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The Literal Meaning of North Dakota and Every State Name

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Ever wondered what each state’s name actually means? Here’s how to find out.

It seems that Expedia Canada has a map that shows not only the U.S., but also the entire continent of North America and what the literal meaning of every state and territory.

Many of the state meanings are variations of Native American language from which they’re derived from. Several also have English connections such as Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, North/South Carolina, and Virginia. It turns out that North Dakota actually means “North Ally,” based on language that comes from the Sioux Native American word for “friend.”

It’s interesting to find out what other states have peculiar literal meanings. For instance, Minnesota is “Milky Water.” This comes from the Siouan language. The etymology for each state gives you a glimpse into some of that state’s often overlooked unique history. There’s a full map of all of North America’s states and territories labeled on the map at the link here.

 

 

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