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The Origins of the Names of the 50 U.S. States

united-statesToday I Found Out the origins of all 50 U.S. state names.


This southern state was named for the Native American tribe that lived there when the European settlers confirmed up. In their very own language, they have been referred to as the Albaamaha. It’s probably that this identify means one thing alongside the strains of “plant gatherers,” although this isn’t recognized for positive. Whereas there isn’t a lot proof about what the identify means in their very own language, their neighbours, the Choctaws, had two phrases which are comparable: alba means plant, and amo means to chop or collect. As well as, it’s recognized that the Albaamaha practiced agriculture. It’s thought that the Choctaws may need used these phrases to explain the Albaamaha, who then began calling themselves the ensuing phrase. When European settlers arrived, they anglicized it to make it simpler to pronounce and named the ensuing state after the native residents.


This state identify was additionally impressed by its native individuals. The Aleuts referred to as the Alaskan Peninsula alaxsxaq, which suggests “the thing towards which the motion of the ocean is directed.” As soon as once more, this identify was anglicized for simpler pronunciation (the unique phrase sounds one thing like “a lock shock”).


Arizona may need come from the Spanish mispronunciation of the native alionag, which meant “having somewhat spring.” The Spanish pronounced it arizonac. It’s believed that if this doesn’t discuss with precise water, it references veins of silver found in Arizona within the 1730s. One other concept is that it comes from the Basque aritz onak, which suggests “good oak.”


This identify truly comes from the phrase the Illinois individuals assigned to the natives dwelling within the space: akansa. It meant “individuals of the south wind.” When the French began exploring the world, they pronounced the phrase with an r after which added an s to make the phrase plural.


There are three theories for the origin of the identify of California: first, that it got here from the Native American phrases kali forn, or “excessive hill;” second, the Catalan phrases calor forn, or “scorching oven;” and third, it’s named for a fictional place talked about within the 1500s novel Las Sergas de Esplandian by Garci Ordonez de Montalvo. The fictional California was an island within the West Indies dominated by ladies and coated in gold.


Most individuals with a primary information of Spanish know that rojo means “purple.” Nicely, seems so does colorado, which is an alternate phrase for purple often utilized in situations like “to show purple” or “go as purple as” one thing. Spanish explorers within the space observed pink silt within the river they named the Rio Colorado, which is how the identify happened.


The native individuals of Connecticut have been referred to as the Mohegans, who spoke Algonquin. That they had initially named the Connecticut River quinnitukqut, which suggests “lengthy river place.” The phrase was anglicized to the Connecticut that we all know at this time.


The primary colonial governor of Virginia was Sir Thomas West who held the title Baron De La Warr. He travelled up what would quickly be often known as the Delaware River within the early 1600s. De La Warr possible comes from the French de la werre, which suggests “of the struggle” or “of the warrior.”


Florida has the excellence of being the oldest European place identify in the USA. It was named by Ponce de Leon for the Spanish phrase pascua florida, which suggests “feast of flowers,” typically used round Easter. He landed close to St. Augustine in 1513 just some days after Easter, and the world had plenty of fascinating flora.


In the event you guessed that this state received its identify from a King George, you’d be right. It was named in honor of King George II, who granted a constitution to make the world of Georgia a debtor’s colony. Finally, the state didn’t find yourself being a debtor’s colony, however the identify caught.


European explorers of the island stated that natives referred to as the world Hawaiki, which meant homeland. There’s additionally a narrative that a Polynesian who found the islands was referred to as Hawaii Loa, and the islands is perhaps named after him. That stated, Hawaii Loa is often thought-about extra “legend” than “reality,” so the primary principle is a little more plausible.


No, this identify has nothing to do with potatoes—however it does have so much to do with Colorado. When the territory of Colorado was in its infancy and officers wanted a reputation, George M. Prepared advised Idaho (pronounced ee-da-how again then), which he claimed was a Shoshone phrase for “the solar comes up from the mountains.” There was lots of debate and claims that Prepared had truly made up the phrase. Prepared himself ended up wanting into the phrase’s origins and found that the phrase didn’t truly exist so far as he might discover, in order that they settled on Colorado as an alternative. The Idaho territory was named a yr later whereas everybody else was busy with the Civil Warfare, and there was nobody involved sufficient to problem the identify, so it caught. It’s probably merely a made up phrase, although there are additionally claims that it comes from the Apache phrase idaahe, which suggests “enemy.”


In 1674, French explorers first met the folks that they referred to as the Illinois. Jacques Marquette handily wrote concerning the identify in his journal: “They replied that they have been Ilinois…when one speaks the phrase…it’s as if one stated, of their language, ‘the lads’.”


This identify merely means “land of the Indians.” These answerable for naming the world apparently needed to honor the individuals who initially lived there (whereas, in fact, driving these individuals out).


A Native American tribe referred to as the Ioway as soon as lived in Iowa, which is the place the identify comes from, nevertheless it isn’t clear what the identify means. At the moment, the tribe says that the phrase is a French misspelling of Ayuhwa, which suggests “sleepy ones”—a reputation given to them by the Sioux. Europeans declare that it means “lovely” or “lovely land.”


The Kansa individuals as soon as lived alongside the Kansas River, and the state is known as after them. Even earlier than European settlers arrived on the scene, the Kansa individuals didn’t know what their very own identify meant as a result of the phrase was so previous with the which means lengthy forgotten.


This identify is derived from an Iroquois phrase. The one drawback is, we don’t know precisely which one or precisely what it means. There are fairly a couple of theories, most of them claiming that Kentucky means “prairie” or “meadow” or “river.”


As the world was underneath French management till the Louisiana Buy, you’d be proper in guessing that it was named in honor of King Louis XIV of France. The identify merely means “Land of Louis.”


Some of the fashionable theories is that it’s derived from the nautical time period “the primary” or “Major Land”.  Maine has an unimaginable variety of islands off it’s coast, so maybe sailors referred to it as “Maine”, as in “Principal Land”, to differentiate it from the encompassing islands.

In 2001, the state legislature, not apparently too involved as to if it was reality or not, adopted the decision that said that the state was named after the traditional French province of Maine, which was of Gaulish origin.  Maine was found by the French; nevertheless, the primary recognized report of it being referred to as Maine wasn’t till Aug. 10, 1622 when it was chartered to English Royal Navy veterans, Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason who “intend to call The Province of Maine”.

Mason himself served within the Royal Navy within the Orkney Islands the place the primary island was referred to as “Mainland”.  Gorges additionally might have had one thing to do with this as his household got here from a village which neighbored “Broadmayne” and was at occasions generally known as Maine.  There’s additionally a small village in England that was as soon as named Maine, although the connection to the state Maine isn’t recognized, if that’s the origin.  In no matter case, the identify was lastly formally set by King Charles of England in 1665 when he ordered that the “province of Maine” be perpetually generally known as such.


The Maryland constitution was accepted by King Charles I, whose spouse was Queen Henrietta Maria. The colony was named in honor of her.


The state of Massachusetts was as soon as inhabited by the Masachusett individuals. Their identify loosely interprets to “close to the excessive hill,” a reference to the Blue Hills.


It’s typically claimed that this identify means “many lakes” however that isn’t the case. It truly means “giant lake” and comes from the Ojibwa phrase misshikama. Michigan was a phrase utilized by the French, who discovered it simpler to say.


The Dakota tribe referred to as the Minnesota River mnisota, which meant “cloudy water.” When English audio system settled within the area, they anglicized the phrase to Minnesota.


This was in all probability the primary prolonged phrase you discovered to spell, so it’s about time you discovered what it means. It comes from the Ojibwa phrase messipi, which means “huge river.” It initially referred to the “huge river” earlier than it was utilized to the state.


The Illinois individuals named the individuals who lived alongside what would later be often known as the Missouri River the ouemessourita, which suggests one thing alongside the strains of “the individuals who have picket canoes.” As with most of the different Native American place names, it was anglicized to make it simpler for English audio system to say.


Montana comes from the Spanish phrase montaña which suggests “mountain.” The state was aptly named as it’s fairly mountainous.


Persevering with the development, Nevada comes from the Otoe phrase Ñí Brásge which suggests “flat water.” The water in query is the Platte River. As soon as once more, the phrase was anglicized to make it simpler to pronounce.


The state derives its identify from the mountain vary referred to as the Sierra Nevada. In Spanish, nevada means “snowfall” (derived from nieve, “snow”). So, the identify comes from the snow-coated mountains. Take into consideration that as you sit within the sweltering warmth of summers in Las Vegas.

New Hampshire

Like most issues “new,” there first needed to be an “previous.” Hampshire is the identify of a county in England. John Mason named the world New Hampshire after he acquired a land grant there; he had spent a while in Hampshire as a toddler.

New Jersey

The most important island of the British Channel Islands known as Jersey. One among New Jersey’s founders, George Carteret, was born and raised on the island of Jersey and determined to call his new house after his previous one.

New Mexico

In the event you paid consideration in your American historical past class, you in all probability already know that New Mexico was as soon as a part of Mexico. Mexico probably will get its identify from the god of warfare Mextli, who’s the patron of the Aztecs. By the way, Mexico shouldn’t be truly named Mexico, however slightly Estados Unidos Mexicanos (United Mexican States).

New York

The town of York, England, is extraordinarily previous, and was established properly earlier than the arrival of the Romans. The Romans Latinized the identify of the town to “Eboraci” or “Eboracum,” which ultimately turned York. The state is known as for the longer term James II of England, who was as soon as the Duke of York.

North Carolina and South Carolina

These two states acquired their identify from King Charles II. The Latin type of Charles is Carolus, which was then feminized into Carolina. The Carolina colony cut up into north and south in 1712 after the 2 areas began creating in another way.

North Dakota and South Dakota

A Sioux tribe referred to as the Dakota dominated the area when European settlers began to discover the world. It’s believed that it means “pal” or “ally” in Sioux. The Dakota territory was cut up into two after controversy about the place the capital ought to be situated once they have been taking a look at statehood.


The one proof we now have for the identify of the state that’s spherical on each side and “hello” within the center is a journal from a French traveller. He claimed that ohio was a Native American time period for “lovely river.” There’s nothing else in the best way of documented proof to recommend that is true. Different translations instructed are “the good one” or “giant creek.”


The Choctaw phrase ukla huma means “pink individuals” and was utilized by the Choctaw to explain Native People. When the US authorities determined to call Oklahoma, they took the suggestion of the chief of the Choctaw tribe on the time


There are such a lot of totally different theories about how Oregon obtained its identify that nobody is aware of precisely what to consider. Here’s a small sampling of origin tales: Spanish explorers referred to as the natives of Oregon orejón, which suggests “huge ears.” The Columbia River, which runs by way of Oregon, was referred to as le flueve aux ouragans by the French, which suggests “Hurricane River.” Or it got here from the Shoshone phrases ogwa pe-on, which imply “river of the west.”


Pennsylvania means “Penn’s Woodland.” It was named after Admiral William Penn. After he died, King Charles granted the world to Penn’s son, additionally William Penn, as a cost of debt to the household.

Rhode Island

The state of Rhode Island says that it received its identify from a Dutch explorer who referred to as it Roodt Eylandt (pink island) due to the purple clay on the shore. Nevertheless, an Italian named Giovanni de Verrazzano made the primary point out of what would turn into Rhode Island in a letter. There was an island off the coast of the mainland that reminded him of the island of Rhodes within the Meditterannean.


Tennessee got here from—you guessed it—a Cherokee phrase that was anglicized. The village of Tanasi on the Little Tennessee River is believed to be the origin of the identify, although the which means of the phrase has since been misplaced.


Earlier than the Spanish arrived in Texas, it was house to a number of totally different tribes of Native People who used the phrase teysha to greet one another. Teysha, the origin of the phrase Texas, meant “pal” or “ally” and was used to greet somebody. The Spanish morphed it into tejas (tay-has).


Within the language of the native tribes of Utah, ute means “land of the solar.” The identify may be taken from the Apache phrases yudah or yiuta, which means “they who’re larger up.”


Vermont is known as in reminiscence of the Inexperienced Mountain Boys, an unauthorized militia group. The Inexperienced Mountain Boys defended land grants given to individuals by New Hampshire from New York officers who didn’t assume New Hampshire had the appropriate to grant land that was west of the Inexperienced Mountains. The identify comes from the French vert and mont, which interprets to “inexperienced mountain.”

Virginia and West Virginia

Virginia was named for Queen Elizabeth, who was often known as the Virgin Queen. The reality about her supposed virginity apart, Sir Walter Raleigh appears to assume it was an applicable identify for the colony. West Virginia cut up off through the Civil Conflict, because the individuals in these counties didn’t personal any slaves (or owned only a few) and didn’t agree with the professional-slavery Virginia.


This state was, in fact, named after George Washington, the primary president of the USA. The suffix –ton on Washington’s identify means one thing alongside the strains of “from the city” whereas “washing” may imply “water” moderately than “cleansing.” So, George “Water from the City”. :-)


The native tribes of Wisconsin referred to as the Wisconsin River Meskousing. Not precisely near the identify we all know at the moment. Jacques Marquette recorded the identify as Ouisconsin, and that was then anglicized to Wisconsin. The phrase meant one thing alongside the strains of “purple” for the purple sandstone within the river’s delta.


This state adopted the development of anglicizing Native American phrases. On this case, it was the Lenape phrase mecheweiami-ing, which suggests “on the large plains.” One other concept is that it comes from the phrase chwewamink, which meant “on the massive river flat.”

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