The Origin and Meaning of the
The American citizens
who live in, or who come from Oklahoma, are referred to as
Oklahomans, Oklahomians or as Sooners. The history, origin and meaning of each of the state's nicknames are
The official nickname of the Cowboy Country is a tribute the
greatest folk hero in American history - the Cowboy. Oklahoma lay
between the massive cattle ranges of Texas and the cattle towns of
Kansas and Nebraska. Cattle drives crossed the territory via the
major cattle trails of the Old West - the Chisholm Trail and
the Western Trail.
A 'Sooner' was the nickname given to a person who made claim
to land before the area was officially declared 'open' to settlers.
The Indian Appropriations Act 1889 contained the "sooner clause"
designating the appropriate date for the land races to begin.
The Boomer's Paradise is another reference to the people who claimed
land in the territory.
The Oklahoma Panhandle is the extreme western region of territory
that comprises of Cimarron County, Texas County, and Beaver County.
The name 'Panhandle' comes from the similarity of shape to the
handle of a cooking pan. The Panhandle was the part of Oklahoma that
was most adversely impacted by the terrible drought of the 1930s
that created massive dust storms and led to the term the 'Dust