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Etymological list of U.S. States

This article should be merged with Origin of North American state names.

Etymological table of states of the USA

State name Origin Derived from Meaning
Alabama Choctaw lang. albalmo Cleared-up thicket
Alaska Aleut alaxsxaq Great country
Arizona Akimel O'odham (Pima) arizuma  
Tohono O'odham (Papago) aleh-zon, ari-sonac or ali-shonak Small spring
Arkansas Sioux akakaze Those going downstream
California Spanish   Hot oven, after the name of an artificial island from a 17th century novel, The Exploits of Esplandián by García Ordóñez de Montalvo
Colorado Spanish Rio Colorado Colored river, presumably referring to the Colorado River
Connecticut Pequot Quonehtacut Long tidal river
Delaware French via English de la Warre After Lord de la Warre, who in 1610 travelled on the Delaware River
Florida Spanish Pascua florida Easter blossom, in honor of its Spanish discovery on Easter
Georgia Latin or English   After King George II of England
Hawaii Polynesian Hawai'i meaning unknown
Idaho Shoshone ee-dah-how The sun comes from the mountains
Illinois Algonquian iliniwek They are men
Indiana Latin or English   Indian land
Iowa Sioux aiyuwe Marrow
Kansas Sioux kansa The wind-people, perhaps referring to the winds of the open prairie
Kentucky Huron? kentake Prairie?
Louisiana French   After King Louis XIV  of France
Maine French   After French province of Maine, to honor the Duke of Maine, son of Louis XIV
Maryland English   After Queen Henrietta Maria of England
Massachusetts Algonquian   Near the great mountains
Michigan Algonquian michigamaw The great sea
Minnesota Sioux   Turbid water, referring presumably to the Mississippi or the Minnesota River
Mississippi Sioux   The father of the water
Missouri Sioux   The great mud-river
Montana Spanish montaña Mountain
Nebraska Oto nebrathka Flattened water
Nevada Spanish   Blanket of snow
New Hampshire English   After Hampshire in England
New Jersey English   After the island of Jersey in the English Channel
New Mexico Spanish Nuevo Mejico After Mexico, and thus after the Aztec god Mexitli
New York English   After York, England, to honor the then Duke of York (later King James II of England)
North Carolina Latin   After King Charles II of England
North Dakota Sioux dakota Allies
Ohio Sioux   Beautiful river
Oklahoma Choctaw okla-homma Red people
Oregon Cree ooligan (pronounced oorigan) A fish similar to smelt
French ouragan, or Ouaricon-sint Storm, or Wisconsin River, respectively
Spanish orejon, or orégano Big-ear, or wild sage, respectively
Pennsylvania Latin   Penn's woods, after William Penn
Rhode Island Dutch roodt eylandt Red island (perhaps referring to the clay deposits of Block Island)
Greek (ultimately) Rhodhos; (rhodon?) The island of Rhodes (perhaps referring to a visual resemblance with Block Island); (rose)
South Carolina Latin   After King Charles II of England
South Dakota Sioux dakota Allies
Tennessee Cherokee?   Possibly named after the Cherokee town Tanassee
Texas Caddo texas or tejas Allies
Utah Ute    
Vermont French Vert mont Green mountain
Virginia Latin or English   The virgin country (or country of the virgin), after Elizabeth I of England
Washington English   After George Washington
West Virginia Latin or English   The western, transmontane, counties of Virginia; see Virginia, above
Wisconsin Chippewa wees-konsan Water-gathering
Wyoming Delaware machewe-ami-ing On the great prairies