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 to create awareness for those looking to vacation in the state. Others are simply rooted in long-standing history.

Many states developed an initial nickname after they entered the union 150+ 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 the Wisconsin nickname.

Wisconsin Nickname

What is the Wisconsin Nickname? It is the “Badger State”.

The Badger State is situated in the North-Central, Midwest, and Great Lakes regions of the United States. Wisconsin borders 4 other states, Minnesota to the West, Iowa to the Southwest, Illinois to the South, Lake Michigan to the East, Michigan to the Northeast, and Lake Superior to the North. The capital city of Wisconsin is Madison, and the largest city is Milwaukee.

When did Wisconsin adopt its nickname? The Wisconsin nickname originates from the 1800s, where during the hunt for lead ore (galena), the miners dug hillside tunnels and would occasionally reside in them, these miners were often referred to, and compared to “The Burrowing Badger”.

The Wisconsin nickname is also featured on the state flag, and the state seal, and the Badger, as you may have guessed is the official state animal. 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.

Wisconsin State Nickname

Much like many other states, there have been multiple variations of the Wisconsin state nickname that have been adopted over the years, not just one. Although the Wisconsin state nickname, “Badger State” is by far the most popular and significant one, there are a few other nicknames associated with Wisconsin, let’s look at these.

  • The Dairy State – each state within the US has an industry that is deeply embedded within its history. These industries helped shape the United States into what we now know today due to the economic importance they provided. Wisconsin’s industry was Dairy, Wisconsin was one of the largest dairy producers in the world, not just the US, producing cheese, butter, and milk products.
  • America’s Dairyland – this Wisconsin state nickname is another reference to the state’s history in Dairy production, the only difference is a variation in the nickname and the fact that this phrase actually appears on Wisconsin license plates.
  • The Cheese State – the origins of this nickname are as straightforward as it comes, the nickname references the large cheese production within the state.
  • The Copper State – Dairy was not the only successful industry in Wisconsin, mining was also a huge contributor to the state economy. This Wisconsin state nickname refers to the Copper mines in the Northern part of the state.

Now that you know the nicknames for Wisconsin, it makes sense to take a look at Wisconsin’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.

Wisconsin’s motto, “Forward”, was introduced in 1951, when the Wisconsin state seal and coat of arms changed. “Forward” is a relatively broad phrase and could mean a multitude of different things. The main theory behind the motto adoption is that it reflects the mindset of the people of Wisconsin past and present, and their motivation to push forward despite what hurdles get put in their way.

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