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LostInParadise's avatar

Did you realize that there are 21 states whose names end in the letter a?

Asked by LostInParadise (31483points) October 17th, 2022

I saw this mentioned as part of a puzzle in a magazine. It seems a bit surprising, given that there are not that many words in English that end with an a. Part of the reason is that some states were named by Spanish explorers, like Florida and California. Lots of Spanish words end in a.

I found this link giving the name origin of every state. Check out the origin of Idaho. A number of state names come from Native American phrases or tribe names, which may help to explain all the a’s.

The puzzle in the magazine asked which letter comes next after a. There are only 5 occurrences. What letter would you guess? It does not help that there are 3 other letters that come at the end of the names of 4 states.

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8 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

I have lived in eight states and not one ends 8n “A”. That’s kind of bizarre.

flutherother's avatar

I have lived in only one state. It ended in an “a” and had four other a’s in it.

smudges's avatar

Without actually looking at a list of states, I’d guess the one with 5 occurrences is the letter “s”.

janbb's avatar

I’m guessing “i”.

Demosthenes's avatar

That doesn’t surprise me. -ia and -a are common Indo-European toponymic suffixes. Consider the Ancient Roman names of European countries: Italia, Hispania, Gallia, Britannia, Graecia, Helvetia, Germania, Dacia, etc.

I guess “s” in second place. Two of the s’s are silent. :)

RayaHope's avatar

I’ll bet all 50 states have at least one vowel in their name. I also bet that there is only one state that has ME in it! :)

Zaku's avatar

@canidmajor Yeah, I’ve lived in three states, zero ending in “a”. Not as odd as your record.

Zaku's avatar

I got the three with four states, but I had to check a map to get the letter with five states.

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