Can you name all 50 U.S. States? The states of the United States are often named after the native tribes that lived in the area before colonization, a feature of the land, or the kings and queens of the empires who sent explorers to colonize the land. Of the 50 U.S. states, five have exactly 6 letters in their names:
Alaska, the largest U.S. state by land area, got its name from the Aleut word “Alxzxaq” (also spelled Alyeska”), meaning “mainland.” The word literally means “the object toward which the actions of the sea is directed.” The United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867 and it became the 49th state on January 3, 1959. Hawaii is the 50th U.S. state on August 21, 1959. Hawaii gets its name from the name of its largest island, Hawai’i. One common explanation of the name Hawai’i is that it was named after a legendary figure from a Hawaiian myth named Hawai’iloa. Hawai’iloa is said to have discovered the islands when they were first settled.
Kansas was named for the Kansa Indians. The Kansa natives were known as the “People of the South Wind” but simply referred to themselves as “the people.” Kansas became the 34th state to enter the Union on January 29, 1861. Nevada gets its name from the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The word “sierra” means mountain range and “Nevada” means “snow-covered.” Nevada was named this because of the mountain range, some parts of which have snow all year-round. Nevada was admitted to the Union on October 31, 1864, and became the 36th U.S. state.
The etymology of Oregon is uncertain. The first literary use of the name is in Jonathan Carver’s “Travels through the Interior Part of North America,” written in 1778. Carver mentions that one of the rivers had learned about from the Native Americans in the area was “the Oregon, River of the West.” One theory states that the name comes from the French-Canadian word “ouragan” meaning “storm.” This theory has it that the Columbia River was called the “river of storms” by Canadian fur traders in the area. Oregon is the 33rd state of the U.S. and was admitted to the Union on February 14, 1859.