Whether you’re working on a ‘P’ assignment or looking forward to that next intense game of Scattergories where a ‘P’ comes up on the die, if you need to know which states start with ‘P,’ we’ve got you covered.

Here are all the ‘P’ states in the U.S. (and beyond) and how they got their ‘P’ names.


That’s it. Just Pennsylvania. It’s the only ‘P’ state in the country.

As for how it got its name, Pennsylvania was named in honor of Admiral William Penn of the Royal Navy.

In the 1680s, King Charles II granted the land that would become Pennsylvania to Admiral Penn’s son – also named William – to pay a debt owed to the admiral.

William Penn Jr. requested the name “Sylvania” for the land, but King Charles added “Penn” to it in honor of Admiral Penn.

Penn + Sylvania = Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Name Meaning

“Sylvania” comes from the Latin root “sylva,” meaning “forest” or “woodland.”

Combined with Penn, it translates as “Penn’s woods.”

Onward From the ‘P’ State Names

So, there you have it, the singular U.S. state that starts with the letter ‘P.’

That’s not going to help you much in Scattergories, is it?

So, if you’re looking for a few more unique state names that begin with a ‘P,’ here they are:

International States That Start With P

There might only be one U.S. state that starts with a ‘P,’ but there are other countries that call their territories states and have some states with ‘P’ names.

In Brazil, for instance, you’ve got –

  • Pará
  • Paraíba
  • Paraná
  • Pernambuco
  • Piauí

In Mexico you’ve got –

  • Puebla

In India, you’ve got –

  • Punjab

And so on.

Independent States That Start With P

Along with countries that call their independent territories “states,” there are also countries that are considered independent, or sovereign, states themselves.

Some of the sovereign states that start with ‘P’ are:

  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Poland
  • Portugal

Basically, any country that is not under the political or social control of another country is considered a sovereign state, including the United States.

States of Being That Start With P

Now, if you really want to push your luck with “state” (like during a Scattergories game), you can also go with a different definition of “state.”

Namely, this definition –

“the condition of a person or thing” (dictionary.com)

This opens up tons of possibilities.

So, what P states can a person or thing be in?

  • Packed-in
  • Pale
  • Painless
  • Parallel
  • Partial
  • Passive
  • Pearlescent
  • Peckish
  • Penumbral
  • Permanent
  • Picky
  • Pillowy
  • Prepubescent
  • Pyretic

Whether or not you’ll get away with any of these really depends on how cool the group you’re playing with is or how cool your teacher is.

But, unless it’s explicitly stated that you must name a “place that is a state” or a “U.S. state” that starts with a “P,” it’s really open to interpretation.

Plus, you’re being super creative (good for you!), so you should really get bonus points!

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