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Indiana State Motto

Motto and Nickname

The Indiana State Motto
The Indiana motto is:

"The Crossroads of America"

The Meaning of the Indiana State Motto
The motto was adopted by the Indiana General Assembly in 1937. The meaning of this famous motto reflects its central  Midwestern location in America. During the 1800s the Cumberland Road (US Route 40) was built providing access to different states. This together with the railways and waterways provided access to travel across America to reach the ports that gave transport access to the rest of the world. The American citizens who live in, or who come from Indiana, are referred to as Indianans or Indianians.

"The Crossroads of America"



The Indiana State Nickname
The Indiana Motto is complimented by a less formal, popular Indiana nickname which, combined with the motto, are highly descriptive of the people, the geography and the history of the state. The names used as nicknames are:

Indiana State Nickname List
Official Nickname: Hoosier State
Crossroads of America
Hospitality State

George Washington

The Origin and Meaning of the Indiana Nicknames
The history, origin and meaning of each of the state's nicknames are as follows:

Hoosier State
The origins of the official nickname of 'Hoosier' has been long debated and there are different versions relating to the story of its origins. The most credible is the origin put forward by the Indianan historian and author Jacob Piatt Dunn (April 12, 1855–June 6, 1924). Jacob Piatt Dunn compiled a Miami-English filecard dictionary of the Miami-Illinois language that was commissioned by the Bureau of American Ethnology. Jacob Piatt Dunn traced the word "hoozer" to England its meaning was "anything large or high" in dialect used in the English district of Cumberland. The Anglo-Saxon root "Hoo" means high or hill and the term "Hoosier" referred to the early settlers called hill people.

Other comical suggestions put forward are the  "Who's Here?" and "Who's ear?" theories! The first relates to an enquiry as to who was in the house ("Who's Here?") and the second alludes to fights in taverns where its was not uncommon for someone to bite an ear off another person ("Who's ear?").

John Finley wrote a poem, "The Hoosier's Nest," which was used as the "Carrier's Address" of the Indianapolis Journal, Jan. 1, 1833. The poem was widely published throughout the USA and the name stuck!

Hospitality State
The Hospitality reference alludes to the nature of the residents of the region and perhaps again is connected to the  "Who's Here?" theory.

Crossroads of America
The motto of the Crossroads of America was so catchy that it is also a commonly used and affectionate nickname.


The Constitution of Indiana
The constitution of Indiana establishes the basic rights of its citizens and echoes the words and sentiments of the motto. The preamble (opening) of the constitution is as follows:

"TO THE END, that justice be established, public order maintained, and liberty perpetuated; WE, the People of the State of Indiana, grateful to ALMIGHTY GOD for the free exercise of the right to choose our own form of government, do ordain this Constitution. "

Preamble of the Constitution of Indiana


Indiana State Motto for Kids

Learn the meaning of the motto for kids
"The Crossroads of America" motto
Find the meaning of the Motto and nickname
Meaning, History and Origin of the motto for kids
Meaning, origin and history of the nickname
Interesting facts, info and picture of the flag
Official Indiana Nickname "Hoosier"
Meaning of the Indiana motto and nickname for schools, kids and children

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Indiana State Motto and Nickname for Kids

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