Over half of the states (26) of the United States of America are named for a Native group or are derived from a Native word. Although some of the sources are disputed, the following is the generally recognized list:

  • Alabama — Alibamu tribe who were members of the Creek Confederacy
  • Alaska — Alakshak — “peninsula”
  • Arizona — uncertain
  • Connecticut — Quinnitukg-ut — “at the long river”
  • Hawaii — Havaiki or Hawaiki — the name of the original Polynesian homeland
  • Idaho — either a Comanche word for a Shoshone or Salmon River Tribe phrase
  • Iowa — Ioway tribe
  • Kansas — Kansa tribe
  • Kentucky — One of three descriptive phrases
  • Massachusetts — “about the big hill”
  • Michigan — Michigama — “large lake”
  • Minnesota — Minisota — “white water”
  • Mississippi — Choctaw word — “great water” or “father of waters”
  • Missouri — “Town of the large canoes”
  • Nebraska — An Oto word meaning “flat water”
  • New Mexico — Mexico might be derived from the name of an Aztec god.
  • Ohio — An Iroquois word — “beautiful”
  • Oklahoma — Choctaw — “red people”
  • North and South Dakota — Dahkota “friends” or “allies”
  • Tennessee — Tanasi — a Cherokee village
  • Texas — A Caddo word — “friends” or “allies”
  • Utah — Yuta — “people who live high in the mountains”
  • Wisconsin — Wishkonsing — “place of the beaver”
  • Wyoming — “On the Great Plain”

Originally published on Wordpress

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