Massachusetts Has Multiple Nicknames
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is known widely as the Bay State, but did you know Massachusetts has several other nicknames? It took me 65 years to learn of it.
There is a good reason Massachusetts is known as the Bay State. There are many bays here. When I first thought about it, I considered Massachusetts Bay, Cape Cod Bay, and Buzzards Bay – but there are many more than that.
There are 25 bays in Bristol County alone.
AnyplaceAmerica.com defines a bay as an "indentation of a coastline or shoreline enclosing a part of a body of water; a body of water partly surrounded by land." This definition includes such terms as "arm, bight, cove, estuary, gulf, inlet, sound," and even harbor.
Okay, it makes sense now why Massachusetts would be known as the Bay State.
Massachusetts is also known as the Old Colony State. The name applied to the early settlements of the Plymouth Colony between 1620-1628, before the Massachusetts Bay Colony was established.
In 1677, Massachusetts was made up of Plymouth Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony, plus the areas of New Hampshire, Maine, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.
The colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island were originally settled by people from Massachusetts.
The Bay State and the Old Colony State were not the only nicknames assigned to Massachusetts over the years, however. While the Bay State is the official nickname, Massachusetts is also known as the Pilgrim State, the Puritan State, the Baked Bean State, and, of course, the Old Colony State.