Etymology of US states and territories

Enter a state or territory based upon the language(s) of origin and the original meaning of its name.
States with a directional distinction are combined
All states are included, but not all territories are
Quiz by MiracleMax
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Last updated: April 24, 2018
First submittedApril 19, 2018
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Language of Origin
Meaning
State
Spanish
"Ruddy " or "red"
Colorado
Eastern Algonquian
"At the long tidal river"
Connecticut
Choctaw
"Albaamu", a tribal name meaning "thicket-clearers"
Alabama
Seneca via French
"Large creek"
Ohio
Spanish
"Flowery" after its discovery during the Easter season
Florida
French
After the largest of the British channel islands, the birthplace of its founder
New Jersey
Dakota
"Cloudy water"
Minnesota
Iroquoian
After a major river, "on the meadow"
Kentucky
Munsee Delaware
After a Pennsylvanian valley, "At the big river flat"
Wyoming
English
After an English county, which derived its name from its largest city, Southampton
New Hampshire
Dakota via French
After French "Aiouez", a demonym for a native tribe
Iowa
Aelut via Russian
"Mainland"
Alaska
Latin
"Land of the Indians"
Indiana
Western Apache via Spanish
From a Spanish demonym for the local tribe, which means "high" in their own language
Utah
Hawaiian
"Place of the Gods"
Hawaii
Spanish or Basque
"Having a little spring" or "The good oak"
Arizona
English
After a US president
Washington
Dutch or Greek
"Red Island" or after the name of a Greek island near to Turkey
Rhode Island
Miami via French
From the French spelling "Mescousin" of a tribal name meaning "river running through a red place"
Wisconsin
Spanish
"Snow-covered" after the name of a mountain range in this state
Nevada
English
After Queen Henrietta Maria
Maryland
French via English
After a French lord, whose name means "of the war"
Delaware
French
After King Louis XIV of France
Louisiana
Kansa via Illinois
After an Illinois rendering of a tribal name referring to the Quapaw
Arkansas
Disputed native language
Not known exactly, however the first use refers to apparently a native word for the Columbia River
Oregon
Language of Origin
Meaning
State
Chiwere
"Flattened water"
Nebraska
Latin via English
After King Charles I of England
North/South Carolina
Caddo via Spanish
"Friends"
Texas
Algonquian
a plural demonym meaning "at the great hill"
Massachusetts
Plains Apache
"Enemy", probably used to refer to the Comanches
Idaho
Chamorro
From "Guahan", meaning "What we have"
Guam
Algonquian via French
"Speaks normally"
Illinois
Welsh and Latin
"Penn's Woods"
Pennsylvania
Ojibwe via French
"Great river"
Mississippi
Kansa via French
After a river named for the Kaw tribe
Kansas
Spanish
Probably a fictional island from a popular novel at the time
California
Cherokee
After Tanasi, a local viliage
Tennessee
Spanish
"Mountain"
Montana
Nahuatl via Spanish
A name imported from a Spanish territory, after the Aztec people who founded Tenochtitlan
New Mexico
Spanish
"Rich port"
Puerto Rico
Sioux
"ally" or "friend"
North/South Dakota
English
"Mainland"
Maine
English
After the duke of an English walled city
New York
Ojibwe via French
"Large lake"
Michigan
Latin via English
After King George II of Great Britain
Georgia
English
After Elizabeth I of England, who was known for never taking a husband
Virginia/West Virginia
French
"Green mountain"
Vermont
Choctaw
"Red People"
Oklahoma
Illinois
"Dugout Canoe"
Missouri
New Latin
After Christopher Columbus
District of Columbia
+2
Level 48
Apr 20, 2018
Fun quiz! There's a couple typos, though. The language of origin for "Virginia" is listed as "Virginia." And you've got "lartest" for "largest" in the New Hampshire clue.