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U.S. territory organized 1854, admitted as a state 1867, from a native Siouan name for the Platte River, either Omaha ni braska or Oto ni brathge, both literally "water flat." The modern river name is from French rivière platte, which means "flat river." Related: Nebraskan.
Bug eaters, a term applied derisively to the inhabitants of Nebraska by travellers on account of the poverty-stricken appearance of many parts of the State. If one living there were to refuse to eat bugs, he would, like Polonius, soon be "not where he eats but where he is eaten." [Walsh, 1892]