Place Names

States of the Union

Since we generally know more about the origins of state names, let's play around with these for awhile. Some can be easily translated without much fuss:

Virginia [virgin][queen][state]
Vermont [spring][color][mountain][state]
Kansas [south][wind][people][state]
Mississippi [father][water][state]
New York [new]{york=[white][rose]}[state]

(Okay. Technically, Virginia is a commonwealth rather than a state. The origins of the word commonwealth are (obviously) [common]+[wealth] which go back even farther to [together][duty]+[wellness]. Using the glyphs for [together][plenty] should convey the concept well enough.)

Where the origins of the state names are unknown, or not very distinctive, or we just don't like them, we could assemble a name out of nicknames, tourist attractions and official state birds.

We could label Texas using the standard nickname of Lone Star State. The beginning is easy enough -- we already have a glyph for Star -- but Lone will take a little extra effort. If we check a dictionary, we see that Lone is a shortening of alone, which itself is a compression of all one, so by tracking the etymology back a few degrees, we find that Texas is the All One Star State:

Or if they want to get brazen and arrogant about it (Texas? No!), they could just use the star all by itself. Of couse, then everyone would think they were Vietnam or Morocco.

In alchemical symbolism, both California (the Golden State) and Florida (the Sunshine State) have the same nickname...

... so we might want to add heraldic symbols to distinguish one from the other. With California, the obvious solution is staring at us from the state flag, while with Florida we can go back to the origins of the name, and use some of the images from the state seal.

California [bear][republic][gold][state]
Florida [palm][sunrise][flower][state]

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Last updated December 2003


Copyright © 2003 Matthew White