Do You Know What The New York State Motto Actually Means?
Do you know what the New York State motto "Excelsior" actually means?
New York's official state motto is simply one word- Excelsior. The motto appears on everything for New York including the state coat of arms, New York's state seal and state flag. So what does the motto actually mean?
One definition from Merriam-Webster says the following:
Excelsior: fine curled wood shavings used especially for packing fragile items"
I think it's safe to say that's not why New York has this as it's motto.
The other definition says the following:
Excelsior: Latin word for higher"
In 1778, the state of New York adopted a coat of arms incorporating that motto. Why? Because we are moving "ever upward" to achieve our goals. In 2020, a secondary motto was added below Excelsior on all state seals- E Pluribus Unum. This is the Latin phrase "Out of Many, One."
Are You Familiar With These New York State Nicknames?
The Empire State
The Knickerbocker State
The Excelsior State"
Wait, knickerbocker state? What does knickerbocker even mean?
According to NBA, the term "Knickerbockers" traces its origin to the Dutch settlers who came to the New World and settled in New York.
Specifically, it refers to the style of pants the settlers wore...pants that rolled up just below the knee, which became known as "Knickerbockers", or "knickers"."
"Knickerbocker" became linked to anything and everything New York over the years. The Knickerbocker name was first used in the sports world in 1845. The first organized team in baseball history was named the "New York Knickerbockers" or the "Knickerbocker Nine."
The Knickerbocker name had been an integral part of the New York scene for more than a century when the Basketball Association of America granted a charter franchise to the city in the summer of 1946. Around 1999, the nickname used mostly for the team was The Knicks.
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