The Origins Behind the Name of Every State in the US

Linguist Rob Watts of RobWords looks at the etymological origins behind the names of every state within the United States.

Enjoy this etymological tour of the United States.

The sources include English locations (New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey), British monarchs (Georgia, The Carolinas, Maryland), colonists (Pennsylvania, Delaware), Native American tribes (Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, The Dakotas, Texas, Idaho, Utah), Native American landscape descriptions (Arizona, Wyoming, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee, Connecticut), Russian (Alaska) and local (Hawai’i), European language origins (Colorado, Montana, Nevada, California, Florida, Vermont), colloquial use (Maine, Oregon, and Rhode Island).

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.