The Volunteer State

Tennessee State Nickname


Tennessee sunset

Tennessee sunset in Great Smoky Mountain National Park; photo by Scott Oves on Flickr (use permitted with attribution).

The Volunteer State

Tennessee is called "The Volunteer State," a nickname earned during the War of 1812 (thousands of volunteer soldiers from Tennessee played a prominent role in this war, especially during the Battle of New Orleans).

Tennessee has had several nicknames – Tennesseans are sometimes referred to as "Volunteers" or "Big Benders" (both derived from state nicknames), and "Butternuts" (first applied to Tennessee civil war soldiers because of the tan color of their uniforms, and later it was sometimes applied to people across the entire state). Other nicknames include:

Big Bend State (referring to the Indian name for the Tennessee River: “the river with the big bend”)
Hog and Hominy State (now obsolete corn and pork products were in great proportion between 1830 and 1840).
The Mother of Southwestern Statesmen (because Tennessee furnished the U.S. with three presidents and a number of other leaders who served with distinction in high government office.



The state of Tennessee, USA (public domain image).

Tennessee, USA