State Nicknames and their Explanation

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South Dakota
“Mount Rushmore State” celebrates the epic sculpture of the faces of four exalted American presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. South Dakota's Black Hills provide the back-drop for Mount Rushmore, the world's greatest mountain carving. These 60-foot high faces, 500-feet up, look out over a setting of pine, spruce, birch, and aspen in the clear western air.
source: http://www.travelsd.com/parks/rushmore/

Tennessee
Tennessee has had several nicknames, but the most popular is “The Volunteer State.” The nickname originated during the War of 1812, in which the volunteer soldiers from Tennessee, serving under Gen. Andrew Jackson, displayed marked valor in the Battle of New Orleans.

Other nicknames include the “Big Bend State,” which refers to the Indian name of the Tennessee River; “The River with the Big Bend”; and “Hog and Hominy State,” now obsolete but formerly applied because “the corn and pork products of Tennessee were in such great proportions between 1830 and 1840”; and “The Mother of Southwestern Statesmen,” because Tennessee furnished the United States three presidents and a number of other leaders who served with distinction in high government office.

Tennesseans sometimes are referred to as “Volunteers,”“Big Benders” and “Butternuts.” The first two are derived from the nickname of the state, while the tag of “Butternuts” was first applied to Tennessee soldiers during the War Between the States because of the tan color of their uniforms. Later, it sometimes was applied to people across the entire state.
source: http://www.state.tn.us/sos/bluebook/online/bbonline.htm

Texas
A single star was part of the Long Expedition (1819), Austin Colony (1821) and several flags of the early Republic of Texas. Some say that the star represented the wish of many Texans to achieve statehood in the United States. Others say it originally represented Texas as the lone state of Mexico which was attempting to uphold its rights under the Mexican Constitution of 1824. At least one "lone star" flag was flown during the Battle of Concepcion and the Siege of Bexar (1835). Joanna Troutman's flag with a single blue star was raised over Velasco on January 8, 1836. Another flag with a single star was raised at the Alamo (1836) according to a journal entry by David Crockett. One carried by General Sam Houston's Texian army (which defeated Mexican General Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto ) may have been captured and taken to Mexico. Another "lone star" flag, similar to the current one but with the red stripe above the white, was also captured the following year (1837) and returned to Mexico. The "David G. Burnet" flag, of "an azure ground" (blue background) "with a large golden star central" was adopted by the Congress of the Republic of Texas in December of 1836. It continued in use as a battle flag after being superseded in January of 1839. The 1839 design has been used to symbolize the Republic and the “Lone Star State” ever since.
source: http://www.main.org/boyscout/texas.htm

Utah
“Beehive State” The beehive became the official state emblem on March 4, 1959. Utahans relate the beehive symbol to industry and the pioneer virtues of thrift and perseverance. The beehive was chosen as the emblem for the provisional State of Deseret in 1848 and was maintained on the seal of the State of Utah when Utah became a state in 1896.
source: http://www.state.ut.us/about/motto_emblem.html

Vermont
“Green Mountain State” Verd Mont was a name given to the Green Mountains in October, 176l, by the Rev. Dr. Peters, the first clergyman who paid a visit to the 30,000 settlers in that country, in the presence of Col. Taplin, Col. Willes, Col. Peters, Judge Peters and many others, who were proprietors of a large number of townships in that colony. The ceremony was performed on the top of a rock standing on a high mountain, then named Mount Pisgah because it provided to the company a clear sight of lake Champlain at the west, and of Connecticut river at the east, and overlooked all the trees and hills in the vast wilderness at the north and south.
source: http://www.uvm.edu/state/GreenMount/verdmont.html

Virginia
“Old Dominion State” Charles II of England quartered the arms of Virginia on his shield in 1663, thus adding Virginia to his dominions of France, Ireland and Scotland. Called the “Mother State” because it was the first state to be colonized.
source: State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols by Benjamin F. Shearer, Barbara S. Shearer

Washington
On November 11, 1889, Washington became the 42nd state to enter the Union. It is the only state named for a president. Washington was nicknamed “The Evergreen State” by C.T. Conover, pioneer Seattle realtor and historian, for its abundant evergreen forests. The nickname was adopted by the Legislature in February, 1893.
source: http://www.leg.wa.gov/legis/symbols/symbols.htm

West Virginia
The Appalachian Mountains extend through the eastern portion of the state, giving West Virginia its nickname of the “Mountain State.”
source: http://www.state.wv.us/hcawv/shp/chp1.htm

Wisconsin
“Badger State” Although the badger has been closely associated with Wisconsin since territorial days, it was not declared the official state animal until 1957. Over the years its likeness had been incorporated in the state coat of arms, the seal, the flag and even State Capitol architecture, as well as being immortalized in the song "On, Wisconsin!" ("Grand old bager state!")
source: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/lrb/bb/ch11.pdf

Wyoming
Wyoming is known as the “Equality State” because of the rights women have traditionally enjoyed there. Wyoming women were the first in the nation to vote, serve on juries and hold public office.
source: http://www.state.wy.us/state/wyoming_news/general/text_history.html

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