Nicknames of U.S. States

Darshak Rana

There are 50 states in the United States that are officially recognized.

Many people are surprised to learn that each of those states has a nickname, whether it's an official or unofficial one. States have a variety of nicknames, some derived from their history (Constitution State, Land of Lincoln), while others are based on what grows in the area (Peach State, Spud State) (Grand Canyon State).

Some make you desire to go to the location in question (Sunshine State, Colorful Colorado, Land of Opportunity).

The History

People who aren't locals can find some of the nicknames strange or unusual. There's a chance they're not what you expect. While the Constitution State isn't where the US Constitution was established (Philadelphia was), the nickname stems from the 1639 charter that three communities put together to govern their settlements. The Fundamental Orders was the first written constitution, according to some historians. This "first" is hotly contested, with some arguing that it is a constitution in and of itself.

In the names of Alabama, Maryland, and Tennessee, wars come into play. Although the yellowhammer is a bird, the Confederate soldiers' yellow fabric uniforms resembled the bird, garnering the moniker for both the men and the state. There is also "Old Line" in the name of "steadfast Maryland soldiers" from the American Revolutionary War. Tennessee became known as the "Volunteer State" because of its troops who volunteered during the Mexican-American War (not the War of 1812).

The "Tar Heel" moniker dates back to the colonial era when pine trees from North Carolina were cut to produce tar, pitch, and turpentine for wooden navy ships.

In Oklahoma in 1889, people flocked to the state to lay claim to the land. The term "Sooners" was coined for those who arrived before the scheduled arrival time. A year after it became a state in 1907, the area was abolished.

Now, The Nicknames

The following is a list of the 50 states' nicknames. In the event that a state has more than one nickname, the more popular or official one is mentioned first.

  • Alabama: Yellowhammer State, Heart of Dixie
    Cotton State
    Stars Fell on Alabama
    Camellia State
    Lizard State
    Cotton Plantation State

  • Alaska: The Last Frontier, Land of the Midnight Sun
    Great Land
    Seward's Folly
    Seward's Icebox
    Russian America
    Territory of Baranov
    Mainland State
    49th State
    Sourdough State
    Up Over

  • Arizona: Grand Canyon State, Apache State
    Copper State
    Baby State
    Aztec State
    Italy of America
    Sand Hill State
    Sunset State
    Valentine State

  • Arkansas: Natural State, Land of Opportunity
    Wonder State
    Bowie State
    Toothpick State
    Hot Water State
    Bear State
    Razorback State
    What a State!
    Diamond State

  • California: Golden State, Grape State
    Land of Sunshine and Opportunity
    Land of Milk and Honey
    Land of Fruits and Nuts
    Where Stars Are Buried
    Cereal Bowl of the Nation
    Eureka State
    Bear State (or Republic)
    El Dorado State
    Golden West

  • Colorado: Centennial State, Columbine State
    Rocky Mountain State
    Highest State
    Mile-high State
    Buffalo Plains State
    Lead State
    Silver State
    Treasure State
    Colorful Colorado

  • Connecticut: Constitution State, Arsenal of the Nation
    Nutmeg State
    Provisions State
    Blue Law State
    Land of Steady Habits
    Freestone State

  • Delaware: First State, Diamond State
    Spud State
    Blue Hen State
    Small Wonder
    Peach State
    New Sweden
    Land of Tax-Free Shopping

  • Florida: Sunshine State, Everglade State
    Orange State
    Alligator State (No other state is nicknamed for a reptile.)
    Peninsula State
    Flower State
    Citrus State

  • Georgia: Peach State, Empire State of the South
    Goober State
    Yankee-land of the South
    Cracker State
    Buzzard State
    Pine State

  • Hawaii: Aloha State, Pineapple State
    Rainbow State
    Youngest State
    Paradise of the Pacific
    Crossroads of the Pacific

  • Idaho: Gem State, Spud State
    Gem of the Mountains
    Land of Famous Potatoes

  • Illinois: Prairie State, Land of Lincoln
    Rainy State
    Corn State
    Inland Empire
    Sucker State
    Garden of the West
    Garden State

  • Indiana: Hoosier State, Hospitality State
    Crossroads of America

  • Iowa: Hawkeye State, Corn State

  • Kansas: Sunflower State, Jayhawk State
    Wheat State
    Central State
    Grasshopper State
    Garden of the West
    Squatter State
    Bleeding Kansas
    Battleground of Freedom
    Cyclone State
    Midway, USA

  • Kentucky: Bluegrass State, Tobacco State
    Hemp State
    Rock-Ribbed State
    Dark and Bloody Ground

  • Louisiana: Pelican State, Bayou State
    Child of the Mississippi
    Creole State
    Mardi Gras State
    Cajun State
    Jazz capital of the US
    Bayou Country
    Cajun Country
    Sportsman's Paradise
    Fisherman's Paradise
    Holland of America
    Sugar State

  • Maine: Pine Tree State, Vacationland
    Switzerland of America
    Down East
    Polar Star State
    Lumber State
    Border State
    Old Dirigo State

  • Maryland: Old Line State, Cockade State
    Free State
    Monumental State
    Terrapin State
    Chesapeake State
    Oyster State
    America in Miniature

  • Massachusetts: Bay State, Colony State
    Spirit of America

  • Michigan: Great Lake State, Mitten State
    Water Wonderland
    Wolverine State
    Peninsula State
    Lake State
    Lady of the Lake
    Auto State

  • Minnesota: North Star State, Gopher State
    State of Hockey
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Bread and Butter State
    Bread Basket of the Nation
    Cream Pitcher of the Nation
    Wheat State
    Playground of the Nation
    New England of the West

  • Mississippi: Magnolia State, Hospitality State
    Mudcat State
    Groundhog State
    Bayou State
    Eagle State
    Border-Eagle State

  • Missouri: Show Me State, Bullion State
    Cave State
    Iron Mountain State
    Lead State
    Puke State
    Ozark State
    Pennsylvania of the West.
    Mother of the West

  • Montana: Treasure State, Big Sky Country
    Last Best Place
    Bonanza State
    Land of Shining Mountains
    Stub-Toe State
    Headwaters State
    Mountain State

  • Nebraska: Cornhusker State, Beef State
    Tree Planters' State
    Antelope State
    Bugeating State
    Black Water State

  • Nevada: Silver State, Battle-Born State
    Sagebrush State
    Sage State
    Mining State
    Sierra Nevada Territory
    Washoe Territory
    Carson Territory
    Eastern Slope
    Sierra Plata
    Oro Plata
    Divorce State

  • New Hampshire: Granite State, Mother of Rivers
    White Mountain State
    Queen State
    Switzerland of America

  • New Jersey: Garden State, Clam State
    Camden State
    Camden and Aboy State
    Amboy State
    Jersey Blue State
    Pathway of the Revolution
    Mosquito State

  • New Mexico: Land of Enchantment, "Otro"
    New Andalusia
    Colorful State
    Cactus State
    Spanish State
    Land of Sunshine
    Sunshine State
    Land of the Delight Makers
    Land of Opportunity
    Land of the Heart's Desire
    Outer Space State

  • New York: Empire State, Big Apple
    Excelsior State
    Knickerbocker State
    Gateway to the West

  • North Carolina: Tar Heel State, Old North State
    Turpentine State
    First in Flight
    First in Freedom
    Land of the Sky
    Rip Van Winkle State

  • North Dakota: Peace Garden State, Flickertail State
    Sioux State
    Roughrider State
    Land of the Dakotas
    Great Central State

  • Ohio: Buckeye State, Mother of Modern Presidents
    Yankee State

  • Oklahoma: Sooner State, Cowboy Country
    Land of the Red Man
    Boomer's Paradise

  • Oregon: Beaver State, Union State
    Webfoot State
    Hard-case State
    Sunset State

  • Pennsylvania: Keystone State, Independence State
    Quaker State
    Oil State
    Coal State
    Steel State

  • Rhode Island: Ocean State, Little Rhody
    Plantation State
    Smallest State
    Land of Roger Williams
    Southern Gateway of New England

  • South Carolina: Palmetto State, Rice State
    Iodine State
    Keystone of the South Atlantic Seaboard
    Swamp State
    Sand-lapper State.

  • South Dakota: Mount Rushmore State, Blizzard State
    Artesian State
    Land of Infinite Variety
    Land of Plenty

  • Tennessee: Volunteer State, Butternut State
    Big Bend State
    Mother of Southwestern Statesmen
    River with the Big Bend
    Hog State
    Hominy State

  • Texas: Lone Star State, Beef State
    Jumbo State
    Super-American State
    Banner State
    Blizzard State

  • Utah: Beehive State, Deseret
    Mormon State
    Land of the Mormons
    Land of the Saints
    Salt Lake State

  • Vermont: Green Mountain State

  • Virginia: The Old Dominion, Mother of Presidents
    Ancient Dominion
    Mother of States
    Mother of Statesmen
    Cavalier State

  • Washington: Evergreen State, State of Love and Trust
    Chinook State
    Green Tree State

  • West Virginia: Mountain State

  • Wisconsin: Badger State, America's Dairyland
    Cheese State
    Dairy State
    America's Bread Basket
    Copper State

  • Wyoming: Equality State, Cowboy State
    Park State
    Suffrage State
    Sagebrush State
    Big Wyoming

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