Jack’s Review: The 50 States and Their Nicknames


My name is Jack Russillo and I’m a college freshman who just moved to the big city (Seattle) from a small town in the middle of nowhere. Every day I rate something on a scale of 1 to 100.

When writing about the Supersonics move to Oklahoma City yesterday, I included the fact that Oklahoma was the “Panhandle State”. That got me thinking about other states and their nicknames. I began to wonder if all of the nicknames were that odd… So, for today’s ratings, I will simply rate each state’s nickname—I’ll even give some snarky feedback.

We’ll go alphabetically, of course.

Alabama (The Yellowhammer State) — 54/100 Kinda badass, if you’re into Nordic gods.

Alaska (The Last Frontier) — 68/100 First, more like the last option of where to live. Second, Star Trek anyone?

Arizona (The Grand Canyon State) — 22/100 Yeah, let’s just name it after the biggest crack in the world.

Arkansas (The Natural State) — 65/100 Good name. I’ve never been there, but there better be some mighty fine nature.

California (The Golden State) — 71/100 Home of the original “gold rush” and where all the celebrities live, and the weather is solid. I guess it works.

Colorado (The Centennial State) — 18/100 Really? One of the coolest states is named because it was founded 100 years after our country? What a waste.

Connecticut (The Constitution State) — 16/100 Just plain boring.

Delaware (The First State) — 74/100 Accurate and simple.

Florida (The Sunshine State) — 63/100 Funny story… Florida adopted its nickname from what was written on their license plates. Negative points for lack of creativity.

Georgia (The Peach State) — 58/100 Well at least we know what kind of fruit they grow there.

Hawaii (The Aloha State) — 76/100 The only Hawaiian word that everybody knows.

Idaho (The Gem State) — 46/100 A potato is not a gem.

Illinois (The Prairie State) — 42/100 Woohoo! It’s flat.

Indiana (The Hoosier State) — 36/100 What even is a hoosier?

Iowa (The Hawkeye State) — 59/100 Pretty cool… I guess…

Kansas (The Sunflower State) — 39/100 Let’s name another boring state after a flower. Sounds good, right guys?

Kentucky (The Bluegrass State) — 47/100 Bluegrass is not really blue… It’s green, like all other grass.

Louisiana (The Pelican State) — 63/100 Pelicans are the camels of the sky.

Maine (The Pine Tree State) — 68/100 SO. MUCH. FOREST.

Maryland (The Old Line State) — 27/100 What does this even mean??

Massachusetts (The Bay State) — 66/100 Does anybody know where I can park my boat?!

Michigan (The Wolverine State) — 48/100 When was the last time someone saw a wolverine in Michigan? Not recently.

Minnesota (The North Star State, The Land of 10,000 Lakes) — 51/100 We get it, you’re close to Canada and can swim in freezing cold water.

Mississippi (The Magnolia State) — 39/100 Gee, I wonder what the state flower is… Daisy? Tulip?

Missouri (The Show Me State) — 41/100 I wouldn’t want to be shown too much of Missouri…

Montana (The Treasure State) — 74/100 X marks the spot.

Nebraska (The Cornhusker State) — 26/100 What else would Nebraska be known for?

Nevada (The Silver State, The Sagebrush State) — 16/100 Well at least I know of two other things in Nevada aside from gambling.

New Hampshire (The Granite State) — 21/100 If you don’t live in New Hampshire, and knew this nickname, go make some friends.

New Jersey (The Garden State) — 47/100 Has got to be one of the ugliest gardens I’ve seen.

New Mexico (The Land of Enchantment) — 71/100 Great name, but let’s give it to almost any other state.

New York (The Empire State) — 86/100 Jay-Z and Alicia Keys nailed it.

North Carolina (The Old North State, The Tar Heel State) — 39/100 It’s not North of too much… And who wants to be known for bad feet?

North Dakota (The Peace Garden State, The Roughrider State, The Flickertail State) — 53/100 So they share a border with Canada, have squirrels, and good ol’ Teddy Roosevelt used to romp around there.

Ohio (The Buckeye State) — 41/100 Discovering that a buckeye is a type of tree lost them a couple points.

Oklahoma (The Sooner State, The Panhandle State) — 50/100 Named for impatient people and what they should hit themselves in the head with.

Oregon (The Beaver State) — 62/100 Can any other animal build a dam??

Pennsylvania (The Keystone State) — 61/100 A lot of important *BLEEP* has happened there.

Rhode Island (The Ocean State) — 71/100 Of course the only state with the word “island” in the name would be called the ocean state. Applicable.

South Carolina (The Palmetto State) — 37/100 Awesome, yet another state named after flora. This one isn’t even that well-known.

South Dakota (The Mount Rushmore State) — 46/100 At least they tell you the only reason to go there.

Tennessee (The Volunteer State) — 51/100 I wouldn’t volunteer to got there.

Texas (The Lone Star State) — 50/100 Let ‘em do whatever they want down there…

Utah (The Beehive State) — 39/100 Straight up weird.

Vermont (The Green Mountain State) — 78/100 Sounds beautiful, is beautiful.

Virginia (The Old Dominion State) — 44/100 This state is pretty old…

Washington (The Evergreen State) — 75/100 Between the trees and the regulations pertaining to marijuana, it works.

West Virginia (The Mountain State) — 63/100 I’m getting exhausted just thinking about it.

Wisconsin (The Badger State) — 43/100 Do they make badger cheese?

Wyoming (The Equality State) — 62/100 Good job on being the first state to allow women to vote. I applaud you.

What do you think of the states and their nicknames?

If I could pick a state and give it a nickname with a rating of 100/100, I would have to call Pencilvania “The Written State”.

Sorry to end on such a terrible pun.

Comments, criticisms, your own rating, or any other topics you’d like me to rate? Tweet me @jackrussillo or follow me on Medium to get my daily posts.

See the rest of my ratings here: