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How All 50 States Got Their Names | Mental Floss

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Who knew?

That many states were named after the language of indigenous people?

  Yeah.  "Sounds like" factored in heavily.

Not only that. Americans seem to like to name things after what was displaced.

Like British royalty?

Yes, it is a sad homage.

It's all over America, too. Every state did it, to some extent.

I do love that Florida was named for flowers exactly five hundred years ago:

Six days after Easter in 1513, the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León landed near what is now the city of Saint Augustine. In honor of the holiday and the area's plant life, he named the land Florida for the Spanish phrase for the Easter season, pascua florida (“feast of flowers”). The name is the oldest surviving European place-name in the U.S.

And through lovely historic St. Augustine flows the Matanzas River. 

The Matanzas River was named by Spanish forces for a massacre, led by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés of Spain, of a group of several hundred shipwrecked French Huguenots from Fort Caroline, led by Jean Ribault. The Huguenots were executed somewhere near the present site of Matanzas Inlet in 1565. Menéndez had been ordered to kill all Protestants he found in the New World. "Matanzas" means "killings" or "slaughters" in Spanish. Matanzas is thus the tenth oldest surviving European place-name in the US.[2]

Did Florida have a 500-year celebration?

Wow - I can't believe it's really been 500 years.  Seems longer.

It's hard to fathom what 500 years feels like since it's far longer than our lifetimes.

St. Augustine started its 450-year celebration a little early, as St. Augustinians are wont to do.

I've never heard of a 450 year anniversary. Why not just start celebrating 500 years early?

Not many rock songs feature a Jew's Harp!

Thank you for the context. I didn't realize the Dandy Warhols played that instrument!

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