The Volunteer State gets its name from the Tennessee River, which in turn gets its name from the Cherokee village Tanasi, which was on that river. The meaning of the Cherokee name is not known.1
1Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged, edited by Philip Babcock Gove (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1993), 2356;
Illustrated Dictionary of Place Names: United States and Canada, edited by Kelsie B. Harder (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1976), 543.
Copyright 1997-2015, by David Wilton