Indiana is simply a Latinized form of Indian, meaning roughly “land of the Indians.”
The name appears as early as 1768 and in the early years applied to a number of western regions of the North American continent. The Indiana Territory was formally organized in 1800 and this particular territory is what eventually became the state in 1816.1
1Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, edited by Philip Babcock Gove (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1993), 1149;
Illustrated Dictionary of Place Names, edited by Kelsie B. Harder (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1976), 248.
Copyright 1997-2014, by David Wilton