I came up with this riddle a few days ago. It's my very first riddle, so it shouldn't be too hard to crack.

The two hints are:

  1. My name is a state that is not my state.
  2. When I am downtrodden, my oppressors take risks.

An answer that fits is:

Gas (gasoline). Its state is liquid although its name is gas. If people step on it, they are in risk of exploding if there is a nearby spark/flame.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ +1 for the answer not being a U.S. state, yet still fitting the "US English" requirement (since gas is called "petrol" in other parts of the world). $\endgroup$ – pacoverflow Feb 3 '15 at 23:46
  • $\begingroup$ Excellent answer, except that hint 2 refers to a colloquialism rather than what you described. $\endgroup$ – Nicolas Connault Feb 4 '15 at 1:27
  • $\begingroup$ Actually it's a US idiom, not a colloquialism :) $\endgroup$ – Nicolas Connault Feb 4 '15 at 7:43
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    $\begingroup$ As in 'step on the gas'? $\endgroup$ – waxwing Feb 4 '15 at 7:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You got it, @waxwing :-) $\endgroup$ – Nicolas Connault Feb 5 '15 at 22:47

I think that Tony Montana is the answer.

Thanks to the first hint, we know that the answer's name is a state. The title of the question completes this hint: we can deduce that the answer's name is a state of the United States of America, and that the answer is the name of a person.

The second hint tells us that it's risky to oppress that person, so that person may have enough influence to become dangerous.
Presidents and mafia have enough influence to do this.

Tony Montana is the protagonist of Scarface, and is one of the most famous mafia characters.
He's from Cuba, and Scarface takes place in Florida, California and New York: none of them is Montana, so the first hint is verified.

  • $\begingroup$ That's quite clever, but it ignores a very important hint from the title of the riddle. It only works in US English... $\endgroup$ – Nicolas Connault Feb 4 '15 at 3:05

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