The Quick 13: Where the 13 Colonies Got Their Names

F.L. Guffefeld, Wikipedia Commons // Public Domain
F.L. Guffefeld, Wikipedia Commons // Public Domain

You probably knew that Rhode Island is not an island—so how did it gets its name? Read on for the full scoop on it and the other 12 original colonies.

1. NEW HAMPSHIRE

This New England colony started out as the Province of New Hampshire. It was named by John Mason after the county of Hampshire in England (home of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens).

2. MASSACHUSETTS

Massachusetts was originally the Province of Massachusetts Bay. It was named after an Algonquian tribe, the Massachusett, which translates to something along the lines of "people of the great hill" or "at the place of large hills," referring to the famous Blue Hills.

3. RHODE ISLAND

Rhode Island is just a colloquialism—the official name is the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Basically, Italian explorer Giovanni Verrazzano compared what is now Block Island to the Island of Rhodes in size. And in 1636, Roger Williams was given some land at the top of Narragansett Bay by Indian chiefs Canonicus and Miantonomi. Williams decided to call the land "Providence Plantations" because he felt that God had guided him there. The story is longer than this, and it's actually really interesting. You can check it out at the Rhode Island Office of the Secretary of State.

4. CONNECTICUT

Connecticut got its name thanks to the Connecticut River (which obviously wasn't named that at the time). The word comes from the Indian word "Quinnehtukqut," which means, roughly, "beside the long tidal river." So the Connecticut River is called "Beside the Long Tidal River River," sort of.

5. NEW YORK

You'll see in a minute that King Charles I and II basically included shout-outs to their friends and family all over the 13 colonies. And New York is one of them. It was originally called New Netherland when the Dutch founded it—it was when the British took over in 1664 that it received its current name. But why? To honor King Charles II's brother, the Duke of York and Albany (see?).

6. NEW JERSEY

New Jersey got its name from an island in the English Channel, named, appropriately, Jersey.

7. PENNSYLVANIA

This colony, of course, was named after founder William Penn. And "sylvania" is Latin for woods or woodland, so "Pennsylvania" means Penn's woods. If you're curious about how Penn got to name the state after himself, here's a clue—the 1680 charter was provided by King Charles II, and the Penn family were great friends of the English monarch.

8. GEORGIA

Georgia is another one named for a King—King George II, of course. George granted the charter in 1733, stipulating that the territory bear his name. It was the last of the 13 colonies.

9. VIRGINIA

This colony was named after Queen Elizabeth I, the "virgin queen" who married England instead of a husband. West Virginia wasn't a separate state until 1861.

10. MARYLAND

The Free State received its name by edict, not by choice. Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, received a charter from Charles I of England for this new colony. But there was a catch: the colony must be named after Charles' wife, Queen Henrietta Mary (she went by Queen Mary).

11, 12. NORTH CAROLINA AND SOUTH CAROLINA

These two colonies were considered one big unit until they divided up in 1729. By this time, King Charles II was in power and provided the charters, specifying that they be named after his father, King Charles I. The Latin version of Charles is "Carolus," from which "Carolina" is derived.

13. DELAWARE

According to the book State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols, the state of Delaware is named after the Delaware River. The Delaware River, in turn, is named after Sir Thomas West, Lord de la Warr.

And, a bonus: Vermont, which was not one of the 13 colonies, is named because, after seeing the Green Mountains, Samuel de Champlain referred to it as "Verd Mont" (green mountains) on a map in his native French.

Kodak’s New Cameras Don't Just Take Photos—They Also Print Them

Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Kodak

Snapping a photo and immediately sharing it on social media is definitely convenient, but there’s still something so satisfying about having the printed photo—like you’re actually holding the memory in your hands. Kodak’s new STEP cameras now offer the best of both worlds.

As its name implies, the Kodak STEP Instant Print Digital Camera, available for $70 on Amazon, lets you take a picture and print it out on that very same device. Not only do you get to skip the irksome process of uploading photos to your computer and printing them on your bulky, non-portable printer (or worse yet, having to wait for your local pharmacy to print them for you), but you never need to bother with ink cartridges or toner, either. The Kodak STEP comes with special 2-inch-by-3-inch printing paper inlaid with color crystals that bring your image to life. There’s also an adhesive layer on the back, so you can easily stick your photos to laptop covers, scrapbooks, or whatever else could use a little adornment.

There's a 10-second self-timer, so you don't have to ask strangers to take your group photos.Kodak

For those of you who want to give your photos some added flair, you might like the Kodak STEP Touch, available for $130 from Amazon. It’s similar to the regular Kodak STEP, but the LCD touch screen allows you to edit your photos before you print them; you can also shoot short videos and even share your content straight to social media.

If you want to print photos from your smartphone gallery, there's the Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer. This portable $80 printer connects to any iOS or Android device with Bluetooth capabilities and can print whatever photos you send to it.

The Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer connects to an app that allows you to add filters and other effects to your photos. Kodak

All three Kodak STEP devices come with some of that magical printer paper, but you can order additional refills, too—a 20-sheet set costs $8 on Amazon.

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Tiny Ghost Town of Cleator, Arizona (Pop. 8) Can Be Yours for $1.25 Million

It's not Schitt's Creek, but it could be.
It's not Schitt's Creek, but it could be.

You could spend $1.25 million on a relatively normal-sized house in a really expensive area—or you could use the money to buy a whole ghost town in Arizona.

Located almost 70 miles north of Phoenix, the 40-acre town of Cleator, Arizona, comprises 20 buildings and eight full-time residents, all of whom rent their property from the current town owners. There’s a general store, a bar, and even a yacht club (though without a nearby body of water, the complimentary yacht club T-shirts and membership cards are mostly a joke).

“You’ve heard the term ‘where everybody knows your name?’ That’s Cleator,” bar owner Mike Brown told 12NEWS. In addition to local customers, Brown’s watering hole is frequented by bikers, travelers, and day-trippers. There’s even a second bar built into an old pontoon boat in its backyard, complete with non-operational jet skis and tables made from surfboards—a cheeky nod to that aforementioned “yacht club.” And if a piece of scrap metal nailed to the establishment’s exterior is to be believed, Cleator isn’t only home to humans: There are also five dogs and two “grumpy cats.”

As realtor Justin Godsey explains in the video above, Cleator was originally established as a gold mining town in 1864. James Cleator named the town after himself when he bought it in 1925, and it's been in the family ever since. But Cleator’s descendants are ready to hand over the keys to the kingdom—and with those keys comes the opportunity to rename the town whatever you want.

If you’re interested in learning more (or buying Cleator for yourself), you can reach out to Godsey through the North&Co. real estate website here.

[h/t 12NEWS]