States Alphabet Game

I decided to take a break from Interstates and play a bit.  To do this road series, I printed out a list of the “Two Letter State Abbreviations” because I sometimes have trouble remembering some of them.   This led to a self-invented alphabet game as I contemplated this list.  Let’s call what followed a blogame.

First, I noticed that two alphabet letters account for 16 of the 50 states names, and these 2 letters are next to each other in the English alphabet.  They are M & N.  Yes, 8 state names start with M and 8 start with N.  Is MI Mississippi, Missouri, Michigan, or Minnesota?  It’s Michigan.  Is NE Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico or New York?  It’s Nebraska and there are still two more states beginning with N, both due to territorial separations.  The Dakotas separated in 1889.

Second, I noticed that 7 alphabet letters were not ever used to begin a state name–B,E,J,Q,X,Y, and Z.  Q,X,Y, and Z are not so surprising, but you would expect namers to come up with a Bethel or a Bertrand or a Bootheel.  Why didn’t someone propose Jasper, Jumpin, Johnston, or Jefferson?  Where were the eager when it came to naming a territory Eagle or Erieland or Evergreen when it became a state?

Third, I noticed that 4 states’ name begin with the lesser used letter W.  How did that happen?  Four more begin with the A vowel, and six more begin with the vowels O & I.  Three states begin with a C.  This beginning letter game accounts for 33 of the 50 state names with only 17 to go.

Who or what was Rhode?  Since so many early immigrants came from countries with royal houses, why didn’t a state get named after a Queen?  Why is there a Maryland but not an Elizabethland?  Or a king? Why is there a Louisiana but not an Albertina?  I quit at this point due to a headache.


About roads-rus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roads-rus

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