U.S. state; the word is plural, originally (1614) a name for the Algonquian native people who lived around the bay, from Algonquian Massachusett "at the large hill," in reference to Great Blue Hill, southwest of Boston. Related: Massachusettensian.
originally the name of the river, from Dakota (Siouan) mnisota, literally "cloudy water, milky water," from mni "river, stream" + sota "slightly clouded." As the name of a U.S. territory from 1849 (admitted as a state 1858). Related: Minnesotan (by 1867).
U.S. state (organized as a territory 1861, admitted 1864), named for the Sierra Nevada mountain range on its western boundary, which are literally the "snowy mountains," from fem. of Spanish nevado "snowy" (see neve).
port city in U.S. state of Georgia, from savana, the name applied to the Native Americans in that part of the coast by early European explorers, perhaps from a self-designation of the Shawnee Indians, or from the topographical term (see savannah).
U.S. teritory organized 1850 (admitted as a state 1896), from Spanish yuta, name of the indigenous Uto-Aztecan people of the Great Basin (Modern English Ute), perhaps from Western Apache (Athabaskan) yudah "high" (in reference to living in the mountains).
U.S. territory organized 1854, admitted as a state 1867, from a native Siouan name for the Platte River, either Omaha ni braska or Oto ni brathge, both literally "water flat." The modern river name is from French rivière platte, which means "flat river." Related: Nebraskan.
Bug eaters, a term applied derisively to the inhabitants of Nebraska by travellers on account of the poverty-stricken appearance of many parts of the State. If one living there were to refuse to eat bugs, he would, like Polonius, soon be "not where he eats but where he is eaten." [Walsh, 1892]
French colony, from 1812 a U.S. state, named 1682 by French explorer la Salle for Louis XIV of France. The name originally applied to the entire Mississippi basin. Related: Louisianian. The Louisiana Purchase, accomplished in 1803, was so called by 1806.
U.S. state, admitted 1803, named for the river, which is from Seneca (Iroquoian) ohi:yo', a proper name from ohi:yo:h, literally "good river." The Seneca also used this of the Allegheny, which they considered the headwaters of the Ohio. Related: Ohian (1819); Ohioan (1818).
organized as a U.S. territory 1819, admitted as a state 1836; it was named for the Arkansas River, which was named for a Siouan tribe.
The spelling of the term represents a French plural, Arcansas, of a name applied to the Quapaw people who lived on the Arkansas River; their name was also written in early times as Akancea, Acansea, Acansa (Dickinson, 1995). This was not the name used by the Quapaws themselves, however. The term /akansa/ was applied to them by Algonquian speakers; this consists of /a-/, an Algonquian prefix found in the names of ethnic groups, plus /kká:ze, a Siouan term referring to members of the Dhegiha branch of the Siouan family. This stem is also the origin for the name of the Kansa tribe and of the state of Kansas; thus the placenames Arkansas and Kansas indirectly have the same origin. [William Bright, "Native American Placenames of the United States," 2004]
The silent final -s, perhaps originally from the French pronunciation, was made official in 1881 by an act of the state legislature.