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Indiana: Land of the Indians. Then we shipped them out to Oklahoma.

When state legislators were planning a new capital in the 1810s, one of the names suggested was Tecumseh, the leader of the Miamis who had recently fought against the US army. With memories of the battles fresh, the legislators decided on the more "classical" "Indianapolis"--Indiana City. Are there any other large cities in the US named after American Indian leaders? Pontiac, MI?

Many states in the Midwest and South are named after American Indian words or tribes: Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Dakotas...East of those you get mostly English names (ex Delaware), west are mostly Spanish (Arizona, Utah, Idaho (?) Oregon, and Washington are exceptions). Alaska and Hawaii are both indigenous names.
 

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Charles, latinized and then feminized equals Carolina. Charles was the king of England when the Carolina colony first got going and to honor him the latin form of Charles, Carolus, was feminized to become Carolina. Carolina split in two over economic issues -- what became South Carolina was far richer and more cosmopolitan than the northern part, because they had the international port of Charleston, and our coast was too ragged for the establishment of any major ports.

Today, of course, the situation is reversed, with North Carolina being the richer of the two, though to this day we only have two major ports, Wilmington and Morehead City, among all those miles and miles of shoreline.
 

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California: named by general Cortez, it is derived from a character in a book entitled "Las Sergas de Esplandián," by Garcia Ordóñez de Montalvo written in 1500. The book was about an island of women ruled by Queen Califa. :)
 

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Besides Colorado, several other state names come from common Spanish words:

Montana: mountain
Nevada: snowy (referring to the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada, not the barren desert landscape of the rest of the state)
Florida: flowered/flowery
 

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Illinois

[French, of Algonquian origin.]

1. A confederacy of Native American peoples formerly inhabiting southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and parts of eastern Iowa and Missouri, with present-day descendants mostly in Oklahoma.

2. A member of this confederacy.

3. The Algonquian language of the Illinois.
 

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Kevin J said:
Besides Colorado, several other state names come from common Spanish words:

Montana: mountain
Nevada: snowy (referring to the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada, not the barren desert landscape of the rest of the state)
Florida: flowered/flowery
Not all of Nevada is barren desert landscape.. there are parts, especially in the north, where there are lush pine forests. But anyways.. another state derived from Spanish words would be Arizona, a combination of árido (arid) and zona (zone). :)
 
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