Etymology
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Mississippi 

originally the name of the river, from the French rendering of an Algonquian name (French missionaries first penetrated the river valley in its upper reaches) meaning "big river;" compare Ojibwa mshi- "big," ziibi "river." Organized as a U.S. territory 1798; admitted as a state 1817. Related: Mississippian (by 1775; as a geological period, by 1891).

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Natchez 

Native American people of the lower Mississippi valley, 1775, a name of unknown origin.

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southwestern (adj.)
Old English suðwesterne; see southwest + -ern. In reference to a section of the U.S., from 1806, when it meant "Mississippi and Alabama."
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crappie (n.)

type of freshwater fish, Mississippi sunfish, 1856, American English, of unknown origin; perhaps from Canadian French dialectal crappé.

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Plaquemines 

parish at the mouth of the Mississippi in Louisiana, U.S., from Louisiana French, literally "persimmon" (18c.), probably from Miami/Illinois (Algonquian) piakimina.

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Chickasaw 

native American people formerly of Mississippi and Alabama, 1670s, from Chickasaw Chikasha, the people's name for themselves. Also their (Muskogean) language.

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hellbender (n.)
large salamander of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, 1812, supposedly so called for its ugliness. The meaning "reckless debauch, drunken frolic" is from 1889.
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Vicksburg 
city in Mississippi, U.S., incorporated 1825, named for an early settler the Rev. Newitt Vick, who was said to have come to the region c. 1812 from Virginia with his family and chosen the town site in 1819.
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Louisiana 

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.

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Alabama 
created and named as a U.S. territory 1817 by a division of Mississippi Territory; ultimately named for one of the native peoples who lived there, who speak Muskogean. Their name probably is from a Choctaw term meaning "plant-cutters." Related: Alabamian.
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