Florida Guide > Miscellaneous
The State Nicknames Part 2
If you take a look at the number plates on cars you will be able to see which state the car originated from. There is usually a nickname associated with each state, and these often have very interesting origins. Here are the nicknames of California, Colorado, and Connecticut.
In 1968, ‘The Golden State’ became the official nickname of the state of California. This name reflects the fact that much of California’s wealth and modern development can be traced back to the discovery of gold in 1848. Each spring, fields of golden poppies, can be seen, and these are the official state flower.
A museum, the Golden State Museum, has also been named in recognition of the events which had such an impact on California’s history. This state has also been called the ‘Grape State, ’ in recognition of its large wine growing industry, the ‘Land of Milk and Honey, ’ the ‘Golden West, ’ the ‘El Dorado State, ’ and the ‘Eureka State. ’ Its state quarter depicts the Yosemite Valley.
Now known as the ‘Centennial State, ’ Colorado’s nicknames included Buffalo Plains State, ’ ‘Highest State’ – because of its high mountains, ‘Colorful Colorado, ’ ‘Lead State, ’ ‘Mother of Rivers, ’ ‘Rocky Mountain Empire, ’ ‘Rocky Mountain State’ and ‘Silver State. ’ Large quantities of both silver and lead were found here.
It has also been called the ‘Switzerland of America, ’ because of its majestic snow capped mountains. The name ‘Centennial State’ arose because is became a state in the year 1876 which was a hundred years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Colorado’s magnificent mountain scenery, with stunning rivers and plains, gave rise to the name ‘Colorful Colorado. ’
Currently the name ‘Constitution State’ is used on licence plates, and the General Assembly designated the state such in 1959. One of its more fascinating nicknames is that of ‘Nutmeg State, ’ and this has a couple of stories surrounding its origin. One interpretation is that the citizens of this state were so shrewd that they made wooden nutmegs which they then sold to unsuspecting buyers. Of course, nutmeg is ground from the seed or fruit of the nutmeg tree, so these wooden nutmegs would have been quite useless. It is also said that these worthless wooden nutmegs were whittled by sailors on their way home from the spice islands, and that they were later sold as souvenirs. Either way, it’s an interesting story.
Another name, the ‘Blue Law State’ is said to be named after the Blue Laws which regulate public morality. The name, the ‘Land of Steady Habits’ also reflects the strict morals of the people of Connecticut.
The name, ‘Brownstone State’ relates to the fact that Connecticut was famous for its brownstone quarries, at Portland. This stone was used to build large houses and public buildings, and the quarry was an important employer in the area in the 1800s. The name, the ‘Freestone State’ also refers to the valuable freestone, or sandstone, quarries that once existed.
During the Revolutionary War, it was Connecticut which provided much of the food and canons to the forces, and thus it became known as the ‘Provisions State. ’ Its state quarter depicts the Charter Oak.
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