Nicknames are common for people and sports teams, but why would a U.S. state have a nickname? The 50 States in the U.S. all have special and different qualities that they like to boast about, some of which are used to attract people to the state, whether to live there, or just for a visit, while others are rooted in long-standing history.

Many states developed an initial nickname after they entered the union 100-200+ years ago, but not all state nicknames have stuck with each state over the years, and many have developed additional nicknames or primary nicknames that they identify with the most or that set them apart from other states. States take their nicknames from various sources so let’s take a look at Minnesota’s nickname.

Minnesotas nickname

Minnesota’s Nickname is – The North Star State.

The 32nd state is situated in the western part of the North-Central United States of America. Minnesota borders multiple states, sharing Lake Superior’s water border with Michigan and Wisconsin on the northeast, bordering Iowa from the South, North and South Dakota to the West, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba to the North. Minnesota boasts the 12th largest land area out of all 50 states.

Despite not being the capital city, Minneapolis has the largest population out of all the cities within the state. St. Paul, however, is the official capital.

Many states have adopted some fairly questionable nicknames over the years that don’t seem to have the same relevance or meaning as they once had. However, the same cannot be said about Minnesota’s state nickname.

There are still lots of nicknames that are just as relevant today as they once were when first adopted, and Minnesota’s nickname is one of these too.

Minnesota’s State Nickname

Minnesota’s state nickname originates from the famous French motto that appears on the state seal and the state flag. The original motto states the following: “l’étoile du Nord”, which translates to “The Star of The North”, most likely paying homage to Minnesota’s geographical location within the United States as it is one of the few states that border Canada from its most Northern point.

Minnesota’s state nickname (its primary one) is “The North Star State,” however, Minnesota has other nicknames people use to describe the state. They are as follows:

What is Minnesota’s Nickname (here are the other ones)

  • “Land of 10,000 Lakes” is the second Minnesota state nickname, this nickname is fairly self-explanatory and was gifted to Minnesota due to the sheer number of lakes within the state. In fact, there are 11,842 lakes that span across 10 acres or more. Interestingly, with this not being Minnesota’s official nickname, many would assume that it wouldn’t make it onto Minnesota license plates, however, the state’s license plates display the legend “10,000 Lakes”.
  • “Gopher State”, this is Minnesota’s nickname that originates from a railroad scandal from all the way back in 1857. This resulted in an ironic cartoon cementing Gopher as the state nickname. This iconic cartoon is believed by many to be the reason why Minnesota goes by the name of the “Gopher State”.
  • “The Bread and Butter State” is the last Minnesota nickname that is used. Minnesota has been known for its bread and butter production due to the numerous flour mills and butter-making plants.