America’s 25 Most Misspelled State Names (And Their Most Common Misspellings)

The devil went down to Goriga.
The devil went down to Goriga. /

State names originate from a wealth of sources. Some, like Delaware and Washington, were named after people, while others derived their monikers from the languages of indigenous peoples who originally lived there: Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, and many more. Certain states, like Florida (from the Spanish word for flowery) are named from settlers’ languages.

With so many different origins, it’s no surprise that some state names are more difficult to spell than others. (And if Noah Webster were still alive and reading this, he’d be quick to point out that spelling is pretty hard in general.) analyzed Google Trends data to find out which state names people struggle with the most. According to the study, more people are searching how to spell Hawaii than any other state name; the most common misspelling is Hawiia, suggesting that people know there are two i’s and two a’s, but not necessarily where to put them.

The rest of the top five misspelled states feature double letters that trip people up: Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Massachusetts, and Tennessee. Despite the popularity of Penn State, spellers habitually forget that Pennsylvania’s first syllable has two n’s. Tennessee had the same issue—the most common misspelling was Tenesse. For other states, people make it a double when it isn’t. Virginia’s top misspelling is Virginnia; Alabama’s is Allabama; and Louisiana’s is Louisianna (a beautiful name for your baby girl).

Arkansas landed in 13th place on the list; it’s most often misspelled as Arkansis. People didn’t seem to have the same issue with Kansas, however, which didn’t make the top 25. A similar phenomenon occurred with North and South Carolina. The latter took the 23rd spot (South Caralina), while its northern neighbor missed the list.

See if your state made the top 25 below, and read more about the study here.

  1. Hawaii // Hawiia
  2. Pennsylvania // Pensylvania
  3. Mississippi // Mississipi
  4. Massachusetts // Massechussets
  5. Tennessee // Tenesse
  6. Georgia // Goriga
  7. Florida // Floroda
  8. Oklahoma // Oklhoma
  9. Minnesota // Minnisoda
  10. Texas // Texis
  11. Alabama // Allabama
  12. Arizona // Arazona
  13. Arkansas // Arkansis
  14. Oregon // Oragon
  15. Wisconsin // Wizconson
  16. Louisiana // Louisianna
  17. Michigan // Mishigan
  18. Virginia // Virginnia
  19. Idaho // Idhao
  20. Illinois // Illionois
  21. New Hampshire // New Hamshire
  22. Maryland // Meryland
  23. South Carolina // South Caralina
  24. Alaska // Alasca
  25. Maine // Mane