Ever wonder why Montana is called “Montana”, and where the name “Oklahoma” came from?   The discovery of the “New World” has been written about extensively but what can sometimes be forgotten is how states and areas became known for what they are now.

Many derive from indigenous languages of the Americas. Alaska for example is derived from the Yupik word, “Alyeska”, an idiom from the Aleut people and Kansas comes from the Native American Sioux language.

Here’s a few of the more interesting ones:

Nebraska = Flattened Water
Alabama = Thicket Clearers
California = Mythical Island Califia
Idaho = Gem of the Mountains
Missouri = Dugout Canoe
Oklahoma = Red People
Tennessee = The Bends of a River
Wisconsin = River Running Through a Red Place
Florida = Flowery Easter
Alaska = That Which the Sea Breaks Against

Click on the image below to see the meaning behind all American states and Canadian provinces.

The Literal Translation of Places in North America

Source:  Expedia.ca