Last one out of the Kinjaverse, turn out the lights.

Otters Oddities

Idaho? Oh no you dit-int! I not da ho! Udaho!

Did you know the Idaho is lucky to be where it is? It almost wasn't there.

I don't mean someone just haphazardly placed Idaho where it was and decided it looked good there. I mean, Idaho was could very easily been another state.


Back in 1861, a name was needed for a new territory in the Pikes Peak Mining Area that featured the boom town of Denver at it's center.

In washington, a lobbyist named George Willing suggested an indian word, 'Idaho', that meant 'Gem of the Mountains'.

People in Washington, including congress, thought it was a great idea. That is, until a linguistic expert who specialized in native languages didn't recognize the word. He did some research and found there was no native language where Idaho meant 'Gem of the Mountain'.

In fact, there was no word, 'Idaho'.

George Willing had made up the whole story. In fact, he made up the word 'Idaho' out of whole cloth. Congress found out just days before they named the territory. In a rush of discussion, they settled on Colorado.


Well, Washington being just as smart 150 years ago as it is today, found themselves with another territory in 1863 that needed a name. Some of them remembered this wonderful indian name that was tossed about two years earlier, so they created the new territory of Idaho on March 4, 1863.

And by the time 1890 rolled around and it was time to grant statehood, the name had sort of stuck.


There's not too many countries that can say that one of their states is made up of an entirely made up name. Some just sound like they're made up.

*Bonus Fact*

The Douglas Fir isn't a fir tree. It's a pine.

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