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Florida Guide > Miscellaneous

The State Nicknames – Part 6

On our trips to Florida we have always been fascinated by the licence plates on cars which display each state’s nickname. These nicknames reflect the character and history of each state and offer an interesting insight into them, and we are always amazed at how many different number plates we see when we are staying in our villa in Orlando It has become quite a routine to look out for these number plates, and at the last count we had only two more to find.

Maine

Nicknamed the Pine Tree State, Maine has over 17 million acres of forests, so it is no surprise that the white pine tree is the officially designated state symbol. It is the 39th biggest state in the USA, and the 40th most populous, and has a magnificent rocky coastline, sandy beaches plus pristine conifer and hardwood forests which cover nearly 89% of the state.

This abundance of conifers led to another state nickname, The Lumbar State, and Maine is home to many of the largest paper producing mills in the country. The White Pines of Maine were also much prized for ship’s masts, as they are some of the tallest trees to grow in eastern North America.

Sometimes called the Border State, due to its northern borders with Canada, its nickname The Switzerland of America reflects its mountains and its snowfall.

Maryland

Maryland was named by King Charles 1 of England, who wanted to honour his wife, Queen Henrietta Maria, who was known as Queen Mary. Called ‘The Old Line State’ or the ‘Free State’ this nickname has several explanations, the most popular being a reference to the Maryland soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War, the Maryland Line.

It is also sometimes called ‘The Free State’ and this is assumed to originate from an article written by Hamilton Owens, the editor of the Baltimore Sun, in which he refers to Maryland as ‘The Free State. ’ This article was the result of an attack by William D Upshaw who disapproved of Marylands never passing a State enforcement act in support of Prohibition.

Maryland soliders are also responsible for another nickname – ‘The Cockade State’ in recognition of the badge like ornaments worn on their hats.

The nickname ‘The Monumental State’ was bestowed upon Maryland by the President, John Quincy Adams, possibly in reference to the many monuments and memorials wich were built in the city of Baltimore.

Finally, the nickname, the Oyster State, refers to the large oyster fisheries which abound in this state.

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Page added on: 13 October 2010
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