In the movie series Indiana Jones, the title character is often called by Indiana Jones or just Indy. According to wikipedia, Dr. Jones' full name is Henry Walton Jones Jr..

I understand that Indiana could be a nickname that stuck on. Is there any indication in the movie series or any other in-universe source for why he's named Indiana or how he came to be known as Indiana? If so, when was this?

  • 1
    I always thought it had to do with the state Indiana. Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 17:28
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    I'm going to have to downvote this one for not showing any research effort. Your answer is actually in the article you linked.
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 18:29
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    See also Why does Henry Jones Jr. uses the nickname Indiana? over at Science Fiction & Fantasy
    – Bergi
    Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 19:42
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    I agree with @T.J.L., you haven't done much research as the reason is in one of the films !
    – Neil
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 11:46
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    @Neil Just because the reason is in the films doesn't mean there was a lack of research - many questions here are answered directly in the film itself. The lack of research here is because OP literally had the answer in his hands. They linked the wikipedia article in which it specifically states "[Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade's] epilogue also reveals that "Indiana" is not Jones's first name, but a nickname he took from the family dog". OP literally linked the answer in their question.
    – Doc
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 21:14

2 Answers 2


It seems to be a name he gave himself when he was much younger. No date is given but, as I recall, he was nicknamed Indiana in the TV show The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992-93)

We find out the origin of the name in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Sallah: Please — what is always with this "Junior"?

Henry Jones Sr.: That's his name: "Henry Jones, Junior."

Indiana Jones: I like "Indiana."

Henry Jones: We named the dog Indiana.

Marcus Brody: May we go home now, please?

Sallah: The dog? You are named after the dog? [laughs]

Indiana: [coldly] I've got a lot of fond memories with that dog

As it turns out the character is, in fact, named after a dog

But it's true. Indiana was the name of an Alaskan malamute George Lucas owned in the '70s.


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    Isn't this line We named the dog Indiana means that dog get named Indiana after the Jones Jr.?
    – Vishwa
    Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 10:48
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    Nope....the dog was called Indiana and Jr took that as a nickname.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 10:49
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    I belive that clip is actually from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, not the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, as your answer currently implies. (Which only makes it "more" canon.)
    – R.M.
    Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 13:52
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    The video game Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis has a character who mentions a number of times that Indiana was named after the family dog.
    – Jed Schaaf
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 13:57
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    @Vishwa it can be inferred from the exchange between Sally and Indiana ("You are named after the dog?" "I've got a lot of fond memories with that dog") that Indiana took the dog's name as his own nickname, not the other way around.
    – Doc
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 21:17

According to the wikia page for the dog:

The puppy Indiana was given to young Henry Jones, Jr. by his parents Anna and Henry Sr. while still in the crib at their home in Princeton, New Jersey.

Jones had such affection for the Alaskan Malamute that he considered his best friend, he adopted the name as his own growing up, calling himself "Indiana" by 1905.

The information is derived from Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide, a 2008 reference book written by James Luceno, and from "My First Adventure", the first film in The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones.

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    We may note in passing that Marion Morrison (more widely known by a stage name) likewise took his nickname ‘Duke’ from a dog. Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 0:16
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    This answers Why and When he adapted the name for himself. Thanks
    – Vishwa
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 3:59

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