Everyone has heard of the Empire State Building, but a startlingly low number of people know it's called that because New York is known as the Empire State. Curiously enough, all American states have an official nickname by which they're known, usually one that is chosen to reflect something about the state's personality, history, or culture. There are states that are known for what is mined from their soil. There are states named for their weather, with a nod to the culture that this enables. There are states that are named for their most dazzling geographical features, from mountains to canyons to carvings.
A lot of people know a few of these nicknames. Typically, the Golden State and Empire State are the most familiar, mostly thanks to their high populations and thus their cultural impact, with a lot of movies set in each and a lot of visitors finding out about them. Other states' nicknames are more commonly known only to their residents, or to people from neighboring states. Some you could probably guess if you thought about it and know a little about what happens within the state's borders. Let's see how well you know these twenty carefully-chosen official state nicknames!
Which state is the Silver State?
Nevada isn't just called this because of its neighbor, the Golden State. It's because there's silver to be mined there! Some towns came and went pretty fast because of the silver mines.
South Carolina's state nickname comes from the state tree, the sabal palmetto. This is a lovely-looking variety of palm that has a nice big bushy top. This is why it is also called the cabbage palmetto.
The Garden State was nicknamed by a man named Abraham Browning, who said that New Jersey was a lovely garden. He further described it as a barrel full of good things to eat, with Pennsylvania and New York taking things out of either end!
Granite is the official state rock of New Hampshire because the state makes a lot of money quarrying its beautiful granite for sale and distribution all over the world. It's possible that a kitchen overseas has a little New Hampshire in it!
Arizona has many fine features, but the Grand Canyon is surely one of the most obvious. This vast geographical feature hosts the Colorado River on its path to the sea and is easily visible from a plane - though we recommend going to see it in person.
Georgia is known for its delicious sweet peaches. They aren't much of the state economy, but they're symbolically important. However, with warming temperatures, some growers fear the peaches are in some trouble, as they need a cool period in the winter to develop properly.
It is believed that the name Hawkeye State comes from the character Hawkeye in James Fenimore Cooper's book, "The Last of the Mohicans." The book isn't set in Iowa, but two promoters for the state decided it was a cool name.
Nebraska is one of the flattest states: you can pretty much prop up a brick on the gas and drive straight across it. On the way, you'll see the reason for its name - there really is a huge amount of corn there.
West Virginia is not a place that many non-Americans think of as being all about mountains, but it's home to two very notable mountains and two ranges. The two mountains are the Knobly and Shenandoah, and the ranges are the Allegheny and Appalachian Mountains.
Wyoming was named this because it truly earned it. It gave women the vote generations before the other states, because as a frontier state, they knew that you need all hands on deck for a strong society. It had to take back the vote to become a state, but gave it back later. The nickname honors its egalitarian past.