Origins of State Names

Here is a neat social studies activity. Have your students identify how these states got their names.

  • Washington. (Named in honor of President George Washington)
  • Georgia. (Named in honor of King George II of England)
  • Minnesota. (Derived from the Dakota word mnishota, which means “cloudy water.”)
  • Ohio. (Derived from an Iroquois word meaning “great river.”)
  • Montana. (Derived from the Latin word montaanus, which means “mountainous.”)
  • Colorado. (Derived from the Spanish word for “colored.”)