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Саратова The Nicknames of the States of the usa секция Английский язык - страница №1/2

Муниципальное общеобразовательное учреждение

«Медико-биологический лицей» г. Саратова
The Nicknames of the States of the USA

Секция Английский язык

Творческая работа

Ученика 7 класса

«Медико–Биологического лицея»

г. Саратова

Чернышёва Даниэля Игоревича

Научный руководитель:

Маляева Валентина Петровна,

Учитель английского языка

«Медико–Биологического лицея»


Саратов, 2011г.



2………………………….. ………………………………………………..Part I: Brief History of the USA

3…………………………………………………..…………………Part II: Concept of a word "state"

4…………………………………………………………………….…………………Part III: Official Nicknames

10……………………………………………………………………..…….. Part IV: Non-official Nicknames

17…………………………………………………………………………………………………Investigation’s part

18………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..…. Edition

23………………………………………………………………………………………….……………….…. Conclusion

24………………………………………………………………………………………………..…………….. Literature


Problem: Find out the main causes why this or that state has received the nickname.

The purpose: To receive wider information on history of one of the English-speaking countries and to observe the reflection of historical events or other features in the nicknames now. To know the present, it is necessary to know the past. The appearance of nicknames- is a formative stage of the country.

The object of investigation: Historical events, the nature, natural resources, the outstanding people who influenced upon the appearance of nicknames.

The aim of my work is looking upon the history of the country to make an attempt to collect and systematize the information about the origin of the American states because a lot of students are interested in history of English-speaking countries and especially of America and because my father and grandfather, grandmother live there. I’ve known that the circumstances of the appearance of the nicknames are inseparably connected with the historical development of the country. They inevitably illustrate the long way of states’ establishment. First of all what this word means. A nickname1 (also spelled "nick name") is a descriptive name given in place of or in addition to the official name of a person, place or thing. Some states got their nicknames for their inhabitants. This tradition was strong those days. Some unofficial nicknames are positive, while others are derisive. The unofficial nicknames listed here have been in use for a long time or have gained wide currency. Every US state has a nickname or two, or more, but not all states have "official" nicknames. By "official" we mean a nickname that has been formally adopted by the state's legislature as a state nickname, before one properly may designate it as such. I would like to show all those that I've been able to research. It's important to note that some nicknames were never widely adopted, having sometimes only appeared in the press or other publications.

Chapter I

The Meaning of the Word "State"

State (English state — "state", "country") — the basic state-territorial unit of the USA having considerable degree of the sovereignty in internal affairs and conceding all completeness of powers to the federal authorities in relations with the foreign states. The acceptance of any territory in structure of the United States is preceded by a long procedure: obligatory acceptance by the territory of own constitution, which should satisfy the Congress of the USA, which makes the decision on its acceptance in the structure of the United States. The word “state” appeared during the colonial period (approximately in 1648) — it named sometimes separate colonies; it began to be used everywhere after acceptance of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Historical Preconditions of "States" Origin2

Before Europeans occupied the territory of the modern USA had been populated with numerous tribes of Indians. The first English settlements appeared in 1607 (Virginia) and in 1620 (Massachusetts). The formed 13 colonies of England demanded the representation in the British parliament and, without having received it, began the War for independence (1775-1783). On July, 4th, 1776 the Second Continental congress in Philadelphia accepted the Declaration of independence of the United States of America unanimously. This day (the date of birth of the USA) — the main national holiday of the country. The constitution of the USA was accepted on September, 17th, 1787. In 1803 the United States bought a valley of the river Mississippi — Louisiana from France and doubled the territory of the country. In 1835 the USA supported the territory of Texas y risen against Mexico which became one of the state of USA afterwards. As a result of the war with Mexico (1848) territory of the USA doubled once again at the expense of such territories as California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, etc. In 1867 the USA bought Alaska from imperial Russia; in 1898 it captured the Hawaiian islands which became in 1958 — the 50th state. The United States defined the northern border during the war with England (1812-1814) and subsequent arrangements. During the Second World War the United States required Danish West- India and many other Pacific islands. All historical phenomena influenced the origin of the names of the states.

Chapter II3

Official Nicknames


In 1836, Arkansas became the 25th state. The capital of the state – Little Rock. The slogan of the state – “The people rule”. In 1858 Arkansas was known as “The Bear State”. The first official nickname for Arkansas came in 1923 as “The Land of opportunity”. Arkansas is famous for its natural scenic beauty, clear lakes and streams, because in 1995 the nickname it was given “The Natural State”.


In 1850, California became the 30 state. The capital of the state – Sacramento. The slogan of the state – “Eureka”. California was known as “The Gold State” because of the Gold Rush of 1848 and then the state has been known as “The Golden State”, which became the state’s official nickname in 1968.


In 1788, Connecticut became the 5th state. The capital of the state–Hartford. The slogan of the state – “He who transplanted still sustains”. The name Connecticut is probably derived from a Native American world, Quinnehtukgut, meaning “beside the long tidal river”. The first formal constitution written on American soil in Hartford. In 1959, the official nickname it was given “The Constitution state”. In 1843, it has also been known as “The Land of Steady Habits”.


In 1788, Delaware became the 1st state. The capital of the state – Dover. The slogan of the state – “Liberty and independence”. The state’s name derived from the name of Thomas West, Baron De La Warr, Virginia’s first colonial governor. The nickname “The Diamond State” – according to legend gave Thomas Jefferson. He described Delaware as a “Jewel” the state. In 2002, the state formally adopted “The First State” as its official nickname.


In 1845, Florida became the 27th state. The capital of the state – Tallahassee. The slogan of the state – “In god we trust”. In 1860, Florida was known as “The Peninsula State”. But many years, Florida appears as “The Sunshine State” because it is known for its balmy, sunny weather and beautiful beaches. In 1970, this nickname was officially adopted by the legislature.


In 1788, Georgia became the 4th state. The capital of the state – Atlanta. The slogan of the state – “Wisdom, justice, moderation.” Georgia was named to honor King George II of England. Georgia’s nicknames: “The empire State of the south” and “The peach State”, because the peach became the official state fruit in 1995.


In 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state. The capital of the state – Honolulu. The slogan of the state – “The right in the land is perpetuated in righteousness”. The state gets its name from the island of Hawaii, one of the eight major islands. Hawaii is known as “The Paradise of the Pacific” because of its exotic flowers, beaches with palm trees, beautiful mountains. But since 1959 a Polynesian greeting has given the state’s official nickname “The Aloha State”. The Aloha means love.


In 1866, Kansas became the 35th state. The capital of the state – Topeka. The slogan of the state – “To the stars through difficulties”. Kansas was named for Konza Indians who lived in the area. Around the time of the Civil War, it was known as “The Battleground of Freedom”. In 1890, was “The Grasshopper State”. Kansas itself favoured “The Sunflower state”, which is the official nickname.


In 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd state. The capital of the state – St.Paul. The slogan of the state – “The North Star”. The name of this state came from the Minnesota River. The official nickname of state is “The North Star State”. The numerous lakes in the state have also led it to be known as “The Land of 10000 Lakes” (in fact the state has more like 12000 lakes). Another nickname for state is “The Wheat State”. This name pays tribute to Minnesota’s Wheat crops.


In 1817, Mississippi became the 20th state. The capital of the state – Jackson. The slogan of the state – “By valour and arms”. Origin of the name Mississippi – from the Indian words “mici zibit”, which means “Great River”. In 1872, the state was known as “The Mudcat State”, after a large catfish that lived in the river mud. The state is also sometimes known as “The Groundhog State”. However, the abundance of the magnolia, and its adoption as the official state flower, has led to the modern official nickname of “The Magnolia State”.


In 1821, Missouri became the 24th state. The capital of the state – Jefferson City. The slogan of the state – “The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law”. The Missouri territory took the name of the Missouri River. The name means “canoe hover”. In 1848, Missouri has been known as “The Ozark State” because of the Ozark Mountains. “The Bullion State” originated with Thomas Hart Benton. He was popularly known as “Old Bullion”. The modern nickname of “The Show Me State” was given national popularity at end of the 19th century. The most popular story regarding this nickname revolves around remarks made by United State Congressman Willard Duncan.


In 1889, Montana became the 41st state. The capital of the state – Helena. The slogan of the state – “Gold and silver”. The name Montana is the from the Spanish word from mountainous. The officially nickname for Montana is “The treasure State” because of its rich mineral reserves. Another nickname for Montana is “Big Sky Country”, made popular in 1960 because it’s a very big and beautiful state.


In 1867, Nebraska became the 37th state. The capital of the state – Lincoln. The slogan of the state – “Equality before the Law”. The name Nebraska is from an Otto Indian word that means “flat water”. In 1916, the state was known “The Black Water State” because the dark colour of its rivers. In 1945, “The Cornhusker State” became the official nickname of Nebraska, where “cornhusker” was applied to the University.


In 1864, Nevada became the 36th state. The capital of the state – Carson City. The slogan of the state – “All for our country”. Origin of the name Nevada is from the Spanish word meaning “snowcapped”. Having been admitted to the Union during the Civil War, Nevada adopted “The Battle-Born State” as its nickname. But, Nevada’s official nickname is “The Silver State”.

New Jersey

In 1787, New Jersey became the 3rd state. The capital of the state – Trenton. The slogan of the state – “Liberty and prosperity”. Sir John Berkley and Sir George Carteret received a royal charter for a colony in the new land and named this colony of Jersey. The historical nickname of New Jersey was known as “The Jersey Blue State”. This nickname recalls the blue uniforms of the New Jersey Revolutionary War soldiers. In 1954, the state legislature passed a bill to have “The Garden State”. These days New Jersey is known as “The Garden State” because this state provide floral and agricultural produce to cities in the area. In 1954, the nickname The Garden State” was officially added to the New Jersey License plates.

New Mexico

In 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state. The capital of the state – Santa Fe. The slogan of the state – “It goes as it goes”. Origin of the name New Mexico – named by the Spanish in reference to Mexico. New Mexico has been known as “The Sunshine State” and “The Spanish State”. Another nickname for New Mexico is “The Land of Enchantment” because of its scenic beauty and rich history. This nickname was officially adopted in 1999.

North Dakota

In 1889, North Dakota became the 39th state. The capital of the state – Bismarck. Te slogan of the state – “Liberty and union now and forever; one and inseparable”. Origin of the name North Dakota: Dakota was what the Sioux Indians called themselves. In 1957, the officially nickname of North Dakota is “The Peace Garden State”. The nickname servers in memory of the International Peace Garden. A large park and botanical garden celebrates the friendship between the USA and Canada. In 1970, nickname “The Roughrider State” was created to attract tourists.


In 1803, Ohio became the 17th state. The capital of the state – Columbus. The slogan of the state – “With God all things are possible. Ohio derives from the Iroquois Indian word meaning “large river”. In the 19th century, Ohio was known as “The Yankee State”, since many settlers had come from New England. Some of the state’s proponents claimed “The Mother of Presidents”, where more than half presidents had started their lives. The state tree of horse chestnut gives the state its nickname “The buckeye State”.

South Dakota

In 1889, South Dakota became the 40th state. The capital of the state – Pierre. The slogan of the state – “Under God the people rule”. Dakota was what the Sioux Indians called themselves. When Dakota split into two parts, South Dakota became variously known as “The Blizzard State” and “The Land of Plenty”. The other nickname is “The Coyote State”, which comes from the prairie wolf. In 1980, the state officially declared as “The Mount Rushmore state” which appears in words on the state flag.


In 1796, Tennessee became the 16th state. The capital of the state – Nash ville. The slogan of the state – “Tennessee – America at its best”. Tennessee is named after the Indian name, which means “The River with the Big Bend” and that leg to “The Big Bend state”. Tennessee is known officially as “The Volunteer State”, a name that goes back in 1812, when the volunteer soldiers showed courage in the Battle of New Orleans.


In 1889, Washington became the 42nd state. The capital of the state – Olympia. The slogan of the state – “By and By”. It Is the only state named for a president. The many conifer forests of state produced the nickname “The Evergreen State”. This nickname was adopted by the Legislature in 1893. The state is also known as “The Green Tree State”.


In 1890, Wyoming became the 44 state. The capital of the state – Cheyenne. The name Wyoming was derived from the Indian word “maughwauwama”, which means “large plains”. The state is known as “The Equality State” because of the rights women have traditionally enjoyed there. This was the first state to grant women the right vote, in 1869. Another nickname “The Cowboy State” because the state has officially adopted a cowboy on a horse as a symbol of the state.

Chapter III4

Non-Official Nicknames


In 1819, Alabama became the 22nt state. The capital of the state- Montgomery. The slogan of the state- «We dare defend our rights». Alabama means «tribal town» in the language of the local Greek Indians. Alabama has been known as «The Yellowhammer state» since the Civil War. «The Yellowhammer» nickname was applied to the Confederate soldiers from Alabama. Alabama does not have an official nickname, but is often referred to as «The Heart of Dixic», «The Cotton State» (1844) and «The Yellowhammer State».


In 1890, Alaska became the 49th state. The capital of the state – Juneau. The slogan of the state – «North to the Future». Alaska has no official nickname although when it joined the Union in 1959 a number of suggestions were made. «The 49th State» is the most obvious and was also suggested as «The North Star». But Alaska is more commonly known as «The Last Frontier» or «The Land of the Midnight Sun».


In 1912, Arizona became the 48th state. The capital of the state – Phoenix. The slogan of the state – “God enriches”. The name Arizona is derived from a combination of two words from Indian dialect of the Pima language: «Alen» and «Zon» together meaning «little spring». The popular nickname references «The Grand Canyon» in the northern part of the state, one of the world’s natural wonders. When Arizona was admitted to the Union, it received the nickname “The Baby State”, which it held on to until 1959. Sometimes known as “The Valentine state” because it was admitted on Valentine’s Day.


In 1876, Colorado became the 38th state. The capital of the state – Denver. The slogan of the state – “Nothing without providence”. The state’s name Colorado is a Spanish word meaning “reddish colored”. From the founding of the Union, Colorado quickly became known as “The Centennial State”. Another well-known nickname is “The Colorful Colorado” because of the state’s magnificent scenery of mountains, rivers and plains. Also, the state has been known as “The Highest State”. This nickname refers to the fact that Colorado has more mountains reaching 14000 feet than any other state.


In 1890, Idaho became the 43rd state. The capital of the state – Boise. The slogan of the state – “My you last forever”. Idaho’s nickname is “Gem State” because of its abundance of natural resources and scenic areas. Also, Idaho’s famous potatoes aren’t ignored – “Famous Potato”.


In 1818, Illinois became the 21st state. The capital of the state – Springfield. The slogan of the state – “State sovereignty national union”. Illinois – the Land of Lincoln and the heart of America. The state of Illinois was named after the Illinois River. In 1842, the state gets its name “The Prairie State” because most of the state was once covered with prairie grasses. The nickname “The Corn State” – where corn plays such an important role in the agricultural economy.


In 1816, Indiana became the 19th state. The capital of the state – Indianapolis. The slogan of the state – “The cross roads of America”. Indiana means “Land of the Indians”. Indiana is one of the few states that has had only one

nickname – “The Hoosier State”. This name it has had since the 1830. The origin of the word “Hoosier” is rooted deep in the history of Indiana.


In 1861, Iowa became the 34th state. The capital of the state – Des Moines. The slogan of the state – “Our liberties we praise and our rights we will maintain”. The state was named after the Iowa River. Iowa has been referred to as “The Land of the Rolling Prairie” because of the vast rolling prairies that covered the state. A more popular and recent nickname is “The Corn State” (but also semi-official).


In 1792, Kentucky became the 15th state. The capital of the state – Frankfort. The slogan of the state – “United we stand, de vided we fall”. Kentucky comes from the Wyandot Indian name for “plain” in reference to the central plains of the state. The nickname for Kentucky is “The Bluegrass State”. Because the grass is green, the bluish buds in the spring give the grass a blue colour. This nickname was from the time of the Civil War and remains so. Another nickname – “The Hemp State” because hemp was one of the most notable crops of Kentucky.


In 1812, Louisiana became the 18th state. The capital of the state – Baton Rouge. The slogan of the state – “Union, justice and confidence”. The state name Louisiana – this French explorer named the area La Louisiana after Louis XIV of France in 1682. With 1859, Louisiana has been the nickname “The Pelican State” because of the abundance of Brown Pelicans found along the COAST OF Louisiana. This bird is symbol of state. In 1872, state was listed as “The Creole State”. This nickname refers to the people of Louisiana of French and Spanish descent and to the culture they have preserved. Sometimes, Louisiana is called “The Sugar State” because it produces a large sugar cane crop.


In 1820, Maine became the 23rd state. The capital of the state

– Augusta. The slogan of the state – “I direct”. How the name for this state originated – not known. Mentions that “Maine” was a common term to describe a mainland. Common nickname for Maine is “The Pine Tree State” because of the extensive pine forests, and it has a pine tree on its seal “The Border State” because its northern border is with Canada. Another nickname – “The Polar Star State” because of the North Star on its Coat of Arms.


In 1788, Maryland became the 7th state. The capital of the state – Annapolis. The slogan of the state – “Manly deeds, womanly words”. Maryland was named to honor the Queen Henrietta Maria (1609-1699), the wife of Britain’s King Charles I. Maryland has nickname “The Old Line State” since colonial times. It has also been known as “The Monumental state”. This name had appeared by 1843. Another nickname – “The Queen State” because Maryland was named after Queen Henrietta Maria.


In 1788, Massachusetts became the 6th state. The capital of the state – Boston. The slogan of the state – “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty”. The state named after local Indian tribe whose name means “a large hill place”. Early settlers gave the nickname of “The Bay State” because of its closeness to major bays. Another nickname for state is “The Old Colony State”, referring to the Pilgrim colony.


In 1837, Michigan became the 26th state. The capital of the state – Lansing. The slogan of the state – “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look around you”. The name Michigan is derived from the Indian words “Michi – gama” meaning large lake. In 1846, Michigan been known as “Wolverine State”. Also it is known as “The Lake state” or “The Great Lakes State”.

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