9 Delaware Nicknames You Should Know

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A corner of an old fort near grass
The small but charming state of Delaware has many nicknames

Delaware is located on the east coast of the United States and is the second smallest state in the country after Rhode Island. It includes only three counties: the urban New Castle and the largely rural Kent and Sussex. While small, the state has a rich history which has given rise to several Delaware nicknames.

For example, Delaware is often called the First State, a nod to its statehood in 1787. Its other nicknames range from the Diamond State to the Small Wonder, and all have fascinating origins. Read on to see how many of these nicknames you are already familiar with.

9 Nicknames for Delaware

A red and white lighthouse near the sea under a blue sky
Delaware was named the Diamond State in part due to its closeness to Delaware Bay

The Diamond State

When Thomas Jefferson referred to Delaware as a "jewel" among states, he unknowingly bestowed the state with the nickname of the Diamond State. Jefferson was raving about Delaware's location on the Eastern Seaboard, with its point of access in Delaware Bay.

Today, the diamond is incorporated into the Delaware state flag. The coat of arms is centered on a beige diamond surrounded by light blue. The current flag, adopted on July 24, 1913, is reminiscent of the flag carried by soldiers in battle during the Civil War.

Land of Tax-Free Shopping

The Delaware nickname the Land of Tax-Free Shopping refers to its popularity among shoppers. As one of only five states nationwide that don't issue a sales tax, Delaware brings in bargain hunters from nearby Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City, among other areas.

The Christiana Mall, located between the Delaware cities of Newark and Wilmington, is the state's largest shopping mall. It is the second largest mall to offer sales-tax-free shopping in the country.

The Chemical Capital

As a significant chemical hub, it makes sense that Delaware would be considered the Chemical Capital. Many of the large corporations located in Delaware are involved in chemical manufacturing, significantly contributing to the state's economy.

Delaware is also a leading administrative and research center for chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Hercules and DuPont are just a few of the companies with centers in Delaware.

Close-up of peaches arranged in boxes
The peach industry in Delaware was at its peak during the late 1800s

Peach State

Another nickname for Delaware, the Peach State, refers to its historical agricultural industries. Peach orchards were prevalent in the late 1800s. Delaware's state legislature adopted the peach blossom as the state flower in 1895 as it had become known as the Peach State at the time.

While Delaware was the first state to produce peaches commercially and continues to harvest from its orchards in the south, it is no longer a top producer. This nickname is now more associated with the state of Georgia than with Delaware.

The Corporate Capital

Delaware is also known as the Corporate Capital, thanks to its highly favorable incorporation laws. The Delaware tax system offers numerous breaks for new entities, including no taxes on trademarks, copyrights, capital shares, or stock transfers.

Two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, including Apple and Walmart, are incorporated in the state of Delaware. The city of Wilmington, in particular, is often referred to as the Corporate Capital of the World as it is home to over half of the publicly traded companies in the nation.

One of the Delaware nicknames is the Small Wonder
Some Delaware nicknames, like the Small Wonder, allude to its many successes

The Small Wonder

The Small Wonder nickname seems to have arisen partly from the states small size. Delaware is the second-smallest state in the nation, with a land area of just under 2,500 square miles.

Delaware is also known as the Small Wonder for its historical contributions to the country's development. Despite its size, the state significantly contributes to the economy through its corporate and chemical companies. Residents of Delaware also note the state's natural beauty as something to wonder at.

The First State

The most recognizable Delaware state nickname is the First State. Delaware was part of the original Thirteen Colonies that fought in the American Revolution in the 1700s. Upon victory, Delaware became the first state to enter the new union.

Statehood was made official in Dover, Delaware, where officials ratified the constitution on December 7, 1787. Delaware adopted the First State as the official state nickname on May 23, 2002. The nickname is now found on license plates and the state quarter.

A river between densely forested land
The first European settlements were built near the Delaware River

New Sweden

The nickname New Sweden derives from one of the first European settlements to colonize the area. New Sweden, or Nya Sverige, was established along parts of the Delaware River in the mid-1600s.

A replica of the Kalmar Nyckel, a colonial ship tasked with bringing settlers across the Atlantic Ocean to New Sweden, is located in Wilmington. The ship continues to sail as a modern ambassador for Delaware and was named the state tall ship in 2016. Another famous Delaware landmark to visit is the Old Swedes Church, one of the last remaining buildings from the era.

Blue Hen State

Delaware's nickname as the Blue Hen State dates back to the American Revolutionary War. Captain Jonathan Caldwell brought blue game chickens to the battlefield, pitting them against roosters. Their fighting ability became representative of the pluck of the American soldiers themselves.

Today, the blue hen is Delaware's official state bird. Another fun Delaware fact about these blue feathered fowl is that they stand as the University of Delaware's mascot. They are additionally an emblem for the 168th Airlift Wing and the 142nd Airlift Squadron based in the state.

In Summary

Delaware has a variety of nicknames covering various characteristics of the state. One of the most well-known is the iconic First State, relating to the area's statehood in 1787. However, there are also more recent nicknames, such as the Corporate Capital and the Chemical Capital, that allude to the strength of the region's economic contributions.

Having read this article, you will now be able to impress Delaware locals or friends and family with your knowledge of the state's monikers. For such a small state, it really does pack a considerable punch!

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Written by Jodi K Monroe

jodikmonroe FORMER WRITER Jodi is based in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, within easy reach of the beaches, mountains, and airport. Journal in hand, she has explored North America and parts of Europe so far.

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