Kate Monk's Onomastikon

(Dictionary of Names)

United States of America

Capital : Washington D.C.

Size: 3 619 000 sq m Popn: 255 020 000

State Origin/Meaning Nicknames Capital
Alabama Indian tribal name Heart of Dixie, Cotton State, Yellowhammer State Montgomery
Alaska Aleutian 'mainland' Land of the Midnight Sun, The Last Frontier Juneau
Arizona Papago 'place of the small spring' Apache State, Grand Canyon State Phoenix
Arkansas Indian tribal name Bear State, Wonder State, Land of Opportunity Little Rock
California Invented name for an imaginary island (chosen by Cortes) Golden State Sacramento
Colorado Spanish 'reddish' (the Colarado river) Centennial State (joined Union 100 years after Independence) Denver
Connecticut Algonquian 'long river' Constitution State, Nutmeg State Hartford
Delaware Thomas West, Lord de la Warr (1577-1618) First State, Diamond State Dover
District of Columbia (Federal District)     Washington D.C.
Florida Spanish 'flowery' (suggests Easter) Sunshine State, Peninsula State Tallahassee
Georgia After George II Empire State of The South, Peach State Atlanta
Hawai'i 'place of the Gods' Aloha State (love/farewell) Honolulu
Idaho Apache Gem State, Gem of the Mountains Boise
Illinois Algonquian 'men, warriors' Prairie State Springfield
Indiana After the Indian tribes Hoosier State Indianapolis
Iowa Indian tribal name Hawkeye State (after the chief) Des Moines
Kansas Indian tribal name Sunflower State, Jayhawk State Topeka
Kentucky Iroquois 'meadow land' Bluegrass State Frankfort
Louisiana After Louis IV of France Pelican State, Creole State, Bayou State, Sugar State Baton Rouge
Maine 'mainland' made to look like French province name Pine Tree State Augusta
Maryland After Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I Old Line State, Free State Annapolis
Massachusetts Algonquian 'at the big hills' Bay State, Old Colony State Boston
Michigan Algonquian 'big lake' or 'forest clearing' Wolverine State Lansing
Minnesota Sioux 'cloudy water' North Star State, Gopher State St Paul
Mississippi Algonquian 'big river' Magnolia State Jackson
Missouri Algonquian river name 'muddy' Show Me State Jefferson City
Montana Spanish 'mountainous' Treasure State Helena
Nebraska Sious 'flat water' (River Platte) Cornhusker State, Beef State, Tree Planter's State Lincoln
Nevada Spanish 'snowy' (Sierra Nevada Mountains) Sagebrush State, Silver State, Battle Born State Carson City
New Hampshire Named by John Mason from Hampshire Granite State Concord
New Jersey Named by Sir George Carteret, from Jersey Garden State Trenton
New Mexico Hoped territory would be as rich as Mexico Land of Enchantment, Sunshine State Sante Fe
New York Duke of York, brother of Charles II Empire State Albany
North Carolina Charles IX of France, Charles I + II of England Tar Heel State, Old North State Raleigh
North Dakota Indian tribal name 'alliance of friends' Sioux State, Flickertail State (squirrels) Bismarck
Ohio Iroquian 'beautiful river' Buckeye State Columbus
Oklahoma Choctaw 'red people' Sooner State Oklahoma City
Oregon Maybe from C18th map river name 'Ouaricon-sint' (Wisconsin) Beaver State Salem
Pennsylvania William Penn + Latin 'woodland' Keystone State Harrisburg
Rhode Island After Greek island of Rhodes Little Rhody Providence
South Carolina See North Carolina Palmetto State Columbia
South Dakota See North Dakota Coyote State, Sunshine State Pierre
Tennessee Cherokee river name Volunteer State Nashville
Texas Indian tribe or greeting Lone Star State Austin
Utah Indian tribal name Beehive State Salt Lake City
Vermont French 'green mountain' Green Mountain State' Montpelier
Virginia After Elizabeth I, 'the Virgin Queen' The Old Dominion, Cavalier State Richmond
Washington After George Washington, 1st President Evergreen State, Cinook State Olympia
West Virginia See 'Virginia' Mountain State, Panhandle State Charleston
Wisconsin Algonquian 'long river' Badger State Madison
Wyoming Algonquian 'broad plain' Equality State Cheyenne

This collection of names was compiled by Kate Monk and is ©1997, Kate Monk.

Copies may be made for personal use only.

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