Louisiana State Names (Etymology of Names)

Louisiana Name Origin and State Nicknames

Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Louisiana is the 31st most extensive and the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties. Louisiana is bordered to the west by Texas; to the north by Arkansas; to the east by the state of Mississippi; and to the south by the Gulf of Mexico. The surface of the state may properly be divided into two parts, the uplands of the north, and the alluvial along the coast.

Louisiana was named by the French explorer Sieur de La Salle in 1682 to honor King Louis XIV (14) of France.

Louisiana Nicknames

  • Pelican State
  • Bayou State
  • Child of the Mississippi
  • The Creole State
  • The Mardi Gras State
  • The Cajun State
  • Jazz capital of the US
  • Bayou Country
  • Cajun Country
  • Sportsman's Paradise
  • Fisherman's Paradise
  • The Holland of America
  • Sugar State

Origin of Louisiana State Name

In honor of Louis XIV of France.

Louisiana is another state, along with Illinois, that bears the mark of Robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle. The first European to descend the Mississippi River to the delta, this French explorer named the area La Louisianne after Louis XIV of France in 1682.

Louisiana Nicknames

Pelican State

Tribute to the official state bird, the brown pelican, which is native to Louisiana.

Bayou State or Bayou Country

A bayou is a small secondary river that feeds into larger bodies of water. It is often marshy and slow moving. Because of the many slow, sluggish small streams that meander through the lowlands and marshes of the southern section of the state, Louisiana is often referred to as "The Bayou State." This nickname appeared on the Louisiana state license plates for a while beginning in 1974. It was later replaced by a World's Fair plate and, later, the Sportsman's Paradise plate

Child of the Mississippi

River flows past New Orleans into the Gulf of Mexico. This nickname comes from the build up of silt deposited by the Mississippi River that contributes to the land mass of Louisiana.

The Creole State

This nickname refers to the people of Louisiana of French and Spanish descent and also to the culture they have preserved

The Mardi Gras State

Major annual events such as Mardi Gras and the Jazz & Heritage Festival

The Cajun State or Cajun Country

Cajuns are an ethnic group mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana, consisting of the descendants of Acadian exiles (French-speakers from Acadia in what are now the Maritimes). Today, the Cajuns make up a significant portion of south Louisiana's population, and have exerted an enormous impact on the state's culture.

Jazz capital of the US

Major annual events such as Mardi Gras and the Jazz & Heritage Festival

Sportsman's Paradise

This nickname pays tribute to the wildlife and the hunting, trapping and fishing resources of the state as well as other outdoor recreational and sporting activity within the state. Football ice hockey, horse racing, golf, baseball and college sports round out the "sporting" experience of "The Sportsman's Paradise." This nickname appears on the Louisiana license plate.

Fisherman's Paradise

This nickname touts the wide variety of excellent fishing available in the state.

The Holland of America

This surprising nickname came about because of Louisiana's waterways and its trucking industry.

Sugar State

In addition to cotton, rice, and sweet potatoes, Louisiana produces a large sugar cane crop. This nickname is in reference to the sugar cane grown in the state and the sugar refineries of Louisiana.

Louisiana Slogans

  • Official Louisiana State slogan: "Come fall in Love with Louisiana all over again."
  • Come as you are. Leave Different.
  • Sportsman's Paradise (on its license plate)

Louisiana Postal Code

  • LA

Louisiana Resident's Name

  • Louisianan - Official (recommended by US GPO)
  • Louisianian - Official, unofficial or informal alternates
State Names
State Names & Nicknames

The Etymologies of US State Names