What’s in a name? A noun, a sense of identity, a form of identification.

The discovery of the “New World” has been written about extensively but what can sometimes be forgotten is how states and areas became known for what they are now.

Many derive from indigenous languages of the Americas. Alaska for example is derived from the Yupik word, “Alyeska”, an idiom from the Aleut people andKansas comes from the Native American Sioux language.

Others come from an individual person — Georgia from King George II and Louisiana from King Louis XIV.

We’ve taken the names of all U.S. states and Canadian provinces and territories, and put them into one map along with their translation or origin. They offer a unique insight into the forgotten history of the continent and may teach something new about your home.

The Meaning Behind Names of Places in Canada & the United States
The Literal Translation of the Provinces and Territories of Canada
The Literal Meaning of Every State in the U.S.

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MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

Explainer Video by Explainer Labs
Motion Graphics & Animation by Square Ship