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States and Capital Cities of the
United States of America

State Abbrev.  Etymological Origin Capital City
Alabama Ala. Choctaw 'I open the thicket' (i.e. 'clears the land) Montgomery
Alaska Alas. Inuit 'great land' Juneau
Arizona Ariz. Papago 'place of the small spring' Phoenix
Arkansas Ark. Sioux 'land of the south wind people' Little Rock
California Calif. Spanish 'earthly paradise' Sacramento
Colorado Colo. Spanish 'red' (colour of the earth) Denver
Connecticut Conn. Mohican 'at the long tidal river' Hartford
Delaware Del. After the English governor Lord de la Warr Dover
Florida Fla. Spanish 'land of flowers' Tallahassee
Georgia Ga. After King George II Atlanta
Hawaii Ha. Hawaiian 'homeland' Honolulu
Idaho Id. Shoshone 'light on the mountain' Boise
Illinois Ill. Algonquian via French 'warriors' Springfield
Indiana Ind. English 'land of the Indians' Indianapolis
Iowa Ia. Dakota 'the sleepy one' Des Moines
Kansas Kans. Sioux 'land of the south wind people' Topeka
Kentucky Ky. Iroquois 'meadow land' Frankfort
Louisiana La. After King Louis XIV Baton Rouge
Maine Me. After the French province Augusta
Maryland Md. After Henrietta Maria, queen of Charles I Annapolis
Massachusetts Mass. Algonquian 'place of the big hill' Boston
Michigan Mich. Chippewa 'big water' Lansing
Minnesota Minn. Dakota Sioux 'sky-coloured water' St Paul
Mississippi Miss. Chippewa 'big river' Jackson
Missouri Mo. Algonquian via French 'muddy waters' (?) Jefferson City
Montana Mont. Spanish 'mountain' Helena
Nebraska Nebr. Omaha 'river in the flatness' Lincoln
Nevada Nev. Spanish 'snowfall' Carson City
New Hampshire  N.H. after the English county Concord
New Jersey N.J. After Jersey, Channel Islands Trenton
New Mexico N.M. After Mexico (Aztec 'war god, Mextli') Santa Fe
New York N.Y. After the Duke of York Albany
North Carolina N.C. After Charles II Raleigh
North Dakota N.D. Sioux 'friend' Bismarck
Ohio Oh. Iroquois 'beautiful water' Columbus
Oklahoma Okla. Choctaw 'red people' Oklahoma City
Oregon Ore. Algonquian 'beautiful water' or 'beaver place' (?) Salem
Pennsylvania Pa. After William Penn and Latin 'woodland' Harrisburg
Rhode Island R.I. Dutch 'red clay' Providence
South Carolina S.C. After Charles II Columbia
South Dakota S.D. Sioux 'friend' Pierre
Tennessee Tenn. Cherokee settlement name, origin unknown Nashville
Texas Tex. Spanish 'allies' Austin
Utah Ut. Navaho 'upper land' or 'land of the Ute' (?) Salt Lake City
Vermont Vt. French 'green mountain' Montpelier
Virginia Va. After Elizabeth I, the 'virgin queen' Richmond
Washington Wash. After George Washington Olympia
West Virginia W.Va. After Elizabeth I, the 'virgin queen' Charleston
Wisconsin Wis. Algonquian 'grassy place' or 'beaver place' (?) Madison
Wyoming Wyo. Algonquian 'place of the big flats' Cheyenne

Sources

Crystal, D., ed. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Stahl, D., ed. Abbreviations Dictionary, 9th ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1995.

 

 

 

 





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