Nugget of Knowledge: State name origins

Pennsylvania means William Penn's Woods

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The origin of state names:

Some are easy. Georgia was named for England’s King George II. Louisiana, with its ties to France, was named in honor of King Louis XIV.

The name Ohio originates from the Iroquois word for “good river.” The French later translated it to the Beautiful River. Ohio is the 17th state admitted to the Union on March 1, 1803.

Pennsylvania means “Penn’s woods” or “Penn’s land.” King Charles II of England gave the land to Quaker William Penn 1681 as repayment of a debt the King owed to Penn’s father, Admiral William Penn. Penn suggested just calling it Sylvania —¬†sylvanus is Latin for forest.

West Virginia is named for the western counties of Virginia which refused to secede from the Union in 1863. But what about Virginia? The state is named after England’s Queen Elizabeth I, the virgin queen.

In the early 1600s, all of North America that wasn’t Spanish or French was called Virginia.

Kentucky is an Iroquois name meaning meadow.

Indiana means Land of the Indians, including the Miamis, Chippewa, Delawares, Erie, Shawnee, Iroquois, Kickapoo, Potawatomies, Mahican, Nanticoke, Huron and Mohegans.

And that state up north — Michigan — is named after a native American word “Michigama,” that’s the Ojibwe tribe meaning great lake.

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