Iowa State Names (Etymology of Names)

Iowa Name Origin and State Nicknames

Iowa is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States, a region sometimes called the "American Heartland". Iowa is bordered by the Mississippi River on the east and the Missouri River and the Big Sioux River on the west; it is the only US state whose eastern and western borders are formed entirely by rivers. Iowa is bordered by Wisconsin and Illinois to the east, Missouri to the south, Nebraska and South Dakota to the west, and Minnesota to the north.

The name Iowa comes from Ioway, the French word for the Bah-kho-je Indian tribe that lived in the area. It is the only state that has a state abbreviation that consists of two vowels (IA)

Iowa Nicknames

  • Hawkeye State
  • Tall Corn State

Origin of Iowa State Name

The state of Iowa, originally a territory of Wisconsin west of the Mississippi River, was named after the Iowa River. The Iowa River was named after the Iowa Indians who lived in the territory. The tribal name "Ayuxwa" was spelled by the French as "Ayoua" and by the English as "Ioway." "Ayuxwa" means "one who puts to sleep."

Probably from an Indian word meaning "this is the place" or "the Beautiful Land"

Iowa Nicknames

Hawkeye State

The nickname, Hawkeye State, was adopted early in the state's history. First suggested by James G. Edwars as a tribute to Indian leader Chief Black Hawk. Two Iowa promoters from Burlington are believed to have popularized the name.

Tall Corn State

A more popular and recent (but also only semi-official) nickname is the Corn State, which has appeared on the state license plates.

Iowa Slogans

  • Fields of Opportunity
  • Life Changing

Iowa Postal Code

  • IA

Iowa Resident's Name

  • Iowan- Official (recommended by US GPO)
State Names
State Names & Nicknames

The Etymologies of US State Names