Kansas State Names (Etymology of Names)

Kansas Name Origin and State Nicknames

Kansas is a state located in the Midwestern United States. The state is divided into 105 counties with 628 cities, and is located equidistant from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.  Kansas is the 15th most extensive and the 34th most populous of the 50 United States. Kansas is bordered by Nebraska on the north; Missouri on the east; Oklahoma on the south; and Colorado on the west.

Kansas was named for Konza (also called Kansa or Kaw) Indians who lived in the area.

Kansas Nicknames

  • Sunflower State (Official)
  • Wheat State
  • Cyclone State
  • Midway, USA
  • Jayhawk State
  • The Central State
  • The Grasshopper State
  • Garden of the West
  • The Squatter State
  • Bleeding Kansas
  • The Battleground of Freedom

Origin of Kansas State Name

The state of Kansas was named after the river. The Kansas River was named by the French after the Kansas, Omaha, Kaw, Osage and Dakota Sioux Indian word "KaNze" meaning, in the Kansas language "south wind." The state name for Arkansas shares its origins with Kansas.

From a Sioux word meaning "people of the south wind"

Kansas Nicknames

Kansas itself officially favored the more demure Sunflower State, which is the official nickname (and the sunflower is the state flower.)

Sunflower State

A reminder of the wild sunflowers that grow in profusion across the state, the Sunflower is also the official State Flower and Floral Emblem of Kansas.

Cyclone State

Weather conditions conducive to the generation of tornadoes, or cyclones, earned Kansas this nickname.

Midway, USA

Located close to the middle of the contiguous 48 states.

Wheat State

One of the nation's leading agricultural states.

Jayhawk State

This historical nickname, sometimes phrased as "The Jayhawker State," traces it's history back to 1856 and the conflicts between Kansas and Missouri during the time when Kansas earned the name "Bleeding Kansas" Missourians became known as "bushwhackers."

The Central State

Located close to the middle of the contiguous 48 states.

The Grasshopper State

Nicknamed for the 1874 Grasshopper (Rocky Mountain Locusts) Plague, when the lush landscape of Kansas was denuded by swarms of Rocky Mountain Locusts that swept into the state in July.

Garden of the West

Also referred to as "The Garden State," for the beauty of the landscape and the fertility of the soil.

The Squatter State

New settlers that flocked into the new territory establishing claims to the land. Early squatters were from the slave state of Missouri.

Bleeding Kansas

Bleeding Kansas, sometimes referred to in history as Bloody Kansas or the Border War, was a series of violent events, involving Free-Staters (anti-slavery) and pro-slavery "Border Ruffian" elements, that took place in the Kansas Territory and the western frontier towns of Missouri roughly between 1854 and 1858. "Bleeding Kansas"was a term coined and used by Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune to describe the violent hostilities between pro and antislavery forces in the Kansas territory during the mid and late 1850s.

The Battleground of Freedom

During the violent period of conflict before the Civil War, Kansas was sometimes referred to as "The Battleground of Freedom."

Kansas Slogans

  • (formerly Land of Ahhs )
  • (formerly Home of Beautiful Women)
  • (formerly Simply Wonderful)
  • Kansas, as big as you think

Kansas Postal Code

  • KS

Kansas Resident's Name

  • Kansan - Official (recommended by US GPO)
  • Sunflower - Official, unofficial or informal alternates
  • Grasshopper - Official, unofficial or informal alternates
State Names
State Names & Nicknames

The Etymologies of US State Names