The US is made up of 50 states, all with their own unique laws, climate, people, and cultures. One thing they all have in common, however, is US state nicknames. Each state owns its own nickname, some are official and can be found in History books dating back hundreds of years, and some were given to states more recently.
This guide will give you more of an understanding of each state’s nickname and why that nickname was assigned to the state. Some US state nicknames can be misleading and confusing at first glance, however, there is usually a deep meaning behind the US State nicknames.
An example would be, ‘The Constitution State’, this nickname isn’t given to the state where the US Constitution was drafted despite what some may believe, it actually comes from a document named ‘Fundamental Orders’ with regulations for running towns that were put together in 1639 by three cities. Many believe it was the first written Constitution.
Nicknames for states in the US
Historical events such as wars have shaped states nicknames, Alabama, Maryland, and Tennessee all have nicknames after situations that occurred during wars. ‘Yellowhammer’ is the name of a bird that appeared on soldiers’ uniforms, giving the nickname to soldiers first, then the state itself.
Many nicknames for states in the US resemble moments within the history of the U.S., while others represent the climate, weather, landscape, or terrain of a specific state. Most states have one official nickname and other unofficial nicknames that they are referred to less-commonly.
There are many cases where states are referred to by their non-official nickname, these situations arise when an official nickname for a state is slightly outdated, or maybe doesn’t have the same relevance it once had. Regardless of this, state nicknames are historical phrases or names used when identifying a state for something it is best known for, past and present.
When did States join the US?
The US that we know today was a very different place in the 1700s, and 1800s, not just through economic development and growth, but because it was originally formed from 13 colonies, making up the British territories of North America.
The colonies were founded in the 1700 and 1800s, becoming “The Thirteen Colonies” in 1776, when independence from the British Empire was declared. In 1788 the colonies became states of the new nation, New Hampshire was the 9th and final state to authorize the United States Constitution.
So, when did states join the US? Well, shortly after the birth of the United States Constitution, many more states were formed. The 50 states that we know today, however, didn’t complete their formation until the 20th century, during which time a further 5 states were added. Hawaii and Alaska were the last two states to join, both in 1959.
The table below reflects all 50 unique and interesting nicknames for states in the US. We have referenced only the official nickname per state, however, most states have multiple nicknames and if you visit the individual US state nickname pages you can see what they are.
Not only this, but our US state nicknames table answers a very important question – when did states join the US? In the right-hand column, you will see the exact date of admission next to each state. If you wish to learn more about the United States abbreviations for all 50 states, check out our page dedicated to this.
|State||Nickname||Entered the Union|
|Alabama's Nickname||Yellowhammer State||December 14th, 1819|
|Alaskas Nickname||The Last Frontier||January 3rd, 1959|
|Arizonas Nickname||Grand Canyon State||February 14th, 1912|
|Arkansas Nickname||Natural State||June 15th, 1836|
|California Nickname||Golden State||September 9th, 1850|
|Colorado's Nickname||Centennial State||August 1st, 1876|
|Connecticut's Nickname||Constitution State||January 9th, 1788|
|Delaware's Nickname||First State||December 7th, 1787|
|Florida's Nickname||Sunshine State||March 3rd, 1845|
|Georgia's Nickname||Peach State||January 2nd, 1788|
|Hawaii's Nickname||Aloha State||August 21st, 1959|
|Idaho's Nickname||Gem State||July 3rd, 1890|
|Illinois Nickname||Prairie State||December 3rd, 1818|
|Indiana's Nickname||Crossroads of America||December 11th, 1816|
|Iowa's Nickname||Hawkeye State||December 28th, 1846|
|Kansas Nickname||Sunflower State||January 29th, 1861|
|Kentuckys Nickname||Bluegrass State||June 1st, 1792|
|Louisiana's Nickname||Pelican State||April 30th, 1812|
|Maine's Nickname||Pine Tree State||March 15th, 1820|
|Marylands Nickname||Old Line State||April 28th, 1788|
|Massachusetts Nickname||Bay State||February 6th, 1788|
|Michigans Nickname||Great Lakes State||January 26th, 1837|
|Minnesotas Nickname||North Star State||May 11th, 1858|
|Mississippis Nickname||Magnolia State||December 10th, 1817|
|Missouri Nickname||Show Me State||August 10th, 1821|
|Montana's Nickname||Treasure State||November 8th, 1889|
|Nebraska's Nickname||Cornhusker State||March 1st, 1867|
|Nevada's Nickname||Silver State||October 31st, 1864|
|New Hampshire's Nickname||Granite State||June 21st, 1788|
|New Jersey's Nickname||Garden State||December 18th, 1787|
|New Mexico's Nickname||The Land of Enchantment||January 6th, 1912|
|New York Nickname||Empire State||July 26th, 1788|
|North Carolina Nickname||Tar Heel State||November 21st, 1789|
|North Dakotas Nickname||Peace Garden State||November 2nd, 1889|
|Ohio's Nickname||Buckeye State||March 1st, 1803|
|Oklahoma's Nickname||Sooner State||November 16th, 1907|
|Oregon Nickname||Beaver State||February 14th, 1859|
|Pennsylvania's Nickname||Keystone State||December 12th, 1787|
|Rhode Island Nickname||Ocean State||May 29th, 1790|
|South Carolina's Nickname||Palmetto State||May 23rd, 1788|
|South Dakota's Nickname||Mount Rushmore State||November 2nd, 1889|
|Tennessee Nickname||Volunteer State||June 1st, 1796|
|Texas Nickname||Lone Star State||December 29th, 1845|
|Utah Nickname||Beehive State||January 4th, 1896
|Vermont Nickname||Green Mountain State||March 4th, 1791|
|Virginia Nickname||Old Dominion||June 25th, 1788|
|Washington State Nickname||Evergreen State||November 11th, 1889|
|West Virginia Nickname||Mountain State||June 20th, 1863|
|Wisconsin Nickname||Badger State||May 29th, 1848|
|Wyoming Nickname||Equality State||July 10th, 1890|