Geography / U.S. State Name Meanings

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Can you name the U.S. states based on the story of how they got their name?

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Name BackgroundU.S. State
Either named after the legendary homeland of the Polynesians or for the legendary discoverer of the state
A Dakota word meaning 'cloudy water' in reference to the river of the same name
Probably a corrupted translation of the Miami word for 'it lies red'
Named in honor of the former title of King James II of England
Nobody is sure of the etymology but it might be Plains Apache for 'enemy'
A Munsee Delaware word for 'at the big river flat' (the name was transported westward from a Pennsylvanian valley of the same name)
A Western Apache word meaning 'high'
Named for the local tribe that may mean 'sleepy ones'
Likely, the name refers to the state being on the mainland as opposed to the coastal islands
Named after a Muskogean tribe that lived below the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers
Named after the river of the same name which was named after Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr
French pronunciation of a Quapaw word meaning 'land of downriver people' or 'people of the south wind'
Named for a fictional utopia found in the novel 'The Exploits of Esplandian'
Named after a country whose name probably derives from the god Mextli
Named for the river of the same name which is named after the Kaw tribe
Derived from 'Tanasi,' a Cherokee village
Named after Elizabeth I of England's title and the state's geographic location
Named after Elizabeth I of England's title
Named after Queen Henrietta Maria of England
Either Dutch for 'red island' or a reference to an island chain in the Aegean Sea
A rough translation of a Choctaw word meaning 'Indian territory'
Named after an island in the English Channel
Spanish for 'flowery Easter' in honor of the time of year it was discovered
Sioux word for 'ally' or 'friend' and the state's geographic location
Name BackgroundU.S. State
French for 'green mountain'
An Eastern Algonquian word meaning 'at the long tidal river'
Spanish for 'snow covered' in reference to white-capped mountains
Either a basque word meaning 'good oak' or a O'odham work meaning 'small spring'
Ojibwe word meaning 'great river' in reference to the river of the same name
A Seneca word for 'large creek'
Named after King Louis XIV of France
French pronunciation of the Algonquian word for 's/he speaks normally'
Named after Admiral William Penn
Theories abound but one suggests that the name comes from a French mistranslation of the Native word 'Ouisconsin,' the Native name of a local river
Spanish for 'mountain' in reference to the state's most prominent natural feature
Named after a county in England
An Ottawa word for 'large water'
Derived from the Aleut word for 'the mainland'
Spanish for 'red' or 'reddish' in reference to the river of the same name
Latin word meaning 'land of the Indians'
Named after King Charles I of England and the state's geographic location
Named after King George II of Great Britain
Named in honor of America's first president
Algonquian for 'near the great little-mountain'
Named after the river of the same name which probably means 'on the meadow' or 'on the prairie' in Iroquoian
Chiwere word for 'flattened water' after the Platte River
An Illinois word meaning 'dugout canoe'
Comes from the Caddo word for 'friend'

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