African nation, former French colony (Tchad), independent since 1960, named for Lake Chad, which is from a local word meaning "lake, large expanse of water." An ironic name for such a desert country. Related: Chadian.
a name originally applied to the lake, perhaps from Old Ojibwa (Algonquian) *meshi-gami "big lake." The spelling is French. Organized as a U.S. territory 1805, admitted as a state 1837. A resident is a Michiganian (1813); Michigander (1848) seems to have been a humorous coinage of Abraham Lincoln in reference to Lewis Cass.
also Athabascan, Athapaskan, 1844 as a language name, from the name of the widespread family of North American Indian languages, from Lake Athabaska in northern Alberta, Canada, from Woods Cree (Algonquian) Athapaskaw, literally "(where) there are plants one after another" [Bright], referring to the delta region west of the lake. The languages are spoken across a wide area of Alaska and sub-arctic Canada and include Apachean (including Navajo) in the U.S. southwest.