Oklahoma has diverse landscapes shaped by the Great Plains and the Ozark Plateau. It is the twentieth largest state in the country, and its extensive population has also been influenced by its topography and its history.

Oklahoma is famous for its tornadoes and its Native American heritage, but there are plenty of fun facts to discover about it. From quirky laws to entertaining town names, Oklahoma is a fun state to explore.

Oklahoma is a state with many eccentricities, made apparent in the wealth of fun facts related to this US location. If you are interested in finding out more about Oklahoma, read on below to peruse the most fun facts about the state.

Twenty-Five Native American Languages Are Spoken in Oklahoma

Oklahoma has a rich but also difficult history when it comes to Native American rights. Some of the most well-known Native American tribes still have headquarters in Oklahoma, including:

  • Cherokee
  • Quapaw
  • Comanche
  • Shawnee
  • Osage

To this day, twenty-five Native American languages are still spoken in Oklahoma. This is more than any other state in the country, thanks to many tribes in the area launching language initiatives that became part of the general education system.

The Name Oklahoma Has Choctaw Roots

Oklahoma was named after the Choctaw language words for ‘people’ (Okla) and ‘red’ (humma). This name was suggested by the Choctaw Nation Chief back in 1886 when the area was initially planned as a fully Native American state.

In the Arapaho language, Oklahoma is known as bo’oobe, or ‘red earth.’ The many references to redness in Native American languages when it comes to Oklahoma reflect the famous red color of the soil in the state.

The Shopping Cart Was Invented in Oklahoma

It may seem indispensable now, but the shopping cart was not always part of the grocery experience. Can you even imagine trying to shop without a cart? Thank you, Oklahoma, for giving us the shopping cart. We’d be lost without you!

In 1937, Sylvan Goodman introduced one of the first shopping carts in the country at one of his chain supermarkets, the Humpty Dumpty, in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

While the shopping cart didn’t immediately become popular with Oklahomans, it has since become a staple.

Oklahoma Has the National Lighter Museum

Yes, there’s a National Lighter Museum. If you find yourself passing through Guthrie, Oklahoma, almost directly north of Oklahoma City, you should stop at the National Lighter Museum. It’s kitschy and unique, a definite must see.

This is the only museum of its kind in the country and houses a collection of almost 20,000 lighters and other items that spark a flame.

Oklahoma Has the Most Man-Made Lakes

There are over two hundred artificial man-made lakes in Oklahoma, more than in any other state. This impressive amount is due in large part to the needs of the booming agriculture and energy industries.

You can find great fishing opportunities at Hefner Lake, and amazing sights at Great Salt Plains and Broken Bowz

Oklahoma Is the Birthplace of Many Country Stars

The state of Oklahoma has shaped country music history. Stars like Blake Shelton, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, and Carrie Underwood were all born in the state. Oklahoma has shaped both its country music artists and the genre as a whole.

There are various strands of country and folk influences that would not have been possible without Oklahoman tradition. Even the electric guitar was invented by an Oklahoma native, musician Bob Dunn from Beggs.

Oklahoma’s impact on music is among the most unparalleled, particularly thanks to the music that evolved in the plains.

Oklahoma Has Some of the Quirkiest Town Names

There is little you can’t find in Oklahoma, especially when it comes to some of the most eccentric town names in the world. Beyond the towns of Gay and Straight, Oklahoma also has a Cookietown, a Bugtussle, a Bushyhead, and a Frogville.

The state also has numerous towns named after US presidents, as well as a town called Forty-One and a town called IXL. Many Oklahoma towns also bear the name of other locations, such as Miami, Santa Fe, and Pittsburgh. There are many photo opportunities with town name signs while traveling in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Has an Official State Meal

While many states have meals associated with them, Oklahoma is the only one with an official state meal. This signature meal includes all the best that Oklahoma has to offer, including the state fruit and strawberries.

The official Oklahoma state meal features fried okra, black-eyed peas, cornbread, squash, biscuits, BBQ pork, grits, corn, sausage and gravy, chicken fried steak, and pecan pie.

This hearty meal treats visitors to the full range of delicacies available in the state. After an extensive input process, the meal was officially established in 1988.


Oklahoma is a fascinating state full of history and with a wide selection of fun facts on offer. Visitors to the state will find much to discover here, from the Native American heritage to its vast culinary tradition and its influence on country music. The many quirks of Oklahoma will delight visitors and add to an unforgettable trip.