Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Messipi?

It's amazing what you can learn from dictionaries of various sorts. We all know that spelling was not standardized for quite awhile so we will always find variations on spellings, particularly in early records.  I knew that the state of my birth, Mississippi, meant "Great Water" and that its name came from the river. However, I did not know that "One of the earliest records of the name is that of Messipi in 1666."*  Now all those schoolchildren who have been trying to spell or pronounce the state with only one set of s's can try to claim that they are trying to revert to an earlier spelling or pronunciation of the state.

* Adrian Room, Cassell Dictionary of Proper Names (London: Cassell, 1994), p. 354.

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