You need look no further than a map to find America's reputation as a melting pot. The evidence is written across the states—specifically in their names, according to 24/7 Wall St., which surveyed state websites and online resources to trace the origins of those names to England, France, Spain, and indigenous cultures. Ten notable names:
- Alabama: from the Choctaw words "alba" (vegetation) and "amo" (gatherer)
- California: from Califia, an island paradise described in a 16th century Spanish romance novel
- Florida: from the Spanish word "florido," meaning "full of flowers"
- Georgia: named for England's King George II, with the Greek "ia" suffix meaning "state of"
- Illinois: from "Illiniwek," a name given to the Illini tribes, meaning "best people"
- Louisiana: named for King Louis XIV of France
- Montana: from the Spanish word "montaña," or mountain
- Oklahoma: from the Choctaw words "okla humma," roughly translating to "red people"
- Texas: from "teyshas," a word used by the Caddo people to describe friends or allies
- Vermont: from "verd mont," or "green mountain" in the French language
See how the other states got their names here
. (Find the most important historical event in each state here