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 are just based on the long-standing history of the state.

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 and some have clashed with other states so let’s take a look at South Dakota’s nickname.

South Dakota's Nickname

What is South Dakota’s Nickname? It is “The Mount Rushmore State”.

The Mount Rushmore state is situated in the North-Central area of the United States and is considered to be a part of the Midwest by the US Census Bureau, it is also part of the Great Plains region. South Dakota shares the same border with 6 other states. North Dakota from, you guessed it, the North, Montana from the North-West, Wyoming from the West and South-West, Nebraska from the South, Iowa from the South-East, and Minnesota from the East.

When did South Dakota get its nickname? South Dakota’s nickname was adopted later than most other states, the original nickname for South Dakota was “The Sunshine State”, this nickname was made official in 1992. The reasons for the latest nickname are that the previous official nickname is the same as another state, and isn’t particularly unique to South Dakota.

“The Mount Rushmore State” refers to the iconic mountains named, Mount Rushmore, these mountains have had the heads of some of the most iconic Americans in history. The project to create these statues within the mountain cost a grand total of $989,992.32. Dynamite was used when carving Mount Rushmore, shortly followed by a process named “honeycombing”.

Approximately 800 million pounds of stone were removed from the side of the mountain during the construction. The famous faces you see carved into the mountains are; Theodore Roosevelt, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. 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.

South Dakota State Nickname

Much the same as many other states, there have been multiple adoptions of South Dakota nicknames, not just one. Although the South Dakota state nickname, “The Mount Rushmore State” is the official nickname, there’s a multitude of other nicknames associated with South Dakota, let’s have a look.

  • The Sunshine State – as mentioned previously, this South Dakota state nickname was originally adopted as the official nickname. This was for promotional purposes, as many South Dakotans believed that one of the state’s best features was the weather and abundance of “Sunshine”.
  • The Coyote State – this South Dakota nickname refers to the large population of Coyotes residing in the state. The Coyote became the official state animal for South Carolina in 1949.
  • The Artesian State – this nickname refers to the large number of artesian wells located within the state.
  • The Blizzard State – the last edition to the state’s nickname is another weather-related one. Unfortunately, this one is not to promote the glorious sunshine South Dakota has to offer, but more to give warning of the severe weather in the winter months.

Now that you know the South Dakota state nickname and non-official nicknames, let’s take a look at the South Dakota state 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.

South Dakota’s motto, “Under God the People Rule”, pays homage to the people and their attitude towards the division of people due to different classes, races, etc. people are all equal regardless of how society makes you perceive things, and under God, the people rule!

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