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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many US states have names with just one syllable?

There is only one US state with a name that consists of a single syllable: Maine. Maine's unique distinction as the sole one-syllable state name makes it a point of trivia for geography enthusiasts. Its name is short, simple, and easy to pronounce, setting it apart from the multi-syllabic names of the other 49 states.

What are some interesting facts about Maine, the one-syllable US state?

Maine, known for its scenic coastlines, dense forests, and delicious seafood, particularly lobsters, is the northeasternmost state in the United States. It became the 23rd state on March 15, 1820, as part of the Missouri Compromise. Maine is also famed for its lighthouses, with over 60 historical lighthouses dotting its shores, and it's the leading producer of blueberries in the United States, according to the University of Maine.

Are there any US states with two-syllable names?

Yes, several US states have two-syllable names. Examples include Texas, Vermont, Georgia, and Kansas. Two-syllable state names are quite common and represent a significant portion of the 50 states. These names are often easy to remember and pronounce, which may contribute to their prevalence among state names.

Which US state names are the longest in terms of syllables?

The US states with the longest names in terms of syllables are North Carolina, South Carolina, and California, each with five syllables. These states' names reflect a combination of historical and cultural influences, including indigenous, Spanish, and English origins. Their multi-syllabic names stand in contrast to the brevity of Maine's single-syllable name.

How does the number of syllables in a state's name affect its recognition or branding?

The number of syllables in a state's name can influence its memorability and branding. Shorter names like Maine are quick and easy to recall, which can be beneficial for tourism and marketing. Longer state names may convey a sense of grandeur or history, which can also be leveraged in branding. Ultimately, the impact on recognition or branding depends on how the state's name is incorporated into its overall marketing strategy.

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".

Post your comments
Forgot password?