Origin and Names of the States of USA

  1. ALABAMA: Possibly from the Creek Indian word alibamo, meaning "we stay here".
  2. ALASKA: From the Aleutian word alakshak, which means "great lands," or "land that is not an island".
  3. ARIZONA: Taken either from the Pima Indian words ali shonak, meaning "little spring," or from the Aztec word arizuma, meaning "silver-bearing".
  4. ARKANSAS: The French somehow coined it from the name of the Siouan Quapaw tribe.
  5. CALIFORNIA: According to one theory, Spanish settlers names it after a utopian society described in a popular 16th-century novel called Serged de Esplandian.
  6. COLORADO: Means "red" in Spanish. The name was originally applied to the Colorado River, whose waters are reddish with canyon clay.
  7. CONNECTICUT: Taken from the Mohican word kuenihtekot, which means "long river place".
  8. DELAWARE: Named after Lord De La Warr, a governor of Virginia. Originally used only to name the Delaware River.
  9. FLORIDA: Explorer Ponce de Leon named the state Pascua Florida – "Flowery Easter" on Easter Sunday in 1513.
  10. GEORGIA: Named after King George II of England, who charted the colony in 1732.
  11. HAWAII: An English adaptation of the native word Owyhee, which means "homeland".
  12. IDAHO: Possibly taken from the Kiowa Apache word for the Comanche Indians.
  13. ILLINOIS: The French bastardization of the Algonquin word illini, which means "men".
  14. INDIANA: Named by English-speaking settlers because the territory was full of Indians.
  15. IOWA: The Sioux word for "beautiful land," or "one who puts to sleep".
  16. KANSAS: Taken from the Sioux word for "south wind people," their name for anyone who lived south of Sioux territory.
  17. KENTUCKY: Possibly derived from the Indian word kan-tuk-kee, meaning "dark and bloody ground." Or kan-tuc-kec, "land of green reeds", or ken-take, meaning "meadowland".
  18. LOUISIANA: Named after French King Louis XIV.
  19. MAINE: The Old French word for "province".
  20. MARYLAND: Named after Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of English King George I.
  21. MASSACHUSETTS: Named after the Massachusetts Indian tribe. Means "large hill place".
  22. MICHIGAN: Most likely from the Chippewa word for "great water." micigama.
  23. MINNESOTA: From the Sioux word for "sky tinted" or "muddy water".
  24. MISSISSIPPI: Most likely taken from the Chippewa words mici ("great") and zibi ("river").
  25. MISSOURI: From the Algonquin word for "muddy water".
  26. MONTANA: Taken from the Latin word for "mountainous".
  27. NEBRASKA: From the Otos Indian word for "broad water".
  28. NEVADA: Means "snow-clad" in Spanish.
  29. NEW HAMPSHIRE: Capt. John Mason, one of the original colonists, named it after his English home county of Hampshire.
  30. NEW JERSEY: Named after the English Isle of Jersey.
  31. NEW MEXICO: The Spanish name for the territory north of the Rio Grande.
  32. NEW YORK: Named after the Duke of York and Albany.
  33. NORTH AND SOUTH CAROLINA: From the Latin name Carolus; named in honor of King Charles I of England.
  34. NORTH AND SOUTH DAKOTA: Taken from the Sioux word for "friend," or "ally".
  35. OHIO: Means "great," "fine" or "Good River" in Iroquois.
  36. OKLAHOMA. The Choctaw word for "red man".
  37. OREGON: Possibly derived from Ouaricon-sint, the French name for the Wisconsin River.
  38. PENNSYLVANIA: Named after William Penn, Sr., the father of the colony’s founder, William Penn. Means "Penn’s woods".
  39. RHODE ISLAND: Named "Roode Eylandt" (Red Island) because of its red clay.
  40. TENNESSEE: Named after the Cherokee tanasi villages along the banks of the Little Tennessee River.
  41. TEXAS: Derived from the Caddo Indian word for "friend," or "ally."
  42. UTAH: Means "upper," or "higher," and was originally the name that Navajos called the Shoshone tribe.
  43. VERMONT: A combination of the French words vert ("green") and mont ("mountain").
  44. VIRGINIA AND WEST VIRGINIA: Named after Queen Elizabeth I of England, the "virgin" queen, by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584.
  45. WASHINGTON: Named after George Washington.
  46. WISCONSIN: Taken from the Chippewa word for "grassy place".
  47. WYOMING: Derived from the Algonquin word for "large prairie place".


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