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Origin of "Illinois"

Illinois State Name Origin

Illinois geology and topography map courtesy of USGS: A Tapestry of Time and Terrain.

What does "Illinois" mean?

According to, the name Illinois is derived from the native American word "Illiniwek," which is the tribal name of the Illini tribe. Literally, the name means "best people."

Many state names originate from native American languages. All State Name Origins