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Many different things ranging from kings and queens to the people who first settled there These were named after native ("Indian") tribes: * Alaska * Arkansas * Colorado * Connecticut * Delaware * Iowa * Idaho * Illinois * Kansas * Massachusetts * Michigan * Minnesota * Missouri * Mississippi * Montana * North Dakota * Nebraska * Ohio * Oklahoma * Oregon * South Dakota * Tennessee * Utah * Wisconsin * Wyoming I suspect these were also "Indian" tribes, but not so sure: * Alabama * Nevada * Kentucky Indiana was named generically after the local people who are all but gone now. These were named after French or English royalty: * Georgia (named after King George by Oglethorpe) * Maryland * North Carolina * South Carolina * Louisiana (King Louis of France) * Virginia (After the virgin queen, as opposed to the other kinds) * West Virginia (split off by A. Lincoln during our Civil War) Rhode Island got its name from the Dutch pronunciation of "Red Island". These were named after other places: * New Hampshire (old Hampshire is in Britain) * New Jersey (old Jersey is in Britain) * New Mexico (old Mexico is just south of New Mexico) * New York (old York is in Britain) Pennsylvania was named after William Penn. Washington was named after our First President, perhaps the best we've ever had. (Lincoln was better with the written word, but George united the nation and repelled the greatest armed forces from the biggest superpower on earth; Lincoln embroiled us in a civil war where Americans killed Americans for half a decade.) Others/unknown: * Arizona (arid zone?) * California * District of Columbia * Florida (means "Easter" in Espanol?) * Hawaii * Maine * Texas * Vermont

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Q: How did American states get their names?
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