Did you know that every state* in the United States of America has an official state nickname? No, it's not just because they needed something clever to put on their license plates (though that does make for a fun road trip game). It's because each state has its own history and backstory that it proudly wants to let the world know about. US state nicknames can be fun and many have interesting origins, dating back through American history, that you might not have known. So which state nicknames are the best? Let's vote!
But funny state nicknames are just the beginning - most states in America also have an official state mottos, state flowers, state trees, and even state songs! Who knew? Isn't learning fun!? Of the 50 US states, each has its unique nickname, earned for a variety of reasons, from major crops, physical features of the landscape, the history of the state's people, or even big ideas thought up by the state tourism board.
So which state do you think has the best nickname? Which one has the lamest? Do you prefer your states named after a species of bird, a body of water, or perhaps a beaver? Perhaps most importantly, what the heck is a "Show-Me" state?
Show us which USA state nicknames you think are the most fun with an upvote and downvote those you think are overdue for an update.*Okay, fine. Alabama doesn't technically have an official state nickname, but they do have several commonly used monikers that you might as well learn about while you're here.
- 1417 VOTESNot to be confused with the final frontier, Alaska is known as The Last Frontier due to the vast areas of land within the state that have yet to be mapped, charted, or explored. It is also referred as The Last Frontier because people looked at it as the best place in America to start life anew.
- 2405 VOTESTexas was a former independent republic and struggled for independence from Mexico. The Lone Star State nickname is a reminder of that individualistic spirit. And you'll never believe what the Texan flag has on it - one star! Go figure!
- 3355 VOTESWay before Jay-Z sang a song about it, New York was nicknamed The Empire State due to its wealth and variety of resources. According to lore, George Washington looked at a map of New York, observed the natural geographic advantages, and referred to it as the "Seat of an Empire."
- 4318 VOTESThe same year Hawaii was adopted as a state by the US, Hawaiians adopted the moniker The Aloha State for the land. Wanting to be seen as a friendly and hospitable place to go, they chose the term "aloha" because it means "hello" in Hawaiian. It totally worked and Hawaii is the fifth most visited state in the nation.
- 5339 VOTESFlorida gained the official nickname The Sunshine State due to its weather and climate. The state officially took the name in 1970 because it helped lure in "snowbird" tourists who needed to escape the cold weather of other regions of the US.
- 6245 VOTESMost Minnesota state emblems contain the words "L'Etoile du Nord," which translates as "The North Star." This makes it the only state to have a motto in French. The state's unofficial nickname is The Land of 10,000 Lakes, though if you want to be exact, there are officially 11,842 lakes in the state.