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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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