Which states are most well known across the pond?

Many Spaniards will have trouble tracking which famous American names correspond to cities, to states and to both. IME there is a high correlation with “Spaniards who can’t remember not every province is named like its capital”: the same people who hear you’re from Bilbao and ask if you mean “Bilbao capital” (there isn’t a Bilbao anything else, Bilbao being the capital of Vizcaya / Bizcaya / Biscay) are unlikely to remember that Las Vegas is in Nevada and Honolulu in Hawaii. They’ll know Las Vegas and they’ll know Hawaii, but don’t ask them for better information than that.

I think I can do this, with capital cities …

Tasmania (Hobart), Victoria (Melbourne), New South Wales (Sydney), Queensland (…), South Australia (Adelaide?), Western Australia (Perth), plus the Northern Territory (Alice Springs?) and the Capital Territory (Canberra)

Very good. Filling in the blanks, Queensland has Brisbane, and NT has Darwin.

Capital Territory is the one I always forget.

  • The one with the deadly spiders
  • The one with the deadly jellyfish
  • The one with the freakin’ dropbears

I do the same thing sometimes, if I come up short I’m always almost positive it’s one beginning with an M or an N that I’ve missed.

The New England region is Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Pennsylvania is in the Mid-Atlantic region. I’ve seen Maryland considered either Mid-Atlantic or Southern region. I always think Mid-Atlantic but idk for sure. Pennsylvania is absolutely not New England though.

So, wait, if Eastern Pennsylvania were “New England,” that would mean at least parts of New York and possibly New Jersey would also be New England (unless New England isn’t a contiguous set of states). And I’ve definitely never heard anyone refer to any parts of those states as “New England,” and certainly not any part of Pennsylvania.

I’ve always been fond of Virginia.
Although I would prefer to live in Vermont or Maine.

Dammit. I should have gotten Brisbane.

I know Texas is one of them, because people have it in their heads that we are hickish individuals. But I would definitely say California and New York.

When I try to list the states, I usually get up to about 48 or 49. I try to imagine a map and start with New England and continue down the eastern seaboard, continue to the gulf and then the west coast. Then Alaska and Hawaii. I have been to every one of these states and not too many of the rest. I continue with Tennessee and Kentucky, then West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, then Wisconsin and Illinois. Then I cross the river and get Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, and then start to mumble.

My though is that New Mexico might be the easiest one to forget, among foreigners and Americans both. Breaking Bad might’ve changed that slightly

I can do all Aus states and capitals though I’m not certain whether some of the medium sized ones are states or territories, and can only name maybe 3 cities in addition (Alice Springs, Newcastle, Gold Coast, uhhh…)

Canada might be harder actually. Would have never gotten Fredericton.

Well, I’m an average Joe frome Europe, and, without looking at the other answers, I’m going to try:

There’s New york, California, Washington (not the city, the state with Seattle), Florida- and then the places in the middle of those.

Texas is the one with the cowboys, there’s Kansas, home of Superman, South Dakota, and I assume a North Dakota. Illinois, capital- um- Chicago?

Delaware and Rhode Island are two small ones. Washington D.C. is a city and a state, I think. Don’t know if it counts. But it’s next to Maryland and Virginia, I think. There’s Hawaii. New Jersey, of course. New England. New Mexico.

I guess i could think a couple more, but they are probably irrelevant.

Slovakia, Croatia, Albania, Netherlands, Spain, Hungaria, Transilvania …

Hapsburg Australia was big after all …

Largest city, yes. Capital? No. That would be Springfield. More often than not, the biggest or most well-known city in a state is not the capital. There are exceptions, but New York’s capital is Albany (not New York City.) California’s Capital is Sacramento (not Los Angeles or San Francisco). Texas’s capital is Austin (not Houston or Dallas). Washington’s capital is Olympia (not Seattle), and so on. This is what makes memorizing capitals a bit of a pain in the ass. I actually had to look up Washington. For some reason, I had Spokane in my mind. And only recently did I learn Jefferson City was the capital of Missouri. I mean, I must have known that in grammar school, but when I was looking through a list of capitals, I drew a complete blank, like I had never heard of the city before. (And this is in a state that borders my home state, Illinois, so you’d think I’d know it.)

At the test-taking school in Bangkok that I was associated with at one point, there were volumes listing schools by date for students researching where to go. We had to put in a note that said Chicago was in Illinois, because too many students were trying to look it up as a state.

I know the Southwest is very popular among Germans, so they will often be able to name New Mexico, Arizona Utah and Nevada.

I believe this is intentional. The vast majority of states chose a capital city apart from the largest city. State politics have for many years featured a vicious rivalry between urban and rural polities, and for most of American history, rural people have managed to hold political power way out of proportion to their numbers.

Just as an illustration, the only cities that are both their state’s largest city and also the state capital are:

Phoenix, Arizona
Little Rock, Arkansas
Denver, Colorado
Atlanta, Georgia
Honolulu, Hawaii
Indianapolis, Indiana
Des Moines, Iowa
Boston, Massachusetts
Jackson, Mississippi
Columbus, Ohio
Providence, Rhode Island
Nashville, Tennessee
Charleston, West Virginia
Cheyenne, Wyoming

And in several of these cases, the city became the largest only after being designated as the capital.

Take Columbus, Ohio, for example. Ohio had several major metropolitan areas, particularly Cincinnati and Cleveland, when Columbus was founded just to be the state capital. Not only was it not the state’s largest city when it was chosen, but it didn’t even exist.

  • The one with all the hungry crocs.
  • The one with all the dangerous snakes.


Tallahassee became the capital of Florida because it was in between St Augustine and Pensacola. Northern Florida was settled first. Now, It’s an odd place for a capital since it is closer to Georgia and Alabama than any other major Florida city.