Etymology
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Tabasco 

proprietary name of a type of hot sauce, 1876, (the sauce so called from 1650s, originally Tavasco), named for the state in Mexico, perhaps because the pepper sauce was first encountered there by U.S. and European travelers. The trademark (by Edward Avery McIlhenny) claims use from c. 1870. The place name is from an unidentified Mexican Indian language and of unknown etymology.

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Buffalo 

city in western New York state, U.S., a name of disputed origin (there never were bison thereabouts), perhaps from the name of a native chief, or a corruption of French beau fleuve "beautiful river." Buffalo wings finger food so called because the recipe was invented in Buffalo (1964, at Frank & Teressa's Anchor Bar on Main Street).

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Oregon 

1765 as the name of a large river in the west of North America, probably the modern Columbia; a word of uncertain and disputed origin. It seems to be of Algonquian origin. In the U.S. it came to be applied to the northwest generally. From 1848 as the name of a U.S. territory, admitted as a state 1859. The Oregon in Pennsylvania was named for the western territory. Related: Oregonian.

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Israel 

Old English Israel, "the Jewish people, the Hebrew nation," from Latin Israel, from Greek, from Hebrew yisra'el "he that striveth with God" (Genesis xxxii.28), symbolic proper name conferred on Jacob and extended to his descendants, from sara "he fought, contended" + El "God." As the name of an independent Jewish state in the Middle East, it is attested from 1948. Compare Israeli, Israelite.

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Arizona 

1861, originally as the name of a breakaway Confederate region of southern New Mexico; later applied to a U.S. territory organized in 1863 roughly along the lines of the modern state and admitted in 1912. From Spanish Arizonac, which is probably from a local name among the O'odham (Piman) people meaning "having a little spring." An alternative theory is that it derives from Basque arizonak "good oaks."

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Cottonian 

c. 1700, "pertaining to or founded by antiquarian Sir Robert Bruce Cotton (1570-1631), especially in reference to the library in the British Museum, named for him. He donated some books to the state and his grandson donated the rest. It was badly damaged in a fire in 1731. The surname represents Old English cotum, plural of cot "cottage."

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Alaska 

large peninsula in northwestern North America, purchased by U.S. from Russia in 1867, a state since 1959. The name first was applied 18c. by Russian explorers, from Aleut alaxsxaq, literally "the object toward which the action of the sea is directed" [Bright]. Related: Alaskan. Baked Alaska is attested by 1896, so called either for its whiteness or for being cold inside.

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Pakistan 

south Asian nation formed 1947 by division of British India, the name apparently proposed 1930s by Muslim students at Cambridge University, first element said to be an acronym from Punjab, Afghan Province, and Kashmir, three regions envisioned as forming the new state, which also made a play on Iranian pak "pure." For second element, see -stan. Related: Pakistani (1941).

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Florida 

U.S. state, formerly a Spanish colony, probably from Spanish Pascua florida, literally "flowering Easter," a Spanish name for Palm Sunday, and so named because the peninsula was discovered on that day (March 20, 1513) by the expedition of Spanish explorer Ponce de León. From Latin floridus "flowery, in bloom" (see florid). Related: Floridian (1580s as a noun, in reference to the natives; 1819 as an adjective).

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Kentucky 

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.

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