The name Oregon is of uncertain origin. Other than being of Native American origin and being first applied to the Oregon River, now known as the Columbia River, little is certain.
The name first appears in a 1765 petition to King George III by Robert Rogers, a colonial military officer. Rogers refers to the Ouragon River, saying it is an Indian name for the famed, but yet-to-be-seen-by-Europeans river of the west that would come to be known as the Columbia River. The name could be from the Connecticut-English pidgin word wauregan, meaning beautiful.
Copyright 1997-2016, by David Wilton