A couple of cartographers just published a book titled "Atlas of True Names". In a nutshell, they defined the names of cities and states into what they TRULY meant. Many of the names originate from numerous Native American languages...however you can also point out Spanish, French, German, and Dutch influences.  So what does the name of Montana State mean? Like, literally? Well, let's check out a few other interesting tidbits first...

  • The United States of America is defined as the "United States of the Home Ruler".
  • Illinois is "Land of Those Who Speak Normally"
  • Missouri is "Land of the People With Dugout Canoes"
  • New Mexico is "New Navel of the Moon"
  • Nevada somehow is "Snowy Land."
  • Louisiana might have the coolest literal meaning:  "Land of the Famous Warrior."
  • Although Hawaii will be proud that it means "Island of the Gods."
And when it comes to the literal translation of Montana? You guessed it..."Mountain Area".