State Names & Nicknames
National & State Symbols
Alaska State Names (Etymology of Names)
Alaska Name Etymology and State Nicknames
Alaska is a U.S. state situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent. Bordering the state to the east is the Canadian Yukon Territory and the province of British Columbia, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia (specifically, Siberia) further west across the Bering Strait.
The word Alaska is from the Aleut Indian word "alaxsxaq" or "agunalaksh" that mean the mainland or shore.
Origin of Alaska State Name
The name Alaska comes from the language of the area's indigenous people and is derived from the Yupik word "Alyeska," meaning "great land" or "that which the sea breaks against."
The Aleuts lived on the Aleutian Islands, a chain that extends westward from a large peninsula in southwestern Alaska. The first large island is Unimak Island, where the village of False Pass and Shishaldin Volcano sit. From their perspective, the peninsula led to a large land, the continent of North America.
Alaska Nicknames (no official nickname)
Alaska has no official nickname although, when it joined the union in 1959 a number of suggestions were made. Alaska is more commonly (but unofficially) known as The Last Frontier, or The Land of the Midnight Sun. Alaska license plates display North to the Future It was even at one time referred to as Up Over (in comic opposition to New Zealand and Australia, which are "Down Under").
The Last Frontier
Alaska, admitted as the 49th state on January 03, 1959 to the union is thought of as "America's Last Frontier" because of it's distance from the lower 48 states and it's rugged landscape, climate, and the sun shines nearly around the clock during Alaskan summers.
Land of the Midnight Sun
Refers to Alaska's northern locations where, for a period of time, in the summer, the sun never completely dips below the horizon. The sun is visible at midnight. Some parts of Alaska such as Barrow, the sun doesn't set for 84 days.
The Great Land
The name Alaska is derived from the Yupik word "Alyeska," meaning "great land" or "that which the sea breaks against." (previously used on license plates)
After the agreement to purchase Alaska, 1867 the name was given after Secretary of State William Seward, who proposed the often-ridiculed purchase and the official acceptance of the name Alaska.
Derisive name given to the Alaska territory during the battle between Secretary of State William H. Seward and the United States Congress over the purchase of the land from Russia.
Before it was purchased by the United States in 1867.
Territory of Baranov
For Alexander Baranov, the early Russian leader on this continent.
Up Over (in comic opposition to New Zealand and Australia, which are "Down Under").
Sourdough is associated with gold rushes. During the Alaska gold rush, it was practically illegal to enter the state without sourdough. It kept you alive. A sourdough is someone who has weathered some time in Alaska.
Alaska Area Codes
Alaska Postal Code
Alaska Resident's Name
The etymologies of some US state names are more obvious than others, derived from the Spanish or French tongue. Though, more than half of the US state names come from Native American tribal languages, with several still a mystery to scholars and historians.