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, 11 have exactly eight letters in their names:
The word “Arkansas” came from the Quapaw Indians. The Quapaws were known as the “people who live downstream,” or “ugakhopag.” The Algonkin-speaking natives oft the Ohio Valley called them the Arkansas, or “south wind.” In Arkansas’s early statehood, two senators were divided on the spelling and pronunciation of the state, one saying it was “Arkansaw” and the other “Ar-Kansas.” Arkansas was admitted to the Union on June 15, 1836, becoming the 25 U.S. state.
Colorado’s name is of Spanish origin, meaning “colored red.” There are two theories surrounding this name: one is that the Colorado River carries red silt from the mountains or that Colorado has areas of red rocks, such as that can be seen at the Red Rock Amphitheatre in Morrison. Colorado was admitted to the Union on August 1, 1876, and became the 38th U.S. state.
In 1610, explorer Samuel Argall named the Delaware River and bay for the governor of Virginia, Thomas West, Lord De La Warr. The state of Delaware gets its name from the river and bay. Delaware was the first state admitted to the Union on December 7, 1787.
Illinois’s name is a French term to describe an Algonquin word. “Illinois” comes from the French word meaning Land of the Illinis, which is an Algonquin word meaning Men or Warriors. Illinois was admitted to the Union on December 3, 1818, and became the 21st U.S. state. The origin of Kentucky’s name is uncertain. It is believed that it is derived from the Iroquois word meaning “land of tomorrow” or the Iroquois word for “prairie.” Kentucky was admitted to the Union on June 1, 1792, becoming the 15th state.
Maryland is said to be the colony named in honor of Queen Henrietta Maria, the wife of King Charles I. However, some Catholics scholars believe that George Calvert, who the land was granted to by King Charles I, named the province after Mary, the mother of Jesus. Maryland was admitted to the Union on April 28, 1788, becoming the seventh state.
Michigan’s name was originally derived from the Chippewa word “majigan” meaning “clearing.” This referred to a clearing on the lower peninsula, named by European explorers in the 1670s. Michigan was admitted to the Union on January 26, 1837, becoming the 26th state.
Missouri’s name has often been construed to mean “muddy water.” However, it means “town fo the large canoes,” according to the Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology, or “wooden canoe people” or “he of the big canoe.” Missouri was admitted to the Union on August 10, 1821, becoming the 24th state.
Nebraska’s name is an anglicized result of Otoe words: Ñí Brásge or the Omaha Ní Btháska, meaning "flat water", after the Platte River which flows through the state. Nebraska was admitted to the Union on March 1, 1867. It is the 37th U.S. state.
Oklahoma’s name comes from American missionary Allen Wright, who combined two Choctaw words, “ukla,” meaning person, and “humá,” meaning red. The phrase first appeared in an 1866 Choctaw treaty. Oklahoma, therefore, means “red person.” Oklahoma became the 46th U.S. state when it was admitted to the Union on November 16, 1907. Virginia was named after Queen Elizabeth I of England, who was known as the Virgin Queen. It is believed that English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh suggested the name around 1584. Virginia was admitted to the Union on June 25, 1788, becoming the 10th U.S. state.