Idaho Is Named After a Made-Up Word

Chuck Banner | February 10th, 2015

cultivatingsuccess.org
cultivatingsuccess.org

Florida was dubbed after from the Spanish name for Palm Sunday, Pascua Florida.

Massachusetts derived its name from the language of the Algonquian people who lived in the area.

Most would think that every state’s moniker has a relevant and explicable meaning, but — according to the Idaho Almanac — the state Idaho is named after an invented word.

George M. Willing invented the word Idaho in 1860 and claimed its origin to be from Native American language with the meaning “Gem of the Mountain.” Willing was originally trying to convince Congress to use the word as the name for a territory in Colorado, but they soon discovered the word to be fabricated.

However, the word traveled and several years later made its way into another Congress decision. This time the decision was to adjust the boundaries around the Territory of Montana. Idaho officially became the name of a state in 1890, close to 30 years after President Lincoln signed the bill.

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