There are 50 states in America and each one has its own unique name with its own unique meaning.

Hve you ever wondered where the Commonwealth got its official name?

You may have lived in Massachusetts all your life and never really known the story behind its name. Though many know it derives from the Native Americans that first called the area home, the full story remains a mystery to most.

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Massachusetts is the very first state in America to have a Native American name.

The Algonquins used the word "Massadchu-es-et" to describe the hills around Boston visible from their home along the Bass River on Cape Cod.

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The literal translation of "Massadchu-es-et" is "great-hill-small-place" and historians have long thought that Blue Hill in Milton was the "great hill" in question.

Though just a 180-foot peak inside a 7,000-acre state park now, 400 million years ago Blue Hill was an active volcano. Today, all that appears to be left of the ancient volcanic activity is the mineral Riebeckite, which helped give Blue Hill its name.

Riebeckite typically forms dark-blue crystals, which gives this Milton hill a blue hue from a distance.

The Algonquin tribe always saw this particular hill from a distance, therefore named their corner of the world "Massadchu-es-et" for being a small area by a great hill.

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Early settlers also used this name to describe their area along the coast of Massachusetts Bay but as the state grew, so did the use of the name.

Soon "Massachusetts" described the entire state and when the founding fathers ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1788, the name was still attached and Massachusetts officially became the first state with a Native American name.

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