The Magic of the Big Sky
July 27, 2006 8:27 AM   Subscribe

Origins of the phrase "Big Sky"? Was it first used to describe Montana? Might it have Native American origins?
posted by nixerman to Writing & Language (4 answers total)
Best answer: According to this page,
"A relatively recent nickname, "Big Sky Country" originated with a 1962 promotion of the Montana State Highway Department. It is a reference to the unobstructed skyline in the state that seems to overwhelm the landscape at times. The name came from a book by Alfred Bertram Guthrie Jr., Big Sky, recalled by a Highway Department employee. Mr. Guthrie gave the Highway Department permission to use the name and Montana has been "Big Sky Country" ever since. The legend "Big Sky Country" appeared on Montana license plates from 1967 to 1975. This was shortened to "Big Sky" on license plates stamped from 1976 to 2000."
posted by mbrubeck at 8:42 AM on July 27, 2006

Old Chinese proverb "one big sky covers us all" found in a local restaurant menu, explaining their name.
posted by hortense at 8:55 AM on July 27, 2006

Best answer: This link from the page above has more about Guthrie's book, and explains by that the title comes from the sentence "Standing under the big sky I feel free," which Guthrie's father said upon arriving in Montana.
posted by mbrubeck at 9:25 AM on July 27, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks guys!
posted by nixerman at 12:40 PM on July 27, 2006

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