Maryland flag

Maryland State Motto

"Fatti Maschii, Parole Femine"

This Maryland state motto is Italian from 1776 and exists as a part of the state seal.

The course of history has provided several ways of translating the Maryland state. The loose but most widely accepted legal translation is 'Manly deeds, womanly words' from 1975.

A translation provided by State Archivist, Dr. Edward C. Papenfuse 1993 is "Strong deeds, gentle words".

Other translations are:

  • "Deeds are men, words are women" (Lord Calvert's day from 1622)

  • "A woman for words and a man for deeds" (Maryland Manual from 1905)

  • "Womanly (Courteous), words and manly deeds" (Maryland Manual from1905)

  • "Deeds are males, words, females" (Maryland Manual from 1939)

  • "Deeds are manly, words are womanly" (Unnamed State Archivist from 1969)

This makes the Maryland motto one of the most elusive state mottos in terms of certainty of intended meanings.

Maryland State Nicknames

Whereas there is only one Maryland state motto, there exist a number of state nicknames for Maryland:

"The Old Line State"
This Maryland state nickname has two different stories as possible origins:

  1. According to the first version of legends, "The Ole Line State" is a proud reference to the brave Maryland soldiers at the Maryland Line. During the Civil War, Maryland was the only state to have regular troops "of the line" and General George Washington was to have referred to these soldiers as "The Old Line".

  2. This story has absolutely nothing to do with the first one, and it emphasizes the Maryland nickname as a reference to the "dividing line" between the land grants given to William Penn and Lord Baltimore.

"The Cockade State"
This is once again a reference to the fine Maryland soldiers.

The "King's Handbook of the United States" 1891 states that the soldiers of the Maryland Old Line "...wore brilliant cockades" - decorative badges that were to be seen on hats among other things.

"The Free State"
This Maryland state nickname is from 1919 and refers to a never published article by editor Hamilton Owens of the Baltimore Sun.

The article "The Maryland Free State" was a cocky response to a Georgian Congressman, William D. Upshaw who viewed Maryland as a traitor to the Union as it didn't prohibit the sale of liquor.

In his article Owen suggested that Maryland should withdraw from the Union before ever supporting this Prohibition. Many inhabitants of Maryland saw this prohibition as a violation of personal freedom.

"The Monumental State"
"The Monumental City" was once a nickname given to Baltimore by President John Quincy Adams, a Maryland state nickname that with time was an inspiration to the state nickname "The Monumental State".

President Adams was probably so impressed with the city's monuments at his visit in 1827 that this was the background for this version of the Maryland state nickname.

"The Queen State"
Maryland is thought to be named after Queen Henrietta Maria.

"The Oyster State"
A reference to the large oyster industry of Maryland.

Maryland nickname: The Oyster State - picture of oysters

Maryland State Slogans

Whereas the Maryland motto intends to describe the character of Maryland, Maryland state slogans focus especially on attracting tourists, and as you will see, some are more official looking in character than others:

"Seize the Day Off"
This is the result of an attempt from Governor Ehrlich to promote Maryland Tourism.

"America in Miniature"
This is an old version of the Maryland state slogan and is a reference to the representativeness of Maryland in terms of natural sites.

"More Than You Can Imagine"
This is also an old Maryland slogan that could be found on licence plates.

"Maryland: A Thinking Man's Delaware"

"Maryland: If You Can Dream It, We Can Tax It"

"If it Weren't for Washington, You Wouldn't Find Us"

Some of these Maryland funny state slogans are featured on souvenir t-shirts.

USA map with Maryland highlighted