The Origin and Meaning of the
The history, origin and meaning of each of the state's nicknames are
The name Natural refers to the natural beauty and abundant wildlife
in the region. There is a great variety of beautiful landscapes from
dense woodland to fertile plains and from valleys to mountains. The
natural beauty of the state and its opportunities for fishing in the
clear streams and lakes attract many tourists to the region.
Arkansas boasts 3 national forests, Ouachita and Ozark national
parks and 52 state parks.
(pronounced "Bar") and the Wonder State
The name 'wonder' was used in an earlier nickname but was not
believed to fully convey the opportunities of the region and was
subsequently replaced by the 'Land of Opportunity. The reference to
bears relates to the vast number of black bears (Ursus americanus
luteolus) that originally roamed the lands.
The Land of
The Land of Opportunity alludes to a optimistic outlook for the
development of business, industry, and agriculture in the region.
Toothpick or the Bowie State
These nicknames are direct references to the names given to the
common sheath, throwing or belt knives that were used by the
original pioneers and settlers in the region. The Bowie knife was
first made James Black for Jim Bowie, hence its name. The legendary
Bowie knife was described as "sharp enough for shaving, heavy enough
to be handled as a hatchet, as long as a sword, and broad enough to
A razorback (Sus scrofa scrofa) is the name for a wild boar with
long, coarse hair that sometimes forms in a tuft along their back
(hence, the name razorback). The razorback serves as an emblem for
athletes in the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Fans of the
athlete's team shout a chant derived from a hog farmers' call.