Etymology
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Illinois 

1703, in reference to the language, from the name of a native Algonquian people who called themselves Inoca (1725), also written Ilinouek, Old Ottawa for "ordinary speaker." The modern form represents a 17c. French spelling, pronounced "ilinwe" at that time. The U.S. territory was created 1809, admitted as a state 1818. Related: Illinoisan (1836), which seems to be the usual form; Illinoian is used in geology to refer to one of the Pleistocene ice ages in North America (1896) and earlier it was a newspaper name (1838) and a steamboat (1837). Illinoisian (adj.) was used in England in 1818.

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Peoria 

small city in Illinois, U.S., originally the name of a subdivision of the Miami/Illinois people (1673), from native /peewaareewa/. Their own name is said to mean "carriers." The place name also is found in Oklahoma and Iowa, but it is the Illinois city that has been proverbially regarded as the typical measure of U.S. cultural and intellectual standards at least since Ambrose Bierce (c. 1890). Also the butt of baseball player jokes (c. 1920-40, when a team there was part of the St. Louis Cardinals farm system) and popularized in the catchphrase It'll play in Peoria (often negative), meaning "the average American will approve," which was popular in the Nixon White House (1969-74) but seems to have had a vaudeville origin. Personification in little old lady in Peoria is said to be from Harold Ross of the New Yorker. Peoria's rivals as embodiment of U.S. small city values and standards include Dubuque, Iowa; Hoboken and Hackensack, N.J.; Oakland (Gertrude Stein: "When you get there, there isn't any there there") and Burbank, Calif., and the entire state of North Dakota.

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Sens 

city in north-central France, Roman Senones, the capital of the Gaulish people of the same name.

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Kabul 

capital of Afghanistan, named for its river, which carries a name of unknown origin.

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Moscow 

Russian capital, named for the Moskva River, the name of which is of unknown origin. Moscow mule vodka cocktail is attested from 1950.

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Saigon 

southern Vietnamese city, capital of former South Vietnam, named for its river, which bears a name of uncertain origin.

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Tokyo 

so named 1868, from Japanese to "east" + kyo "capital;" its earlier name was Edo, literally "estuary."

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Constantinople 

from 330 C.E. to 1930 the name of what is now Istanbul and formerly was Byzantium, the city on the European side of the Bosphorus that served as the former capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, from Greek Konstantinou polis "Constantine's city," named for Roman emperor Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus (see Constantine), who transferred the Roman capital there.

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Ottawa 

Canadian capital, founded 1827 as Bytown, named for English officer John By, who oversaw construction of the canal there; renamed 1854, when it became capital, for the Ottawa River, which took its name from the Algonquian people who lived in Michigan and Ontario. Their name is said to be from adawe "to trade."

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Iowa 

organized as a U.S. territory 1838; admitted as a state 1846, named for the river, ultimately from the name of the native people, of the Chiwere branch of the Siouan family; said to be from Dakota ayuxba "sleepy ones," or from an Algonquian language (Bright cites Miami/Illinois /aayohoowia/). On a French map of 1673 it appears as Ouaouiatonon. John Quincy Adams, in his diary entries on the House of Representatives debate on the territorial bill in 1838, writes it Ioway. Related: Iowan.

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