The Origin and Meaning of the New Mexico Nicknames
The American citizens who live in, or who come from New Mexico, are referred to as New Mexicans. The history, origin and meaning of each of the state's nicknames are as follows:
The Land of Enchantment
The official nickname of the highly evocative Land of Enchantment refers to the allure of the lands and is perhaps best conveyed in the following lines of the state song:
"A rose in the desert I loved her so
In the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico"
The Colorful State
The Colorful State is a reference to its colorful history and its blend of three cultures: Native American Indian, Spanish and Anglo-American. The vibrant colors of the flag that display a red sun symbol on a field of yellow.
The Spanish State
The Spanish nickname refers to the history of the state and its connection with Spain and the first Spanish explorers and conquistadors. There are many Spanish speaking residents in modern New Mexico.
The Land of the Cactus
The Land of the Cactus is an apt name as the area is abundant with different types of cactus. The exotic names for some of the species of cactus that are grown in the area include the giant pincushion, rainbow, foxtail, grassland prickly pear, fishhook and the paperspine cactus