Friday, June 9, 2023

Name Origins of the Unites States Part II + giveaway

 By Tiffany Amber Stockton

In May, my children and I visited the Pine Mountain Settlement School in southeastern Kentucky. Amazing little place, nestled in the middle of the mountains, miles from any town. You can read last month's post if you missed it.

Today, it's time for the next 10 state name history stories. So, let's go!


Hawaii comes from the Polynesian word hawaiki, meaning place of the Gods. It was, however, originally named the Sandwich Islands by James Cook in the late 1700s.

Idaho has notorious roots in the Athabaskan word idaahe, meaning enemy. It was originally applied to part of Colorado before being given to the Gem State.

Illinois has a silent "s" at the end, because it's of French origin. "Illinois" means "Land of Illini," giving a nod to the Native American population. "Illini" is the Algonquin word for "man" or "warrior." This land east of the Appalachians and south of the Great Lakes became the center of significant battles.

Indiana, as you might expect, stems from the English word Indian. The Latin suffix tacked on the end roughly means "land of the." During the early years of America, many native tribes were well-established in these areas.

Iowa comes from the Dakota word yuxba, meaning sleepy ones.

Kansas references the Kansa tribe, meaning people of the south wind. Makes sense for tornado alley.

Kentucky is yet another state named for the river running through it, inspired by the Shawnee word for on the meadow.

Louisiana, like Georgia, was named for a regent of the times, specifically, Louis XIV of France.

Maine has uncertain origins. Though it's worth noting that Maine was also the name of a traditional province in France.

Maryland is a tip of the hat from King Charles I to his wife Henrietta Maria. Some husbands give jewelry; King Charles gave naming rights to an entire state.

And that's all for today. If you're like me and LOVE puzzles, download this PDF for some puzzle challenge fun. You might be able to solve it on your own without reading the rest of the blogs in this set, or you can save it and add to it in future months. :)


* Which one of these states was the most fascinating to you?

* Do you live in any of these 10 states? If so, did you know this was the origin of its name?

* What do you think might be the origin of any of the other 30 states? (You'll learn about them throughout the rest of the year.)

** This note is for our email readers. Please do not reply via email with any comments. View the blog online and scroll down to the comments section.

Leave answers to these questions or any comments you might have on this post in the comment box below. For those of you who have stuck around this far, I'm sending a FREE autographed book to one person every month from the comments left on each of my blog posts. You never know when your comment will be a winner! Subscribe to comments so you'll know if you've won and need to get me your mailing information.

Come back on the 9th of July for my next foray into historical tidbits to share.

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Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood, when she was accused of having a very active imagination and cited with talking entirely too much. Today, she has honed those skills to become an award-winning, best-selling author and speaker who is also a professional copywriter/copyeditor. She loves to share life-changing products and ideas with others to help improve their lives in a variety of ways.

She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, along with their two children and four cats in southeastern Kentucky. In the 20 years she's been a professional writer, she has sold twenty-six (26) books so far and is represented by Tamela Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. You can find her on Facebook and GoodReads.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for continuing this fun series! I live in Maine now, so I chuckled at its' uncertain origins!!