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How The States Got Their Names

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Image via yui/Shutterstock.com

Among the many things I take for granted while exploring new places are names. I recently took a trip that had me hit up Wyoming, Utah and Idaho (really, the best tri-state combination there is) and never stopped to ponder, where did these states get their names?

The below infographic from designer Alfonso Moreno will settle that question once and for all. Being from Illinois, I knew its etymology was Native American, but it might surprise you to know that:

  • 54 percent of the state’s names have Native American origins
  • Followed by English (16 percent)
  • Spanish (14 percent)
  • and French (12 percent)

Explore all the information below and let us know if anything surprised you in the comments below. 

Image via Yui/Shutterstock

Mark Micheli is Special Projects Editor for Government Executive Media Group. He's the editor of Excellence in Government Online and contributes to GovExec, NextGov and Defense One. Previously, he worked on national security and emergency management issues with the US Treasury Department and the Department of Homeland Security. He's a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and studied at Drake University.

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