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Have you ever wondered why the hell New York is actually called The Empire State? Or stranger yet, why Missouri is called The Show Me State? Maybe you think you know the explanation behind California's Golden State nickname, or why Oklahoma's been called the Sooner State since the late 1800's. No, we're not trying to bring you back to high school history class, we're just trying to prep you for your next trivia night out at the bar.

Alabama

Alabama is known as The Yellowhammer State, and while it sounds a lot like a villain in a superhero film, it actually stems from the sleeves worn by a brigade of Confederate Army soldiers from Huntsville during the Civil War.

Alaska

Alaska earned its nickname as The Last Frontier because a significant chunk of the state is still lightly settled. There's so much space for activities!

Arizona

Arizona has been dubbed The Grand Canyon State due to its most popular natural wonder & tourist attraction — you guessed it — the Grand Canyon. 

Arkansas

The home of former POTUS Bill Clinton, Arkansas is stuck with “The Natural State” because of its plentiful rivers and species of wildlife.

California

The Golden State nickname surprisingly has nothing to do with the golden weather. Instead, it's related to the discovery of precious gold in 1848. 

Colorado

Known as The Centennial State, Colorado was founded exactly a century after the Declaration of Independence was signed.

Connecticut

Connecticut has been referred to as The Constitution State since 1959. Apparently the first documents leading to the Constitution were actually created here.

Delaware

This Mid-Atlantic state that’s home to tax-free shopping is called The First State thanks to the fact that it was the first of the original 13 states to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

Florida

Florida didn’t officially get to be The Sunshine State until 1970, but the name had been associated with the state for years prior, mainly on their license plates. Consider it a self-given nickname that stuck.

Georgia

Georgia has been dubbed The Peach State because of the peach being both the state fruit and one of its primary exports. Which came first we'll never know.

Hawaii

This state became known as The Aloha State in 1959 as a nod to their official native greeting. 

Idaho

When the government named the territory that would become Idaho back in 1863, the name meant “Gem Of The Mountain” in the Shoshone dialect. Now it’s called “The Gem State”.

Illinois

Illinois is called The Prairie State in an homage to the amount of natural untouched prairies still there.

Indiana

The famous basketball movie is partly the reason behind The Hoosier State's nickname, but it first came from a poem about the state written in 1830.

Iowa

The Hawkeye State of Iowa is in honor of the native Chief Black Hawk who called the state his home.

Kansas

Kansas has dubbed itself The Wildflower State thanks to the annual sight of spreading wildflowers seen from Wichita to Hutchinson.

Kentucky

Kentucky is called The Bluegrass State because of the actual buds in the grass that give their fields a blue and purple hue. It seems that Bluegrass music came a little later.

Louisiana

This Southern hotspot is known as The Pelican State in honor of the state bird roaming its bayous, the brown pelican.

Maine

With over 17 million acres of land covered in forests, Maine is called The Pine Tree State in reference to its state tree, the white pine.

Maryland

Folklore has it that George Washington himself is responsible for Maryland becoming The Old Line State as a tribute to the Maryland Line regiment in his army.

Massachusetts

This state is known as The Bay State, named by early settlers for its short distance from a number of those bodies of water.

Michigan

Being home to 11,000 lakes makes your nickname of The Great Lakes State all the more appropriate.

Minnesota

Minnesota’s called The North Star State, inspired by its French motto, “L’Etoile Du Nord”.

Mississippi

Mississippi's nickname is The Magnolia State, due to the plethora of magnolia trees and blossoms that spring up from the ground.

Missouri

Being known as The Show Me State isn’t a beckon to exhibitionism, but a tribute to the residents’ spirit of common sense and a touch of stubbornness.

Montana

An early frontier mining history is what makes The Treasure State Montana’s nickname. Whether anybody actually found any treasure is unknown.

Nebraska

This Midwestern state is known as The Cornhusker State due to the old-fashioned way that corn was harvested there before machinery took over.

Nevada

Referred to as The Silver State, Nevada become famous for its silver mining industry way before it became famous for Las Vegas.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire is known as The Granite State due to its past as a leader in granite mining nationwide.

New Jersey

New Jersey became known as The Garden State after a speech that spoke of its splendor by a prominent figure in 1803.

New Mexico

The state legislature decreed that New Mexico would be The Land of Enchantment after some influence by its tourism board. Yes, enchantment.

New York

Known as The Empire State, New York earned this nickname in recognition of its vast resources and wealth. It's all about that empire state of mind.

North Carolina

North Carolina became The Tar Heel State back when it was divided from South Carolina in 1710, with the tar being one of its main exports.

North Dakota

This state is home to the International Peace Garden which sits on its northern border with Canada, and has been called The Peace Garden state in honor since 1957.

Ohio

This state’s nickname, The Buckeye State, stems from the buckeye trees that once dominated its grasslands and hills.

Oklahoma

The early settlers who rushed to get their land in Oklahoma before anyone else were dubbed “Sooners”, and so Oklahoma has since called itself The Sooner State. 

Oregon

This Pacific Northwest state has a nickname as whimsical as some of its denizens — The Beaver State, named after its state animal.

Pennsylvania

Known as The Keystone State, Pennsylvania’s nickname dates back to the early 1800’s as a sign of its position within the country in political & social terms.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island is mainly known as The Ocean State, because of the Atlantic Ocean being its front yard.

South Carolina

Their official state tree inspired South Carolina’s nickname, The Palmetto State.

South Dakota

South Dakota is referred to as The Mount Rushmore State in honor of the 60 foot high mountain sculpture depicting four of America’s great presidents.

Tennessee

Tennessee is called The Volunteer State because of the accomplishments their regiment earned fighting in the War of 1812 under General Andrew Jackson.

Texas

Born first as a battle flag to represent their fighting independent spirit, Texas became known as The Lone Star State back in 1839 with the creation of the Lone Star state flag.

Utah

Utah is called The Beehive State, as the beehive to residents represents valuable traits like strength in community and determination.

Vermont

The Green Mountain State nickname harkens back to 1761, when a pastor first used it in a speech to settlers in the region.

Virginia

The nickname of The Old Dominion State goes all the way back to colonial days, referring to King Charles II of England’s ownership of the land.

Washington

The rich splendor of this state’s forests is what makes Washington The Evergreen State, made official in 1893.

West Virginia

West Virginia is mostly known for the Appalachian Mountains that dominate the eastern part of the state, naturally giving it the nickname of The Mountain State.

Wisconsin

Known as The Badger State, it wasn’t made official until 1957 and after the state university made the animal its mascot.

Wyoming

Way before Beyonce, Wyoming was focused on equality for all, especially women's voting rights. It's been known as The Equality State ever since.

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