State Names tells the story of how each U.S. state was named. Many resources in books or on the Internet provide "dictionary definitions" of each state name. This book, however, tells the whole story: who chose the name, why they chose it, what is the derivation of the word, and what other names might have been suggested. Some of the stories are surprisingly funny, and others defy the conventional wisdom of a name's derivation. But all are interesting and worth the read.