Kentucky Look up Kentucky at
U.S. state (admitted 1792), earlier a county of Virginia (organized 1776); the name is of Iroquois or Shawnee origin, perhaps a Wyandot (Iroquoian) word meaning "meadow" (compare Seneca geda'geh "at the field"); the original use in English seems to have been the river name; the native use perhaps was first in reference to a village in what now is Clark County known in Shawnee as Eskippakithiki. Related: Kentuckian.