently used on license plates)[14][15]
  • Razorback Crystal State[14]
  • Toothpick State[14]
  • Wonder State[14]
 California
  • El Dorado State[16]
  • The Golden State[17][18] (previously used on license plates)
  • The Beach State
  • The land of fruits and nuts [19]
 Colorado
 Connecticut
  • Constitution State (official, currently used on license plates)[29]
  • Nutmeg State[16]
  • Provision State[30]
  • Blue Law State[16]
  • Freestone State[16]
  • Land of Steady Habits[16]
 Delaware
  • Chemical Capital of the World[31] (due to one time being the corporate headquarters for several international chemical companies.)
  • Corporate Capital (due to the state's business-friendly incorporation laws)[31]
  • Diamond State (Thomas Jefferson is supposed to have referred to Delaware as being like a diamond- small in size but great in value)[32]
  • Blue Hen State or Blue Hen Chicken State[33]
  • The First State[31][34] (Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution; currently used on license plates)
  • Peach State[31] (no longer used; see Georgia)
  • Small Wonder[31]
 District of Columbia[a]
  • Nation's Capital[35]
  • DMV (nickname for the broader metropolitan area of Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia)[35]
  • Inside the Beltway
 Florida
 Georgia
  • Peach State[38] (currently used on license plates)
  • Cracker State — Along with Florida, Georgia had been called "The Cracker State" in earlier times, perhaps a derogatory term that referred to immigrants, called "crackers," from the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina.[39] See also Atlanta Crackers: Origin of the name
  • Empire State of the South — Georgia is the largest Southern state in land area east of the Mississippi and was the leading industrial state of the Old South.[40]
  • Goober State — Refers to peanuts, the official state crop.[41]
  • State of Adventure (on highway welcome signs)
 Guam
 Hawaii
  • Aloha State (officially the "popular" name,[45] currently used on license plates)[46]
  • Paradise of the Pacific[46]
  • Pineapple State[46]
  • Rainbow State[47]
  • Youngest State[46]
  • 808 State (colloquial, refers to the state's area code.)[48][49]
 Idaho
 Illinois[53]
 Indiana
 Iowa
 Kansas
  • America's Heartland (previously used on Licence Plates)
  • Central State[16]
  • Dorothy's Home
  • Free State
  • Midway USA (previously used on Kansas Licence Plates)
  • Sunflower State[16]
  • Wheat State (previously used on license plates)
 Kentucky
 Louisiana
  • Bayou State (previously used on license plates)
  • Creole State[16]
  • Pelican State[16]
  • Sportsman's Paradise (currently used on license plates)
 Maine
  • Vacationland (currently used on license plates)
  • Pine Tree State[58] (co-official with Vacationland)
  • Lumber State[16]
 Maryland
 Massachusetts
  • Baked Bean State[63]
  • Codfish State (formerly represented on license plates by a codfish)
  • The Bay State[63]
  • Old Colony State[64]
  • Pilgrim State[63]
  • The Spirit of America (currently used on license plates)
  • The People's Republic of Massachusetts (colloquial)
  • Taxachusetts (colloquial)[65][66][67][68][69]
 Michigan
  • The Great Lakes State (previously used on license plates)
  • Water Wonderland and Water-Winter Wonderland (previously used on license plates)
  • The Wolverine State[70]
  • The Mitten State
 Minnesota
  • Gopher State[16]
  • Land of 10,000 Lakes ("10,000 Lakes" currently used on license plates)
  • New England of the West[16]
  • North Star State
  • State of Hockey[71]
  • ”Minne(snow)ta”
  • Bread and Butter State[16]
 Mississippi
  • Hospitality State (previously used on license plates)
  • Magnolia State
  • The Birthplace of America's Music (currently being used on license plates)
  • The Bayou State[16]
 Missouri
  • Bullion State[16]
  • Show-Me State (currently used on license plates)
  • The Gateway to the West
 Montana
  • Big Sky Country (previously used on license plates)
  • The Last Best Place[72]
  • Treasure State (currently used on license plates)
 Nebraska
  • Antelope State[73]
  • Beef State (previously used on license plates)
  • Cornhusker State (previously used on license plates)[74][73]
  • Bugeating State[75][73]
  • Blackwater State[16][73]
  • The Good Life (as seen on state border signs)
  • Tree Planters State[73]
 Nevada
  • Battle Born State (refers to the fact that Nevada joined the Union during the Civil War)
  • Sagebrush State
  • Silver State (currently used on license plates)
  • Casino State
 New Hampshire
 New Jersey
  • Garden State (currently used on license plates)
  • The Crossroads of the Revolution (previously used on license plates)
  • The Cornerstone State (used colloquially, especially with reference to Pennsylvania when it is called the Keystone State).
  • The Suburban State
 New Mexico
  • Land of Enchantment[77] (currently used on license plates)
  • Land of Sunshine (predates "Land of Enchantment"; this earlier nickname highlighted the large percentage of sunshine received statewide)[78]
 New York
  • Empire State (currently used on license plates)[16]
  • Excelsior State[16]
  • Evil Empire (used notably in Massachusetts, also by a reference to New York Yankees)
 North Carolina
 North Dakota
 Northern Mariana Islands[a]
  • Håfa Adai (a Chamorro phrase; in English, it is "Hello")[83] (currently used on Northern Mariana Islands license plates)[84][b]
  • America's Best Kept Secret[85]
 Ohio
  • Buckeye State[33]
  • Birthplace of Aviation[86] (currently used on license plates)
  • The Heart of It All[87] (formerly used on license plates)
 Oklahoma
 Oregon
  • Beaver State[89]
  • Pacific Wonderland (previously used on license plates and currently available on an extra cost plate)[90]
  • Webfoot State[16]
 Pennsylvania
 Puerto Rico
  • Isla del Encanto ("Island of Enchantment") (currently used on license plates)
  • Borinquen (name given by indigenous people, the Tainos)[91]
 Rhode Island
  • Little Rhody[33]
  • Ocean State (currently used on license plates)
  • Rogues Island[92]
  • The Licentious Republic[92]
  • Smallest State
 South Carolina
 South Dakota
 Tennessee
  • Big Bend State (refers to the Tennessee River)[96]
  • Butternut State (refers to the tan color of the uniforms worn by Tennessee soldiers in the American Civil War)[96]
  • Hog and Hominy State[96]
  • The Mother of Southwestern Statesmen[96]
  • Volunteer State[96] (currently used on license plates)
 Texas
  • Lone Star State[33][97] (currently used on license plates)
 U.S. Virgin Islands[a]
  • America's Caribbean (used on U.S. Virgin Islands license plates until 2015)[98]
  • American Paradise[99]
 Utah
 Vermont
  • Green Mountain State[33] (currently used on license plates)
 Virginia
 Washington[a]
  • Evergreen State[104] (currently used on license plates)
 West Virginia
  • Mountain State (previously used on license plates)
  • Panhandle State[16]
  • The Switzerland of America[105]
  • Almost Heaven
 Wisconsin[106][a]
 Wyoming
  • Cowboy State
  • Equality State
  • Forever West (on highway welcome signs)

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f No official nickname.
  2. ^ Though this phrase is used on license plates, it is unclear if it is the official nickname of the Northern Mariana Islands.

References

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  2. ^ a b Group, Sinclair Broadcast (2014-07-18). "Welcome to Sweet Home Alabama: New signs going up on interstate highways". WBMA. Retrieved 2021-08-15.
  3. ^ a b Introduction to Alabama, 50 States, retrieved April 24, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c "Alabama Emblems, Symbols and Honors". Alabama Department of Archives & History. 2006-04-20. Retrieved 2007-03-18. Alabama does not have an official nickname.
  5. ^ "Heart of Dixie". Alabama Emblems, Symbols and Honors. Alabama Department of Archives & History. 2004-06-29. Retrieved 2007-03-18.
  6. ^ "Nicknames: America's 50 States (First of Four Parts)". Voice of America. VOA Special English program. 2008-01-06. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
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  8. ^ Alaska Division of Economic Development (2010-12-21). "Alaska Division of Economic Development". Alaska Division of Economic Development. Retrieved 2011-07-30.
  9. ^ http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2016/09/honor-respect-devotion-to-duty-coast-guard-auxiliarists-mike-and-paula-mcdonald/ Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Coast Guard Auxiliarists Mike and Paula McDonald. Connie Terrell. September 30, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  10. ^ http://www.worldlicenseplates.com/world/PA_AMSA.html Worldlicenseplates.com. American Samoa. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  11. ^ "American Samoa Facts". Factretriever.com. Retrieved November 24, 2017.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Introduction to Arizona, 50 States, retrieved April 24, 2009.
  13. ^ Ariz. HB 2549 Officially adopted by Arizona on February 14, 2011
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h Introduction to Arkansas, US States, retrieved April 24, 2009.
  15. ^ Arkansas § 1-4-106 - State nickname Retrieved Feb. 28, 2011
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "States, Popular Names of" . New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.
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  19. ^ https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/land_of_fruits_and_nuts
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  21. ^ a b "Colorado State Name and Nicknames". Colorado State Symbols & Emblems. State of Colorado, Department of Personnel & Administration, Colorado State Archives. Retrieved 2007-02-21.
  22. ^ "Colorado State Flower". Colorado State Symbols & Emblems. State of Colorado, Department of Personnel & Administration, Colorado State Archives. Retrieved 2007-02-21.
  23. ^ "Colorado Water History" (asp). Colorado Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
  24. ^ Denver, Colorado
  25. ^ "Colorado". USAtourist.com. USATourist. Archived from the original on 2012-12-16. Retrieved 2007-02-21.
  26. ^ Colorado Ski Country USA history Archived 2014-03-16 at archive.today
  27. ^ Introduction to Colorado, 50 States, retrieved April 24, 2009.
  28. ^ Dermondy, K.C. (May 6, 2014). "Colorado's 10 Most Picturesque Mountain Towns | OutThere Colorado". OutThere Colorado. Retrieved June 2, 2018. This “Switzerland of America” as it’s often called, sits deep in the heart of the dramatic San Juan Mountains. It’s lined with grand Victorian buildings and is home to natural hot springs where you can soak up all of that scenery while relaxing in the soothing warm waters.
  29. ^ Conn. Stat. Sec. 3-110a, retrieved Nov. 4, 2013
  30. ^ "WCSU - Connecticut as the Provision State". www.wcsu.edu. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  31. ^ a b c d e Introduction to Delaware, 50 States, retrieved April 24, 2009.
  32. ^ "Jewel among the states (Quotation)". Monticello.ORG. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  33. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Barry Popik, Smoky City, barrypopik.com website, March 27, 2005
  34. ^ Delaware Code Title 29 Section 318 retrieved on February 28, 2011
  35. ^ a b Farhi, Paul. (2010, July 30). After initial obscurity, 'The DMV' nickname for Washington area picks up speed. Washington Post. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  36. ^ a b c d e Introduction to Florida, 50 States, retrieved April 24, 2009.
  37. ^ "Florida nicknamed 'gunshine state' for having highest number of concealed carry permits". Fox13 Tampa Bay. 13 April 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  38. ^ "Quick Facts: State Symbols". The New Georgia Encyclopedia. University of Georgia Press. Retrieved 2008-03-03.
  39. ^ "Folklife: Customs and Local Traditions". The New Georgia Encyclopedia. University of Georgia Press. Retrieved 2008-03-03.
  40. ^ "History & Archaeology: Antebellum Industrialization". The New Georgia Encyclopedia. University of Georgia Press. Retrieved 2008-03-03.
  41. ^ "Land & Resources: Peanuts". The New Georgia Encyclopedia. University of Georgia Press. Retrieved 2008-03-03.
  42. ^ a b c https://www.visittheusa.com/state/guam Guam (Visittheusa.com). Retrieved November 24, 2017.
  43. ^ http://www.worldlicenseplates.com/world/PA_GUAM.html Worldlicenseplates.com. Guam. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  44. ^ http://www.andersen.af.mil/News/Articles/Article/754311/driven-by-island-heritage-guam-native-serves-country-community-family/ Driven by island heritage, Guam native serves country, community, family. Arielle Vasquez. May 08, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  45. ^ "Hawaii Revised Statutes § 5-7". Archived from the original on October 19, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
  46. ^ a b c d Introduction to Hawaii, 50 States.
  47. ^ "HAWAII: A RAINBOW OF CULTURAL RICHES: A world of traditions blending for centuries offers cultural activities of colorful diversity". Guidebookamerica.com. Archived from the original on 2013-05-27. Retrieved 2013-05-24.
  48. ^ 808 State Frequently Asked Questions: Where did 808 State get their name from?, 808 State Official Website.
  49. ^ 808 State Update, Talk Radio Hawaii
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  51. ^ a b Introduction to Idaho, 50 States.
  52. ^ "SuperPages: Idaho History". Retrieved 2008-03-21.
  53. ^ "Illinois". Illinois State Symbols & Emblems. Retrieved 2007-04-29.
  54. ^ a b c d Introduction to Illinois, 50 States, retrieved April 24, 2009.
  55. ^ The unofficial sobriquet of the State of Indiana has given rise to the humorous constructions Hoosierana (the land of Hoosiers; see uses in Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame Archived 2005-09-12 at the Wayback Machine and by sports journalist Frank DeFord) and Hoosierstan (the place of Hoosiers).
  56. ^ "Iowa State Nickname - "The Hawkeye State"". State Symbols USA. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  57. ^ a b c d Introduction to Kentucky, 50 States.
  58. ^ "State Nicknames". 50states.com. Retrieved 2013-05-24.
  59. ^ Judy Colbert, Off the Beaten Path: Maryland and Delaware, 8th ed., 2007,ISBN 978-0-7627-4418-3.
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  65. ^ Andrew Ryan, Report: 'Taxachusetts' label remains part of Massachusetts' past, Boston Globe, April 6, 2007.
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  67. ^ 'Taxachusetts' Voters May Eliminate State Income Tax, Fox News, October 7, 2008.
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  70. ^ Holland, Meegan (15 March 2010). "Death of Michigan's only Wolverine brings up question: Why are we still the Wolverine State?". MLive. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  71. ^ Jess Myer s, Hockey roots run deep in Minnesota, ESPN.com, February 10, 2004
  72. ^ In Montana, a Popular Expression Is Taken Off the Endangered List New York Times, August 17, 2008; Retrieved February 28, 2011
  73. ^ a b c d e Nancy Capace, Encyclopedia of Nebraska. Somerset Publishers, Inc., Jan 1, 1999, p2-3
  74. ^ [1], Nebraska Rev. Stat. § 90-101, retrieved Nov. 4, 2013
  75. ^ http://www.netstate.com/states/intro/ne_intro.htm
  76. ^ a b c "New Hampshire Almanac >Fast New Hampshire Facts". State of New Hampshire official website. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  77. ^ New Mexico Revised Statutes, Sec. 12-3-4-N, retrieved Nov. 4, 2013
  78. ^ New Mexico Symbols, State Names, SHG Resources website, accessed July 7, 2008
  79. ^ a b "North Carolina - First in Flight". www.carolana.com. Retrieved 2021-08-15.
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  82. ^ Variety Vacationland Postcard Exhibit Archived 2013-09-22 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  83. ^ https://www.guamvisitorsbureau.com/ Guamvisitorsbureau.com. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  84. ^ http://www.worldlicenseplates.com/world/PA_NMAR.html Worldlicenseplates.com. Northern Mariana Islands. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  85. ^ https://www.iexplore.com/articles/travel-guides/australia-and-south-pacific/northern-mariana-islands/things-to-do Northern Mariana Islands - Things to do. explore.com. Retrieved November 24, 2017
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  87. ^ Elkins, Keith A. (2011). Mr. E. 2003: Manifest Lessons from Ohio's Bicentennial Celebration. iUniverse. p. 293. ISBN 9781462048922.
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  89. ^ Writer John Francon Williams included a mention of Oregon as being the ‘Beaver State’ in 1892 in his book:The Advanced Class-Book of Modern Geography: Physical, Political, Commercial, by William Hughes and John Francon Williams, publ., London, George Philip & Son (1892) page 629: ‘OREGON, the ‘Beaver State,’ extends north of California to the Columbia River, which divides it from Washington.’
  90. ^ "Oregon's license plate from 1960 to circa 1966". Plate Shack. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
  91. ^ "98.03.04: The Taínos of Puerto Rico: Rediscovering Borinquen". Yale.edu. Retrieved 2013-05-24.
  92. ^ a b "Archives".
  93. ^ "Iodine". South Carolina Encyclopedia. 2007-04-14. Archived from the original on May 19, 2006. Retrieved 2007-04-06.
  94. ^ a b c d e South Dakota Symbols, State Names, SHG Resources website, accessed July 7, 2008
  95. ^ "South Dakota Laws 1-6-16.5". Retrieved November 4, 2013.
  96. ^ a b c d e Tennessee Symbols and Honors, in Tennessee Blue Book
  97. ^ "Texas:Facts, Map, and State Symbols". EnchantedLearning.com. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
  98. ^ http://www.worldlicenseplates.com/world/CA_USVI.html Worldlicenseplates.com. U.S. Virgin Islands. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  99. ^ http://www.ducksters.com/geography/state.php?State=Virgin%20Islands Virgin Islands (Ducksters.com). Retrieved November 24, 2017.
  100. ^ a b "NetState: Utah". Retrieved 2008-03-24.
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  102. ^ "State it on a plate — Over the years, slogans, designs have taken some poetic license". Deseret News. Archived from the original on 2009-08-22. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
  103. ^ "Old Dominion – Encyclopedia Virginia".
  104. ^ "Symbols of Washington State". Washington State Legislature. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  105. ^ Johnston, Ross B. (1926). West Virginia "the Switzerland of America" : a brief guide for tourists to some of its many scenic and historic places. Charleston, W. Va.: West Virginia Dept. of Agriculture. OCLC 9814800.
  106. ^ a b "Wisconsin State Symbols Archived 2013-10-04 at the Wayback Machine" in Wisconsin Blue Book 2005-2006, p. 966. Wisconsin has no Official nickname.
  107. ^ Dornfeld, Margaret; Hantula, Richard (2010). Wisconsin: It's my state!. Marshall Cavendish. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-60870-062-2.
  108. ^ Urdang, Laurence (1988). Names and Nicknames of Places and Things. Penguin Group USA. p. 8. ISBN 9780452009073. "America's Dairyland" A nickname of Wisconsin
  109. ^ Kane, Joseph Nathan; Alexander, Gerard L. (1979). Nicknames and sobriquets of U.S. cities, States, and counties. Scarecrow Press. p. 412. ISBN 9780810812550. Wisconsin - America's Dairyland, The Badger State ... The Copper State ...
  110. ^ Herman, Jennifer L. (2008). Wisconsin Encyclopedia, American Guide. North American Book Dist LLC. p. 10. ISBN 9781878592613. Nicknames Wisconsin is generally known as The Badger State, The Dairy State, or America's Dairyland, although in the past it has been nicknamed The Copper State.

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Flag of Oregon (obverse): The flag was adopted by the state on February 26, 1925.[1] The state seal was decided in 1903.[2][3]
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Map of the United States showing the state nicknames as hogs. Text reads: "Nicknames of the states. H.W. Hill & Co. Decatur Illinois, sole manufacturer of Hill's hog ringers, Hill's triangular rings, calf & cow weaners, stock markers, &c. Printed in our own advertising department; copy of this map mailed for 5 one cent stamps."
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