I once heard it said that it's ironic that people build sprawling housing developments, then name the streets after the trees they've cut down. This must be a time-honored tradition - there are a heck of a lot of states named after Indian tribes.
- Alabama: Named for a local Indian tribe, the
- alaxsxaq, meaning the object toward which the action of the sea is directed, which is a mouthful. Speaking of mouthfuls, the Online Etymology Dictionary tells us that the baked Alaska is named either for its color or for the fact that it's cold inside. A shocking revelation.
- Arizona: No one can seem to agree. Could come from the Basque word for Good Oak; could come from Spanish by way of the O'odham Indian language's word meaning having a little spring; could come from , the Spanish by way of Aztec word for place that's got silver; could come from the Spanish
- Acansa ,
- Las sergas de Esplandián by a fella by the name of Garci Ordóñez de Montalvo.
- Colorado: Named for the Colorado river, from the Spanish word for red colored, referring to the color of a lot of soil in the region.
- Connecticut: You think Connecticut's hard to spell? It comes from the Algonquian
- De la Warr, the first governor of Jamestown at Virginia. Which is nowhere near Delaware.
- Florida: From the Spanish for Pascua florida, which translates to flowery Easter, a Spanish name for Palm Sunday, 'cause they discovered it on Palm Sunday.
- Georgia: Named after King George. Finally a simple one.
- Hawaii: Probably from the Polynesian hawaiki, meaning place of the gods.
- Idaho: Most sources agree that it's named because apparently some dude named George Willing made up the name and claimed it was an Indian word for Gem of the Mountains. Online Etymology Dictionary disagrees and says it comes from the Apache word idaahe, which means enemy. Either way, pretty silly.
- Illinois: Exceptionally long and boring story short, named for the Illinois Indians.
- Indiana: Land of the Indians. "We named our state for you. Now get out."
- Iowa: From the Dakota by way of French word
- Kansas: Named for the Kansas river, named for the Kansas tribe. Yawn.
- Kentucky: Named for the Kentucky river, from an Indian word for meadow. Which is silly because it's a river, not a meadow. Silly, I say.
- Louisiana: After King Louis. Not to be confused with King Louie from Tail Spin by way of the Jungle Book. (Imagine the dude pitching the show Tail Spin. "Okay, it'll star Baloo the Bear and King Louie from Jungle Book, but Baloo will be a pilot and Louie will own a floating bar." "Brilliant!")
- Maine: Might be named after the French province of the same name; might be named because it's the mainland; might be named for the English village of Broadmayne, hometown of the colony's founder.
- Maryland: Named for Henrietta Maria, wife of English king Charles I.
- Massachusetts: From the Algonquian word
This Wikipedia article
Didn't actually use this bizarre YouTube video, but I thought I should share.