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E. F. Legner

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          Many of the state names in the United States were constructed in a kind of shorthand using the Basque language (Nyland 2001).  It is believed that the individuals responsible for creating these names were Roman Catholic clerics.  They had a detailed knowledge of an ancient formula for constructing languages called the Vowel-Consonant-Vowel Formula (see VCV Dictionary).  This formula, which was being used to increase the size of vocabularies since Neolithic times (see Saharan).  The Benedictine clerics who were sent to spread Christianity through Europe beginning in the 6th Century had full knowledge of this formula (see Benedictines).  They frequently used clever innovations to add double meanings to words and sentences, for purposes that are not entirely understood.


          The Roman Catholic church indeed had full knowledge of this formula and the uses that had been made of it to create many of the modern European languages.  However, it was not until the late 20th Century that its existence was brought to the public’s attention by Edo Nyland.  He discovered that prior to Christian times there was a common language being used over most of Europe that had its ancient origin in North Africa.  He called it the Saharan Language and noted that modern Basque was most closely related to it.  Nyland also found that the Roman Catholic clergy continued to use the ancient language into the 19th Century to create new words and place names wherever they happened to travel.  The Basque/English dictionary written by Gorka Aulestia (1989) is a valuable source for the meanings of words of the ancient Saharan language.


          During the course of translating ancient inscriptions and place names, Nyland discovered the Basque origin of many of the names in America that were commonly thought to be of English, French or Amerindian dialects. He noted that the name “America” did not originate with the Italian Amerigo Vespucci, but instead came from the Basque verb “amerikak egin”, which means “to make a fortune.”  For a complete discussion of how the translations were made please refer to Nyland (2001).


          Following are the states that Nyland found with Basque roots in their names, accompanied by the traditional belief of their meaning:




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     Traditional Meaning = Tribal Town (Creek Indian)


     Basque Meaning =  The many opportunities fill us with joy.




     Traditional Meanings= Object to which the action of the sea is directed.  &/or An Aleut word for mainland.


     Basque Meaning = Indescribable miracles.




     Traditional Meanings = Silver Bearing & Place of the small spring (Papago)


     Basque Meanings = An awfully icy wind here &/or One risks freezing here.




     Traditional Meaning = An Indian tribal name


     Basque Meaning = The heartbreaking deaths in the shocking civil war anger me.


American Samoa


     Traditional Meaning = Polynesian name.


     Basque Meaning = Basque meaning not yet translated.




     Traditional Meaning = A mythical country named Califia &/or An invented name for an imaginary island.


     Basque Meaning = The disgusting killing of a person by the quarrelling gold miners is frightening.




     Traditional Meaning = Spanish word for “red”


     Basque Meaning = I adore the colors.




     Traditional Meaning = Mohican and Algonquin Indian for “Place beside the river.”


     Basque Meaning = Remember the wonderful blessings of productivity and tenacity when you visit our utopia.




     Traditional Meaning = Believed to have been named after governor Thomas West, Lord de la Warr.


     Basque Meaning = Spread the word of the Redeemer.




     Traditional Meaning = Spanish word for Pascua Florida &/or Flowery Place (for the flowering trees).


     Basque Meaning = None found.




     Traditional Meaning = Named for King George II of England.


     Basque Meaning = None found.




     Traditional Meaning = Pacific Islander name.


     Basque Meaning = No Basque meaning sought.




     Traditional Meaning = Hawaiian word for homeland, “Owhyhee.”


     Basque Meaning = This one is exhausting to reach.




     Traditional Meaning = Amerindian “E Dah Hoe” or Gem of the Mountains.


     Basque Meaning = An exaggerated description.




     Traditional Meaning = Algonquin word for “warriors.” or “men and warriors.”


     Basque Meaning = This quiet place possibly will do for a lifetime.




     Traditional Meaning = Land of the Indians.


     Basque Meaning = Our American brothers.




     Traditional Meaning = Kiowa name.


     Basque Meaning = Be warned about the thunder storms.




     Traditional Meaning = Sioux Indian “South wind people”


     Basque Meaning = The deaths in the shocking civil war anger me.




     Traditional Meaning = Iroquois word “Ken-tah-ten” meaning Land of Tomorrow &/or Meadow Land


     Basque Meaning = I explored that stony place and rejected it completely.




     Traditional Meaning = Named for King Louis XIV of France


     Basque Meaning = None searched for.




     Traditional Meaning = From mainland, changed to French province.


     Basque Meaning = Cunningly neutral.




     Traditional Meaning = Named for Virgin Mary &/or Henrietta Maria, the wife of England’s King Charles I.


     Basque Meaning = The many tall oak groves are reduced to ash.




     Traditional Meaning = Algonquian word meaning “At the big hills” or “A large hill place.”


     Basque Meaning = Our task is to bring about statehood, tilling of the soil, harvesting the abundance and to do





     Traditional Meaning = Amerincian word “meieigama” meaning “Great Water.” &/or Algonquian word meaning “Forest



     Basque Meaning = The military had to leave because of the unpredictable food supply.




     Traditional Meaning = Sioux Indian word for “Sky-tinted water.” &/or “Cloudy water.”


     Basque Meaning = It is marvelous anywhere in these exotic wild hills.




     Traditional Meaning = Chippewa Indian words “mici zibi” meaning “Great river.”


     Basque Meaning = To my unspeakable horror he fell into the very deep torrential rain like into the legendary whirlpool.




     Traditional Meaning = Amerindian name meaning “Town of the large canoes” &/or Algonquian for “Muddy River.”


     Basque Meaning = Hide from this miserable torrential rain which keeps falling down.




     Traditional Meaning = Spanish word for “Mountainous.”


     Basque Meaning = I loved it among those pastures in the wonderful wild mountains.


North Carolina


     Traditional Meaning = Carolina named in honor of England’s King Charles I.


     Basque Meaning = no Basque found.




     Traditional Meaning = Oto or Sioux Indian word for “Flat water” [= Platte River].


     Basque Meaning = Happily the evangelist comes here to begin his teachings.




     Traditional Meaning = Spanish for “Snowy.”


     Basque Meaning = Nowhere is firewood to be cut.


New Hampshire


     Traditional Meaning = Named by John Mason who hailed from Hampshire county, England.


     Basque Meaning = None searched for.


New Jersey


     Traditional Meaning = Named by Sir George Carterer after his home island.


     Basque Meaning = None searched for.


New Mexico


     Traditional Meaning = named after Mexico.


     Basque Meaning for Mexico = Gently we introduce elementary teachings.


New York


     Traditional Meaning = Named after the Duke of York, brother of Charles II.


     Basque Meaning = Always caring and stimulating.


North Dakota


     Traditional Meaning = Amerindian name meaning “Alliance of friends.”


     Basque Meaning = No Basque meaning.




     Traditional Meaning = Iroquois word for “Good river.”


     Basque Meaning = Get used to the thunderstorms.




     Traditional Meaning = Choctaw word for “Red man.”


     Basque Meaning = Her entire lifetime grandma was giving advice.




     Traditional Meaning = Not clear (early map shows “Ouaicon-sint.”


     Basque Meaning = So many wonderful opportunities.




     Traditional Meaning = Named for Admiral William Penn and “sylvan” meaning woodland.


     Basque Meaning = Pena/pen in Basque means suffering.


Puerto Rico


     Traditional Meaning = Spanish for “Rich port.”


     Basque Meaning = No Basque searched for.


Rhode Island


     Traditional Meaning = Named for Greek Island of Rhodos &/or by Dutch explorer Adriaen Block, “Rhoode Eylandt.”


     Basque Meaning =  Awful thunder clouds.


South Carolina


     Traditional Meaning = Carolina named in honor of England’s King Charles I.


     Basque Meaning = no Basque found.


South Dakota


     Traditional Meaning = Amerindian name meaning “Alliance of friends.”


     Basque Meaning = No Basque meaning.




     Traditional Meaning = Cherokee Indian villages called “Tanasi.”


     Basque Meaning = The blessed one who knows will nourish and protect the afflicted; so pay attention.




     Traditional Meaning = Indian tribal name, “Tejas.”


     Basque Meaning = Seek shelter from the many frightening storms.




     Traditional Meaning = Ute Indian name meaning “People of the mountains.”


     Basque Meaning = They left their kinship behind.




     Traditional Meaning = French “verts monts,” meaning “Green Mountains”


     Basque Meaning = We improve the wilderness and give thanks for nature’s blessings.




     Traditional Meaning = Named for England’s “Virgin Queen, “ Elizabeth I.


     Basque Meaning = The digging of the canal bed was accomplished by the engineer’s expertise.




     Traditional Meaning =


     Basque Meaning =




     Traditional Meaning =


     Basque Meaning =


West Virginia


     Traditional Meaning =


     Basque Meaning =




     Traditional Meaning =


     Basque Meaning =












Nyland, Edo.  2001.  Linguistic Archaeology: An
               Introduction.   Trafford Publ., Victoria, B.C., Canada.

               ISBN 1-55212-668-4. 541 p. [ see abstract & summary]