How Many USA State Nicknames Do You Know?

WORLD

Jonnathan Chadwick

7 Min Quiz

Image: RiverNorthPhotography/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

America is regularly known as the "Land of the Free," the "Home of the Brave," "The States," the "Land of Opportunity" and simply, "The U.S. of A." The country is less than 250 years old but is packed with generations of history. And furthermore, each state is packed with its own treasure chest of tradition and history that even predates the country.

With all the legacy and tradition formed in the country, it's only fitting we honor it. That's where state nicknames come in. State nicknames are used to honor some of the most important people, places and things in the country. Animals, flowers, fruits, soldiers, insects, landmarks, resources, legislation, rocks, trees and more are all honored with state nicknames. Who knows where the country would be without honeybees, badgers, gold and silver? What would we do without sunflowers and peaches? Where are the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore located? And what was the first state to become a state?

If you're a true American or an expert on America, you should be able to name all of the 50 states, but only the most knowledgeable know all of the state nicknames. Some states have official nicknames and some don't, but they all have a nickname. How many USA state nicknames do you know?

Texas is the only state to enter the union by treaty instead of annexation. What's its nickname?

Texas is commonly known by just one nickname. Most states have at least two nicknames. Legend has it the five-pointed white star dates back to the early 19th century, but the nickname didn't become official until 2015.

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Arizona is home to one of the world's most famous natural landmarks. Do you know the state's nickname?

Millions around the world visit Arizona every year to experience the 277-mile gorge carved by the Colorado River known as the Grand Canyon. The canyon celebrated is 100th anniversary as a national park in 2019.

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About 40 million people call California home. What's California's nickname?

California has many nicknames, including the "Land of Milk and Honey," but gold is one of its most popular symbols. The "Golden State" became the official nickname in 1968 and commemorates the discovery of gold in the 1840s.

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Florida is known for its oranges and warm weather. What's its nickname?

Florida is also known as the Orange State and the Everglade State, but its official nickname is the Sunshine State. The nickname became official in 1970. Florida's tropical climate gives rise to some of the most unique ecosystems in the world.

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Alaska has 10 nicknames, but what is the state's official nickname?

Some of Alaska's nicknames are the "49th State," the "Mainland State," the "North Star State" and "Seward's Folly." Aside from its many nicknames, the state features the longest coastline in America and boasts of being home to more than 3 million lakes.

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Delaware was the very first state to join the United States of America. What is its nickname?

Delaware became a state on Dec. 7, 1787, five days before the second state, Pennsylvania. Dec. 7 is actually a holiday in Delaware and the nickname became official in 2002. It's also known as the "Small Wonder" and the "Land of Tax-Free Shopping."

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The Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in present day Massachusetts. What is the state's nickname?

Massachusetts is one of the original 13 colonies, and its other nicknames are the "Colony State" and "Old Colony." Massachusetts had one of the highest tax rates in the country back in the 1970s, so it still carries the "Taxachusetts" nickname.

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Ohio is known for its presidents and state tree. What is its nickname?

The Ohio Buckeye is the official state tree of Ohio. The state has birthed seven U.S. presidents, giving it the nickname, "Mother of Modern Presidents," but its official nickname is the "Buckeye State."

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Maine gained its independence from Massachusetts in 1820. What is the state's nickname?

Maine is known for its jagged coastline and seafood, but the pine tree is one of the state's most popular symbols. Maine's forests are some of densest in the country, and more than 80% of Maine is covered in forest.

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Colorado is known for the Rocky Mountains, but what is its nickname?

Colorado was the 38th state to enter the union in 1876, exactly 100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It's also unofficially known as the "Mile High State," "Rocky Mountain State" and the "Switzerland of America."

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Hawaii is the most recent state to become a state. What's its nickname?

Alaska and Hawaii both became states in 1959, but Hawaii entered about seven months after Alaska. Hawaii is also known as the "Pineapple State" and the "Rainbow State." The word "aloha" means love, affection, compassion, peace and mercy, but is commonly used to say "hello."

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Sin City in Nevada is one of the world's most famous cities. What is Nevada's nickname?

Nevada became the 36th state in 1864 when silver was one of its most abundant resources. It produced as much as 30% of the country's silver at one point in history. Nevada is also known as "The Mining State" and "The Battle Born State."

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The Pacific Northwest is known for its lush forests and rich wildlife. What is Washington's nickname?

There is no shortage of evergreen forests in Washington, and that's where the state gets its nickname. Washington is also known as the "State of Love and Trust." It's the only state to be named after a U.S. president.

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Nebraska is unofficially in the middle of Tornado Alley. What is the state's official nickname?

A sportswriter in the 19th century coined the nickname "cornhusker," and Nebraska has officially been known as the "Cornhusker State" since 1945. A cornhusker is someone who removes the husk from corn by hand.

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Oklahoma was the one-time heart of the Wild Wild West. Do you know the state's nickname?

Oklahoma opened its borders and land was made available on a first-come, first-served basis. Some people arrived at the border early to claim their land and they became known as "sooners." Oklahoma is also known as "Cowboy Country."

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Kansas might be known for its wheat and jayhawks, but do you know the state's nickname?

Kansas played a significant role in the formation of America when it entered the Union as a free state in 1861 and is also known as "The Free State." Today, it's recognized for its sprawling fields of sunflowers.

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Alabama's Crimson Tide is known all over the world, but what is Alabama's official nickname?

A cavalry of Confederate soldiers in Alabama became known as the "Yellowhammers" during the America Civil War. The soldiers had bright patches of yellow on their sleeves that gave them the nickname. Alabama is also known as the "Heart of Dixie," the "Cotton State" and the "Camellia State."

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The magnolia tree and magnolia flower are the official state tree and flower of Mississippi. What is the state's official nickname?

Mississippi school children in the early 1900s voted the magnolia as their favorite tree and flower. The flower eventually became recognized in the official nickname. Mississippi is also known as the "Hospitality State" and the "Mudcat State."

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South Dakota is known for the Black Hills and tribal lands. What's the state's nickname?

Mount Rushmore is one of the most popular landmarks in America and attracts about 3 million tourists a year. The monument depicts presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. South Dakota is also known as the "Coyote State."

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North Carolina has a few nicknames, but what is the state's official nickname?

It's unknown exactly how this nickname came about, but most people believe it has to do with the war. Some say Confederate soldiers stuck to their ranks like they had tar on their heels and the nickname stuck ever since.

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West Virginia is home to some of the nicest natural scenery in the country. Do you know the state's nickname?

Almost all of West Virginia is covered in mountains, as it's the only state completely engulfed within Appalachia. The state's terrain has led to strong mining and logging industries. West Virginia split from Virginia when Virginia decided to secede from the Union during the Civil War.

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Montana is one of the largest states by area. Do you know its nickname?

California gets all the fame when it comes to gold mining, but Montana's state motto is actually the Spanish for "gold and silver." The state has a wide array of natural resources and the state's official gemstone is the sapphire.

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New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Arizona make up America's "Four Corners." What is Utah's nickname?

Utah's state insect is the honeybee and nobody works harder than honeybees. Beehives represent hard work and Utah's state motto is "Industry." The state was originally settled by Mormon explorers and today a majority of the state's population is Mormon.

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If you're familiar with Oregon's state flag, you should know its nickname. What is it?

The beaver is featured on Oregon's official state flag. The animal is known as one of the best architects in the animal kingdom, and beaver fur was a prized commodity in Oregon in the 19th century. It's also known as the "Union State" as it joined the Union just before the Civil War.

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South Carolina is known for having some of the most comfortable weather in the country. Do you know the state's nickname?

Legend has it colonists in South Carolina built log forts from palmetto trees. When the British bombed the forts with cannonballs, the cannonballs bounced off the logs. South Carolina has honored the palmetto tree ever since.

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Louisiana is known for its French culture and gourmet food. What is the state's nickname?

Louisiana's brown pelican is unique to the state and has been recognized as the official state bird since 1966. It's featured on the state flag and seal. Louisiana has several nicknames, including the "Creole State" and the "Child of the Mississippi."

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Georgia was the most southern of the original 13 colonies. What is the state's nickname?

Peaches made their way to Georgia via China all the way back in the 16th century, and today they're a symbol of the state. They appear on the state quarter and license plate and the peach was officially named the state fruit in 1995.

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North Dakota is known as the "Sioux State" and the "Flickertail State," but what is the state's official nickname?

The International Peace Garden sits on the border of North Dakota and Canada and commemorates the longstanding peace between America and Canada. The "Peace Garden State" became the official nickname in 1957.

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Lake Michigan is one of the largest lakes in America. What is Michigan's nickname?

Michigan is also known as "Winter Water Wonderland" and deservedly so. The state is the only state to touch four of the Great Lakes and it's home to nearly 65,000 lakes and ponds. It also has one of the longest freshwater shorelines in the world.

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John Deere invented the first steel plow in Illinois. Do you know the state's nickname?

Illinois is known as "The Land of Lincoln" and the state also claims presidents Barack Obama and Ulysses S. Grant. The state is covered in prairie land, which made it the perfect place for John Deere to invent the first steel plow in 1837.

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Iowa is the corn capital of the world, but what is the state's official nickname?

Iowa's corn production can't be denied. It produces more corn than any other state, and the U.S. produces more corn than any other country. Nevertheless, its official nickname is the "Hawkeye State" after a legendary Native American chief known as Black Hawk.

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Idaho is mostly known for its potato production, but what is its nickname?

Settlers originally believed the name Idaho was a Native American word that translated to "Gem of the Mountain." That was wrong, but because Idaho does have rich resources of gemstones, the nickname stuck.

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Everybody in New Hampshire vows to live free or die. What is the state's nickname?

Although New Hampshire is widely known as the "Live Free or Die State," that's not its official nickname. The state is filled with an abundance of granite, and granite is the official state stone of New Hampshire.

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Virginia has birthed more U.S. presidents than any other state. What's its nickname?

Virginia is also known as the "Mother of Presidents," but "Old Dominion" is more popular. The name was bestowed upon Virginia by King Charles II. Virginia was loyal to the king during the English Civil War.

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French settlers landed in Vermont and named the land "Verd Mont." What is Vermont's nickname?

"Verd Mont" translates to "Green Mountain" and Vermont's nickname is the "Green Mountain State." Vermont's green mountains are covered in maple trees and the state is also known for producing some of the country's best maple syrup.

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The Big Apple is one of the most famous cities in the world, but what is the nickname for all of New York state?

New York is sometimes known as "The Knickerbocker State" and the state's motto is "Excelsior." In the 18th century, George Washington called New York the "seat of the Empire" and many believe that's where the state nickname comes from.

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Pennsylvania is famously known as being the home of independence and Quakers. What's its nickname?

Pennsylvania is known as the keystone of the country because it was involved in some of the world's most monumental legislation. The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were passed in Pennsylvania. It was also the center of the original 13 colonies.

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Wyoming is the least populous state in the country. Do you know its nickname?

Wyoming was the first state to grant women the right to vote when it did so in 1869. The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution wasn't ratified until 1920. Wyoming's original nickname was "The Suffrage State."

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Arkansas is home to the largest diamond mine in the country. Do you know the state's nickname?

Yellowstone National Park is the country's first national park, but Hot Springs Park in Arkansas became the first federally protected land 40 years earlier. Arkansas is also home to Buffalo National River, which became the country's first national river in 1972.

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What is Connecticut's nickname?

In 1639, the colony of Connecticut passed the "Fundamental Orders of Connecticut." It's believed the charter influenced the ideas for the U.S. Constitution. Connecticut officially adopted the nickname in 1959.

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Kentucky is known for its limestone and bourbon, but what is its nickname?

Kentucky is well-known for its abundance of limestone, and the state's abundance of bluegrass might be connected. The Bluegrass region of Kentucky features sprawling pastures of Bluegrass atop limestone.

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Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes. What is its nickname?

Minnesota is popularly known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" and that nickname can be seen on the state quarter. The "North Star State" is the official nickname and stems from the motto on the state's flag and seal.

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New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the country. What is its nickname?

It's not exactly known why New Jersey is called the "Garden State." Abraham Browning and Benjamin Franklin are both cited as originators. More than nine million people are packed into the country's fourth-smallest state and most of them live in an urban setting. The nickname has been around since the late 19th century.

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You probably know Rhode Island as the smallest U.S. state, but do you know its nickname?

Rhode Island is less than 50 miles long and thinner than 40 miles wide but boasts nearly 400 miles of shoreline. It's almost one giant beach. There are no mountains and the state is filled with seaside towns and oceanfront mansions.

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Tennessee is known for its music and whiskey, but do you know its nickname?

Volunteer soldiers from Tennessee fought in both the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War. Depending on who you ask, the state gets its nickname because of one of, or both of, those wars. Tennessee is also known as the "Butternut State."

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Wisconsin is the cheese capital of America. What's its nickname?

Legend has it Wisconsin lead miners of the early 19th century dug and lived in hillside burrows while they were working. The shelters resembled badger homes and the animal took on legendary status in the state.

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People born in Indiana are called Hoosiers. What is Indiana's official nickname?

Indiana is widely known as the "Hoosier State," but its official nickname and state motto is "Crossroads of America." The nickname has been officially recognized since 1937. Today the state is still home to the junction of many major highways.

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Maryland might be known for terrapins and crab cakes, but do you know the state's nickname?

Maryland gets its nickname from the soldiers who fought on the front lines during the American Revolution's Battle of Long Island. The troops are commonly known as the Maryland 400, and they stormed far superior British troops to buy time for George Washington to retreat.

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Do you know Missouri's nickname?

Missouri has several nicknames, but none of them are official. "Show Me State" appears on license plates and stems from an 1899 speech from a congressman. The phrase implies people from Missouri expect to be shown instead of told in order to be convinced.

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New Mexico is home to the country's oldest known church. What is New Mexico's nickname?

New Mexico has a spiritual history and a ton of beautiful scenery. It's also known as "The Colorful State." It became a state in 1912 along with Arizona and the nickname was first mentioned in 1935. It's been the state's official nickname since 1999.

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