Maryland State Motto

Motto and Nickname

The Maryland State Motto
The Maryland motto was adopted in 1776 and is expressed in Old Italian as "Fatti maschii, parole femmine" which means:

"Manly deeds,
womanly words"

The Meaning of the Maryland State Motto
The meaning of this motto reflects the motto of the Calvert family. George Calvert, First Baron Baltimore (1579 - 1632) is recognized as the colonizer and founder of Maryland. His second son Leonard Calvert, (1606-1647), was the first colonial governor of the Province of Maryland. The flag of Maryland is the coat of arms of the Calvert family.

"Manly deeds, womanly words"


The Maryland State Nickname
The Maryland Motto is complimented by a less formal, popular Maryland 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:

Maryland State Nickname List
Official Nickname: Old Line State
Cockade State
Free State and Monumental State
Terrapin State and the Oyster State

George Washington


The Origin and Meaning of the Maryland Nicknames
The American citizens who live in, or who come from Maryland, are referred to as Marylanders. The history, origin and meaning of each of the state's nicknames are as follows:

The Old Line State
The official nickname of the Old Line has two possible origins. The first relates to Maryland as the dividing line between the land grants given to William Penn and George Calvert, Lord Baltimore. The second theory refers to the soldiers Maryland soldiers who bravely fought in the Revolutionary War along the Maryland Line. General George Washington referred to these soldiers as "The Old Line."

The Monumental State
"The Monumental City" was a nickname given to Baltimore by President John Quincy Adams at his visit in 1827 and was the inspiration for this nickname.

The Cockade State
The Cockade nickname is a reference to the War of Independence (17751783). The soldiers of the Continental Army did not have uniforms were not able to easily distinguish their commanders on the battlefield. A cockade was a wide, knot of ribbon or a rosette worn on the hat and these were introduced to identify the leaders of the Continental Army. The cockade worn in Maryland consisted of a double rosette of dark blue silk, with blue pendants, and fastened the with the State button, and the single world "Maryland" beneath the arms.

The Free State
This nickname relates to the prohibition era. Many inhabitants of Maryland saw this prohibition of liquor as a violation of personal freedom.

The Terrapin State
Maryland named the diamondback terrapin its official reptile in 1994. The diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) is a species of turtle native to the coastal swamps of the eastern and southern United States. Diamondback terrapins were greatly harvested for food in colonial America and in Maryland the terrapins were so plentiful that slaves protested the excessive use of this food as their main source of protein.

The Oyster State
The Oyster reference alludes to the highly successful oyster industry in Maryland.


The Constitution of Maryland
The constitution of Maryland 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:

"We, the People of the State of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty, and taking into our serious consideration the best means of establishing a good Constitution in this State for the sure foundation and more permanent security thereof, declare..."

Preamble of the Constitution of Maryland


Maryland State Motto for Kids

Learn the meaning of the motto for kids
"Manly deeds, womanly words" 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 Nickname "Old Line State"
Meaning of the motto and nickname for schools, kids and children

Abraham Lincoln

Maryland State Motto and Nickname for Kids

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