This Map Shows The Literal Translation Of The Name Of Each American State And Canadian Province

By knowing the meanings behind each state's name, you can learn more about the history of the country.

If you've ever taken an American history course you're likely very aware of the country's pre-colonial Native American roots, but a newly created map from Expedia Canada helps to illustrate just how much Native Americans have influenced current nomenclature within the United States.

The map, seen below, contains the literal translation of the name of each U.S. state and Canadian province and territory, thereby "offering a unique insight into the forgotten history of the continent." 

As you will soon realize, many of the state and provincial names are derived from indigenous languages of the Americas. Take, for example, Alabama. According to sources used to create this map, the origin of the name "Alabama" is derived from the Choctaw language, translating into "thicket-clearers."


The Literal Translation of Places in Canada & the United States, courtesy of

It's also abundantly clear that several state names derived from important historical figures or places as well. In 1732 Georgia was named as a colony for King George II of Great Britain, while nearby South Carolina was given its name in honor of King Charles I (Carolina is from the Latin word for Charles) who made the original land grant for that territory in 1629.

By learning more about the origins of the name of each state there's an opportunity to discover more about the history of our country as a whole, and better understand how it has evolved into the nation it is today.

Check out the complete list of states and the literal translations of their names below. Maybe you'll learn something new about the place you call home,

Alabama: Thicket-Clearers
Alaska: That Which the Sea Breaks Against
Arizona: Place of the Small Spring
Arkansas: Land of Downriver People
California: Mythical Island Califia
Colorado: Sandstone Soil
Connecticut: The Long Tidal River
Delaware: Of The War
Florida: Flowery Easter
Georgia: King George II
Hawaii: Place of the Gods
Idaho: Gem of the Mountains
Illinois: Speaks Normally
Indiana: Land of the Indians
Iowa: This is the Place
Kansas: People Of The South Wind
Kentucky: The Meadow
Louisiana: King Louis XIV
Maine: Mainland
Maryland: Queen Henrietta Maria
Massachusetts: Near the Great-Little-Mountain
Michigan: Great Lake
Minnesota: Milky Water
Mississippi: Great River
Missouri: Dugout Canoe
Montana: Mountainous
Nebraska: Flattened Water
Nevada: Snow-Covered
New Hampshire: County Hampshire, England
New Jersey: Channel Island of Jersey
New Mexico: New Place of Mexitli (Aztec God)
New York: Duke of York
North Carolina: King Charles I
North Dakota: Ally
Ohio: Good River
Oklahoma: Red People
Oregon: Indian River Ouragon
Pennsylvania: Penns Woods
Rhode Island: Red Island
South Carolina: King Charles I
South Dakota: Ally
Tennessee: The Bends of a River
Texas: Friend
Utah: People of the Mountains
Vermont: Green Mountain
Virginia: Country of the Virgin
Washington: The First President of the U.S.
West Virginia: West of the Country of the Virgin
Wisconsin: River Running Through a Red Place
Wyoming: At the Big River Flat

For the literal translation of the names of Canadian provinces and territories, click here.


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