State and Territory Names and Nicknames
The names of the states taken all together honor the important players in the early exploration and history of the nation. Georgia, the Virginias, the Carolinas, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Maryland, among others, were named by the English. Maine, Vermont, and Louisiana were named by the French. The Spanish left their names to Florida, Colorado, California, Nevada, and Texas. The Dutch were responsible for naming Rhode Island. The United States honored the first president when it created the state of Washington and the Native Americans displaced by the country's westward expansion when it named Indiana. In fact, the majority of state names are derived from Indian names. From the Choctaw in Alabama, to the Aleuts in Alaska, to the Massachusetts on the East Coast, Indian tribes left their mark on the naming of the states.
Nicknames for the states have come out of particular incidents and events or in an effort to promote state industries, businesses, and tourism. The nicknames listed below are those that have stood the test of time and illustrate some historical or economic fact. Not included here are the many slogans devised by the states to promote a particular industry or image.
The Alabama River was named after the Indian tribe that was settled in central Alabama when early European explorers first arrived there. The