How Many US States Have One Syllable?

Only one U.S. state has one syllable — Maine. It's also the only state to border only one other state — New Hampshire. No one is really sure where Maine's name came from. Some surmise that it was named after an ancient French province — the Province of Maine; others believe it was a derivation of the world "mainland." The word "Maine" was first officially used in 1665 in a request by the King's Commissioners that "The Province of Maine" be used in official documents.

More Syllabic Facts:

  • Only five countries in the world have one syllable: Chad, France, Spain, Greece, Laos, though Wales might make six depending on how you pronounce it (Way-als).

  • The most syllables in a state's name is five. Three states share this trait: Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

  • Three states have only four letters in their name: Ohio, Iowa and Utah.

  • Screeched and strengths are the longest one-syllable words in the English language.
More Info: Rand McNally

Discussion Comments


Incorrect. The State with the most syllables is Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations. That's the official name of Rhode Island, and there are 11 syllables.


"No one is really sure where Maine's name came from. "

If you visit the Maine State Archives, you'll see maps from the late 17th century that labels the land "Main Land".

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