Nevada State Names (Etymology of Names)

Nevada Name Origin and State Nicknames

Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. Nevada is the 7th most extensive, the 35th most populous, and the 9th least densely populated of the 50 United States. Nevada is almost entirely within the Basin and Range Province, and is broken up by many north-south mountain ranges. Most of these ranges have endorheic valleys between them, which belies the image portrayed by the term Great Basin.  Nevada is bordered on the north by Oregon and Idaho, the east by Utah and Arizona, and on the south west and west by the State of California.

Nevada is from the Spanish word meaning "snowcapped."

Nevada Nicknames

  • Silver State
  • Sagebrush State
  • Sage State
  • Mining State
  • Sierra Nevada Territory
  • Washoe Territory
  • Carson Territory
  • Eastern Slope
  • Humboldt
  • Esmeralda
  • Sierra Plata
  • Oro Plata
  • Bullion
  • Divorce State
  • Silverland

Origin of Nevada State Name

Spanish: "snowcapped."

This state was named after the mountain range in the west.

As far back as 1857 many names were used to refer to the area that became Nevada, IE: Sierra Nevada Territory; Washoe Territory; Carson Territory; Eastern Slope; Humboldt; Esmeralda; Sierra Plata; Oro Plata and Bullion. But in 1864 the land emerged as "Nevada" a Spanish word meaning snow-covered.

From out at sea Spanish sailors gazed upon the beautiful mountain ranges of California. They called these mountains Sierra Nevada (snowy range). Sierra Nevada seemed an apt name for the new territory that was being carved out of Utah, but when the deed was done in 1859, the name of this new territory had been shortened to Nevada.

Nevada Nicknames

The Silver State / Siver State / Mining State / Silverland

The state's nickname is "The Silver State," due to the large number of silver deposits that were discovered and mined there. The state was more seriously known as Silverland (traced back to 1863, from the wealth of silver deposits). This eventually became the Silver State (a nickname challenged by Colorado, but which is what appears on the state's license plates today), and also led to the Mining State.

Sagebrush State / Sage State

Named the "Sagebrush State" for the wild sage that grows there prolifically. However, the Sagebrush State (challenged by Wyoming) is more common (the sagebrush being the state's official flower), occasionally shortened to Sage State

Sagebrush is Nevada's official state flower and is found on the Nevada state flag.

Divorce State

Facetious nicknames, like Divorce State have appeared (in this case, due to the rise of Reno and Las Vegas)

The Sage-hen State

The sage hen is a true bird of the west. The sage hen or sage grouse, once very plentiful in Nevada, gives us this nickname

Nevada Slogan

  • Wide Open
  • (Battle Born) was adopted on March 26, 1937. The state slogan, Battle Born State, was adopted on March 26, 1937. It means Nevada became a state during the Civil War.

Nevada Postal Code

  • NV

Nevada Resident's Name

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

The Etymologies of US State Names