Map of pig nicknames from 1884


H.W. Hill & Co. of Decatur Illinois, the sole manufacturer of Hill's hog ringers, produced this map called "Nicknames of the States." It is from 1884. The Library of Congress has it for free download in a variety of resolutions. I found my new desktop background!

There is a pig for every state in the union, and each pig sports a triangular nose ring.

The nickname for a Missouri pig is "Puke."


(Via This Isn't Happiness NSFW)


  1. The jpeg isn’t big enough to read the names… and the TIFF is 163mb!  There’s gotta be some happy medium resolution version of this, right? :(

    1. The middle JPEG (178kb) seemed to be big enough to be readable, although I found that using the Zoom function (my browser is Firefox) helped make some of the smaller ones more readable.

  2. A nickname for every state in the union *as of 1884* plus some territories that would later become states. We hadn’t even had our gold rush up here in Alaska to boost the population!

  3. As a Tennessean I’m offended that the best whoever wrote this could come up my state was “Whelp”. But at least it’s better than the nickname they came up with for Utah.

    1. It appears to have originated in Illinois and our name on there is “Suckers” (it looks like anyway)  so I wouldn’t feel so bad.

  4. How about “Map of state nicknames from 1884”? The pigs really have very little to do with it.

  5. Looks like the right description is more “map of nicknames for people from states from 1884”. 

    Is the Utah illustration supposed to show a poly(pi)gamist?

  6. Unbelievable. This is a ridiculous coincidence. This is a really rare and obscure map, and I had just talked with a friend about this last week.  Yes, prior to being cornhuskers Nebraska referred to themselves as the “bugeaters”, and the Illinois “Suckers” wasn’t about their gullibility, but how they got water.  I don’t know who in New Mexico would’ve called themselves “greasers”.   

  7. he he…. Puke.   Obviously, the originators had visited Missouri.  Still fits, it’s how I feel every. single. day.

  8. Plate tectonics works faster than I thought.  Nevada was smaller than Massachusetts in 1884.

  9. From my 10 min of goggling, they didn’t invent any of these names – they were the already common names for the areas. Many names had an edge of classlessness to them.

  10. North Carolina clearly should have been  “Pigshit.” That’s not tar on their heels. No regulation of meat industry plus coastal swamp land plus regular  visits by Hurricanes creates a monstrous North Carolina shaped cesspool 2 or 3 times a year.

  11. There’s at least two competing explanations for how Missouri had picked up ‘The Puke State’ nickname.  In 1827, lots of Missourians rushed to stake claims on the lead fields near Galena.  It’s said that the people already there remarked that, “It looked as if Missouri had taken a puke.”

    Another explanation was that cholera outbreaks in Missouri’s early days convinced outsiders that, “Missourians vomited a disproportionate amount of the time.”

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