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, nine have exactly seven letters in their names:
The state of Alabama was named after the Alabama River. The Alabama River was named by early European explorers after the first Native American tribe that lived in the territory called the “Alibamu” (spelled “Alibamo or “Limamu” in the journals of explorers). Alabama was admitted to the Union on December 14, 1819, as the 22nd state.
The origin of Arizona’s name has some disagreement among scholars. One interpretation states that “Arizona” comes from “Al Shon,” translating to “place of little spring.” Another interpretation says that the name is derived from a native place name that sounded like “Aleh-zon” or “Ali-Shonak,” which means “small spring” or “place of the small spring.” A third interpretation states that the name Arizona is a Basque word meaning “the Good Oak Tree.” Arizona was admitted to the Union on February 14, 1912, as the 48th state.
Florida’s name came from Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon. Ponce de Leon lead the first Spanish expeditions to Florida in 1513 and named the state “Pascua Florida,” or Feast of Flowers, as a tribute to Spain’s Easter celebration. Florida was admitted to the Union on March 3, 1845, as the 27th U.S. state. Georgia’s name origin is rather simple, as the state is named after George II, the king of Britain when Europeans first settled there in 1733. Georgia was admitted to the Union on January 2, 1788, becoming the fourth state.
Indiana’s name means “Land of the Indians” or “Indian Land” named for the native tribes who lived there when white settlers arrived. In 1768, the Philadelphia company accepted a 5,000 square mile piece of land from the Iroquois Confederacy chiefs in the area as restitution for the tribes raiding the company’s goods five years prior. The company named the land “Land of the Indians” in trend with how states were being named. Indiana was admitted to the Union on December 11, 1816, becoming the 19th state.
The name Montana comes from the Spanish word “montaña,” which comes from the Latin word “montanea.” “Montanea’ means “mountain” or “mountainous country.” Early Spanish explorers called the entire mountainous region of the west Montaña del Norte. Montana was admitted to the Union on November 8, 1889, as the 41st U.S. state.
Dutch settlers arrived in what is now New York City in 1624, naming the island New Amsterdam. When the English took control in 1664, they changed the name to New York, naming the island after the Duke of York. New York was admitted to the Union on July 26, 1788, as the 11th U.S. state. Vermont’s name is the English form of the name French explorer Samuel de Champlain gave the area. He called Vermont’s green mountains “Verd Mont” on his 1647 map, which translates to green mountain. Vermont was admitted to the Union on March 4, 1791, becoming the 14th state.
Wyoming’s name is derived from the Munsee word “xwé:wamənk,” meaning “at the big river flat. A bill introduced to Congress in 1865 provided a temporary government for the territory of Wyoming, a name that was previously used for the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania. Wyoming was admitted to the Union on July 10, 1980, becoming the 44th state.