We ARE naming names

Updated February 23, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

The Question:

What is the meaning of the name "Hawaii" and the name "Idaho"?

The Answer:

The origin of the name Hawaii is uncertain. It may have been named by Hawaii Loa, the islands' traditional discoverer. Or the island chain may have been named after Hawaii or Hawaiki the traditional home of the Polynesians.

Originally suggested for Colorado, the name Idaho was used for a steamship which traveled the Columbia River. With the discovery of gold on the Clearwater River in 1860, the diggings began to be called the Idaho mines. "Idaho" is an invented word, and is not a derivation of an Indian phrase "E Dah Hoe (How)" supposedly meaning "gem of the mountains."

-The Fact Monster

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