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Show me WHAT?!

Ok. Maybe someone can answer this question!

Missouri is the “show me state.”

It’s on the state sign, the license plates, business names, and other random places.

We’ve asked several locals what that means. They all make some sort of smart remark. Translation? “I haven’t the faintest idea!”

So is there anyone out there that knows what in the world Missouri is supposed to be showing us?! We’d love to watch for it so we don’t miss it!  :)


  1. State nickname:The use of the unofficial nickname the Show-Me State has several possible origins. The phrase “I’m from Missouri” means ‘I’m skeptical of the matter and not easily convinced’. This is related to the state’s unofficial motto of “Show Me,” whose origin is popularly ascribed to an 1899 speech by Congressman Willard Vandiver, who declared that “I come from a country that raises corn and cotton, cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I’m from Missouri, and you have got to show me.” However, according to researchers, the phrase was in circulation earlier in the 1890s.[57] According to another legend, the phrase was a reference to Missouri miners brought to Leadville, Colorado to take the place of striking miners and being unfamiliar with the mining methods there required frequent instruction.[58

  2. My mother’s relatives, most from Missouri, said that the “old-timers” — which could date to the 1840s — tended to be skeptical of verbal stories and asked for some solid evidence that some story or tale was true. It is a good rule. Think how much quieter and civil the airwaves and internet would be if more people followed it!

  3. I always thought it was meant “prove it” as well, but some friends from Missouri said it might have originated from Colorado! There was a strike among miners there, so Missouri lead miners were brought in to replace the striking miners. Since the mining methods used in Colorado were different than those used in Missouri, it was said you had to “Show me” how to do it.

  4. I lived in Missouri for 35 years. What I was taught agrees totally with what James Fullerton posted. I’ve never heard anything like what Sharon posted. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s correct, only that it’s the most common answer given. BE BLESSED!!

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