ORIGIN OF STATE NAMES
Abstract of Wednesday's 31 October 1888, Washington Evening Star, American Notes
and Queries. Notice this is dated 1888.
Arkansas is of American Indian origin but no meaning has been found. In 1881 the
government declared the pronunciation to be Ar-Kan-Saw.
Alabama takes it's name from it major river, meaning “here we rest” as in the states motto. The river, named by the French, “Alibamon” the name of a Muscogee Indian tribe who lived on it's banks.
California was first applied between 1535 and 1539 to the southern part of the state, derived
from an old romance story, the name of a island , near India, found in 1525, by Crotez.
Colorado a past participle of Spanish colorar, meaning to color.
Connecticut, named for it's river, an Indian word meaning “Long River”.
Delaware, names for Lord de la Warr, Virginia governor of Jamestown.
Florida, given by Ponce de Leon from Spanish “Pascua Flordia” meaning flowery pasture.
Georgia, named from a colony for King George II.
Illinois, named for its river, from the name Illini , an Indian tribe, means superior men.
Indiana from the word Indian.
Iowa, named from it's river, an Indian word meaning “beautiful lands”.
Kansas, after it's river, meaning “smoky water' in Indian tongue.
Kentucky from Indian tongue, means “dark and bloody” because of it's many Indian
Louisiana named after King Louis XIV of France, by LaSalle, in 1644.
Maine named after a French district.
Maryland named after Henerietta Maria, wife of Charles I.
Massachusetts was an Indian chiefs name.
Michigan names after the lake, Indian word meaning “great lake”.
Minnesoto from the river, Indian for “sky water”.
Missouri from the river, meaning “muddy river' by the Indian name.
Nebraska an Indian name meaning “shallow water”.
Nevada is of Spanish origin meaning “snow covered”.
New Hampshire named for a county in England.
New Jersey was named after the Isle of Jersey, England.
New York named in honor of the Duke of York.
North and South Carolina m names for King Carolus (Gharles) II.
Ohio named by the river, Indian for “beautiful river”.
Oregon Spanish origin “wild thyme”.
Pennsylvania named for William Penn.
Rhode Island named for Zackery Rhoades Family in 1658.
Tennessee means “spoon shape” in Indian, named for the river.
Texas has large controversy on how it received it's name. Some say it so called because the roof material of their dwellings were of “tejas” , then too the aborigines spoke a language which had the word for “friends” as “tecas”. “Tecas” was also used to name the Indian inhabitants of this area.
The Territory of Texas was known to Spaniards missionaries in 1524 as Mixtecapan. The Mixtecas were the sons of Mixtecatl V, son of Izatac the progenitor of the people of Mexico at the time of Cortez.
Vermont is of French origin meaning “Green Mountains”.
Virginia and West Virginia was named in honor of the “Virgin Queen” Elizabeth.
Wisconsin named by it's river, which in the Indian language means “wild rushing river”.