which pig-state are you?

First off : recognize Strange Maps, still one of the funnest sites on the Interwebs.

This map from around 1884 was the subject of a great post the other day.  It is from the H.W. Hill & Co., who specialized in hog rings, triangles and other bygone bovine accoutrements.  The real draw is the breakdown of states’ nicknames, some of which have lasted until this day (jayhawks, hawkeyes, tar heels).  Thankfully, not all of these colloquialisms have survived the wrath of time.

When we look at maps, we instantly search for our own locale, to gauge and judge, or perhaps just to reinforce that this is our place.  Imagine my surprise when I saw my home state of Missouri:

PUKE!? I’ve heard some bad things about Missouri, but a puking pig? A little research turned up this historical barf-related story:

“This distasteful name is said to refer to the large gathering of Missourians in 1827 at the Galena Lead Mines. According to George Earlie Shankle, PhD, in State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers and Other Symbols, 1938, “…so many Missourians had assembled, that those already there declared the State of Missouri had taken a ‘puke.‘”

But hey, Kentucky didn’t fare much better:

Iowa received one of the more romantic hog images:

Anyway, make sure to take note of your current or home state, and just bookmark Strange Maps if you haven’t yet.  They have the complete state-state by state breakdown.  (I’d love to know what exactly Idaho’s status of “chaw bacon” refers to……)

(The original image is from the Library of Congress Online page, one of the better uses of your tax dollars……)

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