Why each US state is called what it is? Here we will cover how Eastern United States Region got its name.
Origin of Maine’s Name
This state is most likely named after the former province of Maine in France by early explorers. One other theory says that the name is a nautical reference to the mainland.
Where Did New Hampshire Get Its Name From
New Hampshire Got its name after the English county of Hampshire, since many colonists in the area came from that part of England. The English county’s name comes from an old English name Hamtun, roughly meaning “village-town”.
Where is Massachusetts name from?
This name comes from the name of the indigenous Massachusetts tribe that inhabited the area. The tribe’s name is derived from a Wopanaak word ‘muswachasut’. It means ‘near the great hill’ or by the ‘blue hills’, referring to the great blue hill between Milton and canton.
Where is Rhode Island name from?
This state was named after the Aquidneck Island that was called Rhode Island in colonial times. One origin theory says that explorer Giovanni da verrazzano likened the island to the greek island of Rhodes. The other says that the name comes from Dutch word for reddish, which is how the islands seem to explore adriaen block.
What was the original name of Connecticut?
The state is named for the Connecticut River that flows through it. The river’s name is derived from a mohegan pequot word ‘Quononoquett’ that means “long tidal river”.
What was the original name of Vermont?
When French colonist Samuel de Champlain claimed the area around what is now Lake Champlain, He gave the name “Vert Mont” to the region, which is French for “Green Mountain”. Later the name came into use among English settlers and became the name of the State.
How New Amsterdam becomes New York
The state of New York owes its name to New York City, the largest U.S city since 1790. The city’s original name was New Amsterdam, but when English king Charles ii took control in 1664 he gave the land to his brother, the duke of York, and renamed the city accordingly.
How did New Jersey get its name?
During the same time that New York got its new name, the neighboring region was renamed after the island of jersey in the English Channel. The origin of the island’s name is not clear, but it’s presumed that it came from Old Norse.
How did Pennsylvania get its name?
In 1681, King Charles ii gave an entire province to William Penn to repay a debt owed to William’s father, admiral William Penn. The king named it Pennsylvania, which means “pen’s woods”, Silva meaning ‘forest’ in Latin.
How did Delaware get its name?
The state was named after the Delaware River, which got its name from Thomas West, Third Baron De La Warr, who was the governor of the colony of Virginia at the time the river was explored by Europeans. The name De La Warr is of Anglo-French origin.
How did Maryland get its name?
Maryland was named after the English Queen Henrietta Maria of France, who was the wife of Charles I of England. She was known in England as Queen Mary.
How did Virginia and West Virginia get its name?
The large territory that encompassed the entire coastal region from South Carolina to Maine was named in the 16th century after Queen Elizabeth I of England, who was known as the ‘Virgin Queen’. One other theory says that the name comes from explorers who viewed the new land as untouched.
What was North Carolina and South Carolina called?
In 1663, King Charles ii of England granted a charter to start a new colony. He named it Carolina in honor of his father, Charles I. In 1710, the Carolina colony was split into North Carolina and South Carolina.
How did Georgia get its name?
The British colony of Georgia was founded in 1733 under a charter issued by King George ii. It was named after him and later became the State of Georgia.
How did Florida get its name?
The land that later became the state of Florida was named by the Spanish conquistador Juan ponce de Leon. He named it La Florida because it was rich in vegetation and because it was the Easter season, which the Spaniards called “Pasqual Florida” or festival of flowers.
How did Ohio get its name?
This State’s name comes from the Ohio River’s name, which in turn originated from indigenous Seneca people’s word meaning “Good River” or ‘Large Creek’.
How did Kentucky get its name?
The State was named after the Kentucky River. The River’s name is probably based on Iroquoian name meaning “on the meadow” or “on the prairie”. Another theory suggests the Algonquin term ‘Kenta Aki’, which roughly translates as ‘Land of Our Fathers’.
How did Tennessee get its name?
This is another State that got its name from a river. The Tennessee River’s name is likely tied to the Cherokee settlement of Tanasi. The origin of Tanasi’s name is unknown.
How did Alabama get its name?
The state of Alabama and the Alabama River were named after the indigenous people of Alabama. Some scholars suggest that the word comes from the Choctaw words for “Plants” and “to cut”, so the name would refer to agricultural activities of the Alabama people.
History of Michigan
The name of the state of Michigan, which lies in the Great Lakes region, comes from the French variant of the original indigenous Ojibwe word that means ‘large water’ or ‘Large Lake’.
The Origin and History of Indiana
Indiana’s name means ‘Land of the Indians’, or simply ‘Indian Land’. In 1768, a trading company claimed land in present-day West Virginia and named it ‘Indiana’ after its previous owners’ the Iroquois.
Mississippi State Name Origin
The state’s name is derived from the Mississippi River which defines its Western boundary. The river was named by European settlers after the Ojibwe word meaning ‘Great River’.
Wisconsin State Name Origin
The name of this state comes from indigenous Algonquian language name for the Wisconsin River it was written down for the first time by French explorer Jacques Marquette as Meskousing, but later changed with time. The original meaning is lost, but most theories implicate the red sandstone banks of the river.
Illinois State Name Origin
The name Illinois is the modern spelling of the early French catholic missionaries’ name for the Illinois Native Americans. The meaning is unclear, some saying it means ‘men’ while others claim it means ‘he who speaks the regular way’.
As you can see some eastern US States got their names from indigenous languages and some from the English-speaking early colonists.