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 highlight, some of which are used to attract people looking to move to the state, while others act as a draw for those looking to vacation in the state. Other state nicknames 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+ 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 New Mexico’s nickname.

New Mexico State Nickname

What is New Mexico’s Nickname? It is “The Land of Enchantment”.

The Land of Enchantment is situated in the Southwestern region of the United States. New Mexico is completely landlocked and is one of the few states to border the country of Mexico, as well as four other states, Colorado from the North, Texas from the east, Oklahoma from the North-East, and Arizona from the West.




New Mexico’s nickname was officially adopted in 1999, however, many people were already referring to the state by that nickname for years before it was made official. “Land of Enchantment” refers to New Mexico’s rich history and beautiful scenery. The legend made its first appearance on license plates in 1941. If you are interested in seeing the US state nicknames for all 50 states, including the date each state was entered into the Union, then head over to our page that lists them in alphabetical order.

New Mexico State Nickname

Much like many other states, New Mexico has adopted multiple nicknames over the years, not just one. Although the New Mexico state nickname, “Land of Enchantment” is the official nickname, there are many other nicknames that are associated with New Mexico, let’s take a look.

  • The Cactus State – this nickname refers to sheer abundance of cacti within the state, especially down south along the plains that surround the Mexican border.
  • The Spanish State – New Mexico is often referred to by this nickname due to its border with Mexico, a predominantly Spanish speaking country, and due to the state and Mexico being so close to one another, there are many New Mexican residents with Spanish descent.
  • The Land of Sunshine – or in some cases “The Sunshine State” references the amount of sunshine and sun exposure New Mexico has been historically known for having. “Sunshine State” appeared on state license plates before 1941. This non-official nickname is actually Florida’s nickname, unlike New Mexico, “The Sunshine State” is the official nickname for Florida.
  • The Land of Delight Makers – this New Mexico state nickname was originally suggested by George Wharton James and was created to pay homage and celebrate the state’s influence on literature and art. The nickname originates from a book by Adolf Bandelier, The Delight Makers.
  • The Land of Opportunity – funnily enough, this nickname is usually associated with the United States as a whole, reasons for New Mexico’s adoption of this nickname is because of its beautiful landscapes, climate, and relatively new status at the time of this nicknames adoption. New Mexico was described as many to be the place that offered up an abundance of opportunities to whoever was fortunate enough to come.
  • The Land of the Heart’s Desire – another historical New Mexico state nickname that was used as a promotional effort to encourage those from all over to seek the opportunities presented by New Mexico.

Now that you know the New Mexico state nickname and non-official nicknames, it makes sense to take a look at New Mexico’s motto. All states have a unique state motto/slogan, usually derived from an event linked with the state’s historical past, mottos tend to be given to the state as a representation of the people past and present.

“Crescit eundo” is the motto for New Mexico, this Latin phrase translates to “It Grows as it Goes” and has come under some serious criticism since its initial adoption. The criticism stems from the phrase being nonsensical and not having much relevance to anything regarding New Mexico. But in fact, it is believed that this phrase perfectly sums up the state and its constant development from an economic and popularity standpoint.

If you are interested in learning about the New Mexico State abbreviation, take a look at our page dedicated to this. Unlike some other states, the New Mexico state abbreviation is easier to remember. However, knowing these state abbreviations is highly recommended for many different reasons.

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