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Oklahoma State Names (Etymology of Names)

Oklahoma Name Origin and State Nicknames

Great Plains

OK 3D Map: State Name OriginOklahoma is a state located in the South Central United States. Oklahoma is the 20th most extensive and the 28th most populous of the 50 United States. It is one of six states on the Frontier Strip, and lies partly in the Great Plains near the geographical center of the 48 contiguous states. It is bounded on the east by Arkansas and Missouri, on the north by Kansas, on the northwest by Colorado, on the far west by New Mexico, and on the south and near-west by Texas.

The name Oklahoma is from the Choctaw Indian words "okla" meaning people and "humma" meaning red.

Oklahoma Nicknames

  • Sooner State
  • Boomer's Paradise
  • Land of the Red Man

Origin of Oklahoma State Name

Oklahoma is from two Choctaw Indian words meaning "red people."

Oklahoma is a word that was made up by the native American missionary Allen Wright,  comes from the Choctaw phrase okla humma, literally meaning red people. He combined two Choctaw words, "okla" meaning person and "humma; meaning red to form the word that first appears in a 1866 Choctaw treaty.

Native America: Oklahoma has the largest Native American population of any other state. Many of the 250,000 American Indians living in the state are descended from 67 tribes who inhabited Indian Territory. tribal headquarters for 39 tribes are in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Nicknames

Sooner State

In 1889, the Indian Territory was opened to settlers. Thousands of people lined up on the border and, when the signal was given, they raced into the territory to claim their land. Some people went in early to claim their land. They became known as Sooners.

Boomer's Paradise

Settlers who waited for the boom of a cannon to stake their claim during the Land Run of 1889, which opened Oklahoma Territory to settlement.

Land of the Red Man

Oklahoma is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "land of the red man"

Oklahoma Slogans

  • Native America

Oklahoma Postal Code

  • OK

Oklahoma Resident's Name

  • Oklahoman- Official (recommended by US GPO)
  • Okie - Official, unofficial or informal alternates
  • Sooner - Official, unofficial or informal alternates
State Names
State Names & Nicknames
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.
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