Meaning of California

The meaning of California, a state in US (United States)

California: Named by Hernan Cortez in 1535 after a fictional island in the poem “Las Sergas de Esplandián”, by Garcí Ordóñez de Montalvo

Alaska: from an Aleutian word for mainland

Alabama: from Alabama River, from an ethnic name

Arizona: Papago ali shonak: place of a small spring

Arkansas: from Arkansas River, from an ethnic name

Colorado: from Colorado River, Spanish colorado: red

Connecticut: Algonquian kuenihtekot: long river

Delaware: after Thomas West, Lord de la Warr, first governor of Virginia

District of Columbia: named for Christopher Columbus

Florida: Spanish Pascua Florida: Palm Sunday, because discovered on 1513-03-20, Palm Sunday

Georgia: Named for King George II of England

Hawaii: Polynesian Owhyhii: place of the gods

Idaho: from a native word which means either “eaters of fish” or “stone of the mountains”

Illinois: from Illinois River, from Algonquin illini: warriors

Indiana: land of Indians

Iowa: from Iowa River, from native word ay-ah-wah: the sleeper

Kansas: from Kansas River, from an ethnic name, Sioux for south wind people

Kentucky: probably from Iroquois kentake: meadow land

Louisiana: named for King Louis XIV of France on 1681-08-22

Maine: the mainland, to distinguish it from the islands along the coast

Maryland: named for Queen Henrietta Maria of England, consort of Charles I

Massachusetts: from Massachusetts Bay, from an ethnic name, from Algonquian for big hills

Michigan: from Lake Michigan; Algonquian for big lake

Minnesota: from Minnesota River, from a Dakotan word for cloudy water

Mississippi: from Mississippi River, from Algonquian for big river

Missouri: from Missouri River, from an ethnic name

Montana: from Spanish montaña: mountain

Nebraska: from an old name for the Platte River, from Dakotan for flat water

Nevada: from the Sierra Nevada, from Spanish nevada: snowy

New Hampshire: named in 1629 after Hampshire county in England

New Jersey: named in 1664 after Jersey, a Channel Island

New Mexico: from Spanish Nuevo Mexico, applied to new lands north of the Mexican provinces

New York: after the city and county of York in England, but explicitly in honor of the Duke of York

North Carolina: Northern part of Carolina, named for King Charles I (Latin: Carolus) of England

North Dakota: Northern part of Dakota, from an ethnic name

Ohio: from Ohio River, from Iroquoian for beautiful river

Oklahoma: Choctaw for red people (originally applied to a smaller region)

Oregon: possibly from a mistaken identification of the Columbia River with a conjectural Ouaricon River on old maps

Pennsylvania: Penn (William Penn, grantee of land) + Latin silva: forest + -nia (suffix for country)

Rhode Island: from the island now known as Aquidneck, likened by Giovanni da Verrazano to Rhodes in the Mediterranean

South Carolina: Southern part of Carolina (see North Carolina)

South Dakota: Southern part of Dakota, from an ethnic name

Tennessee: from Tennessee River, which was named for a Cherokee town near its headwaters

Texas: from a group of natives known as teyas or tejas, meaning friends

Utah: from Utah River, from an ethnic name (Utes)

Vermont: a coined name, intended to represent French monts verts: green mountains

Virginia: named by Queen Elizabeth I of England using an epithet which alluded to her unmarried state

Washington: named in honor of George Washington

West Virginia: descriptive; separated from Virginia in 1862 to adhere to the Union

Wisconsin: from Wisconsin River, possibly from Alonquian for big long river

Wyoming: after the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania, which was named from Algonquian for big flats