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.
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."
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).
U.S. state, river, and native tribe, all named for the bay, which was named for Baron (commonly "Lord") De la Warr (Thomas West, 1577-1618), first English colonial governor of Virginia. The family name is attested from 1201, from Delaware in Brasted, Kent, which is probably ultimately from de la werre "of the war" (a warrior), from Old French werre/guerre "war" (see war (n.)). Related: Delawarean.
by 1779, named for Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, English astronomers who surveyed (1763-7) the disputed boundary between the colonial holdings of the Penns (Pennsylvania) and the Calverts (Maryland). It became the technical boundary between "free" and "slave" states after 1804, when the last slaveholding state above it (New Jersey) passed its abolition act. As the line between "the North" and "the South" in U.S. culture, it is attested by 1834.