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Sep 3, 05 - 1:58 PM
A stately quiz

In honour of the Royal Shroom Visit, I offer this little quiz on the meanings of the fascinating names of the American States.

Which state�s name�
a) means �land of tomorrow�?
b) honours a queen born in Paris?
c) means �great river�?
d) means �friends�?
e) comes from a Spanish romance?
f) means �red people�?
g) just means �red�?
h) comes from the old capital of the Cherokee people?
i) comes from the Mediterranean?
j) honours a martyr?
k) honours a rebel?
l) means �this is the place�?
m) honours a duke?
n) comes from an English county name?
o) refers to Easter?
p) means �people of the south wind�?
q) honours a neighbour?
r) means �snowclad�?

You have one day to rack your brains; I will post the answers tomorrow!

Sep 4th, 2005 - 11:57 PM
Re: A stately quiz

The answers:
a) Kentucky means �land of tomorrow�, from the Iroquois.
b) Maryland honours a queen born in Paris: Henrietta Maria, the queen of Charles I, mother of Charles II & James II of England (and Scotland).
c) Ohio means �great river�; Mississippi is an obvious guess, but that actually means �great water�.
d) Texas means �friends�.
e) California comes from a Spanish romance by Ordonez de Montalvo.
f) Oklahoma means �red people�, from the Choctaw.
g) Colorado just means �red�, from the Spanish.
h) Tennessee comes from the name of the old capital of the Cherokee people.
i) Rhode Island comes from the Mediterranean: clearly, the island of Rhodes.
j) North Carolina honours a martyr: the Royal Martyr, Charles I of England; South Carolina is also correct!
k) Washington honours a rebel: George Washington, of course, who also warrants capitals as the Great Rebel and Founding Father.
l) Iowa means �this is the place�.
m) New York honours a duke: the Duke of York who was later James II.
n) New Hampshire comes from an English county name: Hampshire, on the south coast.
o) Florida refers to Easter; it is from the Spanish for �feast of flowers�.
p) Kansas means �people of the south wind�, from the Sioux.
q) New Mexico honours a neighbour, and it isn�t Canada!
r) Nevada means �snowclad�, from the Spanish.

This information is not from extensive research on my part, but is mostly from one source, a little book called Fact or Fiction?, published by the Daily Mail in 1958. So I can only apologise for any errors. The unspecified languages are all Native American.

You may also like to know that Michigan means �great lake�, so Lake Michigan means �Lake Great Lake�!
Isabel Trent

Sep 5th, 2005 - 1:25 AM
Re: A stately quiz

In the Central North Island of New Zealand, where I grew up, there is a chain of beautiful lakes with Maori names. For example: Lake Rotorua, Lake Rotoiti, and Lake Rotomahana. The bright sparks among you will be guessing even now that "Roto" means lake, which makes those three Lake Second Lake, Lake Small Lake, and Lake Warm Lake. Lake Small Lake is of course rather large.
Ellen Dale

Sep 6th, 2005 - 12:19 AM
Re: A stately quiz

In a similar spirit, I offer the origin of the dollar sign. Before the heady days of the American Revolution, each North American province had its own paper pounds. In the Southern parts, however, the metallic currency was in Spanish dollars, which as they had the value of eight reals were called �pieces of eight�, not only by parrots and pirates but by accountants too. A cancelled figure 8, or sometimes an 8 between two sloping lines (/8/), was used in accounting books to indicate the dollar, and a stylised version was adopted as the new standard sign. The resemblance to a monogram of U and S was perhaps influential or merely coincidental.

Is it merely familiarity which makes the �base of ten� currency seem more pedestrian that that of eight or twelve? Might one day �pieces of ten� sound romantic and the dime be as charming as the real?