Wednesday, June 17, 2009

States Names

Most of us are proud of the state in which we live. Listen sometimes when Jay Leno or someone like him mentions a state's name. If there is somebody in the audience from that state, they usually applaud.

Many of the names have interesting histories. Kentucky, for instance, comes from the Iroquois and it means "land of tomorrow".

Tennessee used to be called Frankland, and was named after Ben Franklin, but it was changed to Tennessee which comes from the Cherokee. Tennessee was their name for the Tennessee River.

Connecticut comes from the Indian word Quonecktacut, meaning river of pines. Idaho comes from two Indian words, Eda Hoe, and it means, "light on the mountain."

Joseph Shipley compiled this information and put it in a book called the DICTIONARY OF WORD ORGINS. He believes Illinois may have been an Indian word for "river of men." Iowa was derived from a tribe of the Sioux nation and means "Sleepy Ones."

Massachusetts is Algonquin for "small place at big hills." Michigan means "great water."

The Spanish influence is evident in some states names. Florida means flowery. Colorado is Spanish for the colored country. Nevada means snow-clad.

Washington was originally called Columbia, but to avoid confusion with the District of Columbia, they renamed it Washington, after old George. The District of Columbia was named in 1791 in honor of Christopher Columbus, but since the city of Washington is there, there is still some confusion between the state and the city. The Bureaucracy was at work even then.

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