Tag Archive | "origin of the name Pennsylvania"

And the Word is…???

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As we ponder the origin of things, aside from “The Word,”* we sometimes wonder how the various States of the Union came by their names. When England decided to colonize America, noteworthy citizens received grants from the King, in order to develop what later came to be known as the United States of America. William Penn, who was a Quaker, was granted a tract of land in a heavily wooded area.  That land was named in his honor thusly: Penn = the man + Sylvania (in the Romance languages) = woods.  Hence, Penn’s woods became Pennsylvania.


As logical and contemporary for its time as the naming of Pennsylvania may have been, the origin of “New Jersey” may date back to the Roman Empire. One of the largest Channel Islands off the coast of Normandy, France was named “Jersey.”  In Latin, that translates to Caesarea.  By this reckoning, Caesarea Insula translates to Caesar’s Island.


One of the prominent native sons of the Jersey Islands was Sir George Carteret (1610-1680).  In 1664, George was granted the territory, in the New World, between the Hudson and Delaware Rivers.  This land was then christened “New Jersey” in his honor.  Interestingly, the city of Carteret in New Jersey also bears George’s surname.


To take this one step further, I suppose that anything that carries the famous Jersey logo can be translated from or back to its original Latin.  We can have the Caesar cow, the Caesar tomato, Caesar corn, and of course, the Caesar shore.  Sitting right there at the shore, in Atlantic City, is a casino that bears Caesar’s name as well as a commanding likeness, a statue of the celebrated Emperor, standing guard above the casino’s entrance … probably against those gifted enough to “read cards!”


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* "The Word", for those who require clarification, refers not only to The Word of God,
but to the Godhead Himself (i.e., "I am The Word."). 

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