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Tuesday, July 04, 2017


Over half the states that make up the union we call the United States are actually Native American words for the land or the people. White men kept them as they spread out …

1. Alabama
Named after the Alibamu tribe of Indians who were members of the Creek Confederacy. Literally, it means “clears the thicket.”

2. Alaska
From the word “Alakshak’ which means peninsula.

3. Arizona
This one’s uncertain but may derive from a word meaning “small springs.”

4. Connecticut
From the expression “quinnitukg-ut” which means “at the long tidal river.”

5. Hawaii
From the words “Havaiki” or “Hawaiki,” which was the legendary name of the original Polynesian homeland.

6. Idaho
Derived from one of three sources and meaning one of three things:
Comanche “Idahi”
Shoshone “ee-dah-how” which means something like “Good Morning”
Salmon River Tribe of Indians “Ida” means salmon and “ho” means tribe so we might be saying “Salmon eaters”.

7. Illinois
From “ilhiniwek” or “illiniwek”. “Illini” meant “man” and “iwek” makes the word plural, so, literally, “men.”

8. Iowa
Named after the Ioway Indians.

9. Kansas
Named after the Kansa Indians.

10. Kentucky
Means one of three things: meadow lands, cane and turkey lands, or dark and bloody ground.

11. Massachusetts
An Indian word meaning “about the big hill.”

12. Michigan
From the Chippewa Indian word “Michigama” meaning “large lake.”

13. Minnesota
From the Dakota Indian word “Minisota” meaning “white water.”

14. Mississippi
From the Choctaw word meaning “Great water” or “Father of Waters.”

15. Missouri
“Town of the large canoes.”

16. Nebraska
From the Oto Indian word meaning “flat water.”

17. New Mexico
Named after Mexico, of course. Means “place of the Mexica.” One source says that it’s derived from the name “Mertili” who was an Aztec god.

18. Ohio
From the Iroquois word meaning “beautiful.”

19. Oklahoma
From the Chocraw word meaning “red people.”

20 & 21. South and North Dakota
This used to all simply be called the Dakota Territory. The Indian word “Dahkota” means “friends” or “allies”.

22. Tennessee
From the Cherokee “Tanasi” which was a village. The word means one of three things: “meeting place”, “winding river”, or “river of the great bend”.

23. Texas
A Caddo Indian word meaning “allies.”

24. Utah
Derived from the Ute Indian word “Yuta” meaning “people who live high in the mountains.”

25. Wisconsin
From the word “Wishkonsing” meaning “place of the beaver.”

26. Wyoming
“On the Great Plain.”

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