Tuesday, February 05, 2008

How US States Got Their Names

Alabama: comes from an Indian word for “tribal town.”
Alaska: comes from alakshak, the Aleutian (Eskimo) word meaning “peninsula” or land that is not an island.”
Arizona: comes from a Pima Indian word meaning “little spring place” or the Aztec word arizuma, meaning “silver-bearing.”
Arkansas: is a variation of Quapaw, the name of an Indian tribe.
California: It was named by Spanish explorers of Baja California
Colorado: comes from the a Spanish word meaning “red”
Connecticut: comes froma an Algonquin Indian word meaning “long river place.”
Delaware: is named after Lord De La Warr, the English governor of Virginia in colonial times.
Florida: which means “flowery” in Spanish.
Georgia: was named after King George II of England, who granted the right to create a colony there in 1732.
Hawaii: probably comes from Hawaiki, the native Polynesian word for homeland.
Idaho: It may come from a Kiowa Apache name for Comanche Indians.
Illinois: is the French version of Illini, an Algonquin word meaning “men” or “warriors.”
Indiana: means “land of the Indians.”
Iowa: comes from the name of an American Indian tribe that lived on the land that is now the state.
Kansas: comes from a Sioux Indian word that possibly meant “people of the south wind.”
Kentucky: comes from an Iroquois Indian word, possibly meaning “meadowland.”
Louisiana: which was first settled by French explorers, was named after King Louis XIV of France.
Maine: means “the mainland.”
Maryland: was named after Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles I of England.
Massachusetts: “large hill place.”
Michigan: comes from an Indian word mici gama, meaning great water.
Minnesota: “cloudy water”
Mississippi: “great river”
Missouri“river of the big canoes.”
Montana: “mountainous.”
Nebraska: “flat river.”
Nevada: “snow-clad” in Spanish.
New Hampshire: was named by an early settler after his home county of Hampshire, in England.
New Jersey: was named for the English Channel island of Jersey.
New Mexico: was given its name by 16th century Spaniards in Mexico.
New York: first called New Netherland, was renamed for the Duke of York and Albany after the English took it from Dutch Settlers.
North Carolina: the northern part was named after King Charles I.
North Dakota: comes from an Indian word meaning “friend”
Ohio: “good river”
Oklahoma: comes from an Indian word meaning “red man.”
Oregon: nay have come from Quaricon-sint, a name on an old French map that was given to what is now called Columbian river.
Pennsylvania: meaning “penn’s woods,”
Rhode Island: may have been named after Greek Island of Rhodes.
South Carolina: the southern part of English colony was named after King Charles I.
South Dakota: “friend”
Tennessee: “tanasi”, the name of Cherokee Indian villages on Tennessee river.
Texas: comes from a word meaning “friends” or “allies,” used by Spanish to describe some of the Americans living there.
Utah: comes from a Navajo word meaning “upper.”
Vermont: vert meaning :green” and mont meaning “mountain.”
Virginia: was named in honor of Queen Elizabeth I of England who was known as the Virgin queen because she was never married.
Washington: was named after George Washington, the first president of US
West Virginia: got its name from the people of western Virginia, who formed their own government during the civil war.
Wisconsin: comes from a Chippewa name that is believed to mean “grassy place.”
Wyoming: comes from Indian words that are said to mean “at the big plains,” “large prairie place,” or “on the great plain.”