While you may be aware that Washington was named after the first president, there are several communities within our state that have intriguing names derived from lesser known American Indian terms! Did you know about the fascinating meanings behind any of these Northwest towns?
This small town in Grays Harbor County got its name from a Chehalis Indian word meaning “hungry for wood”, referring to the large amount of driftwood at the mouth of the Hoquiam River!
This city in Central Washington was named after a Chelan Indian tribe, a Salish-speaking group. The name derives from a traditional Wenatchi name Tsi-Laan meaning "deep water" in reference to the beautiful lake!
Located in the foothills of the Okanogan Highlands, Omak gets its name from the Salishan word Omache—which is said to mean "good medicine" or "plenty", referring to the town's great climate with an annual high of 88 °F!
Also known as the "City of Destiny", this large city in Pierce County adopted its name from the nearby Mount Rainier which was originally named Mount Takhoma or Mount Tahoma!
Founded in 1878, this quaint town along the Snake River derives its name from a Nez Perce term meaning "eel creek" due to the copious eel that were caught in the area!
At nighttime there were would be strong winds in this town making loud noises that would keep locals awake, so early settlers named the area Enumclaw meaning "strong wind" or "thundering noise"!
The name for this charming town in Yakima County comes from the Chinook word “wapatoo” meaning "potato"! It was originally named Simcoe but was later changed in 1903 in response to persistent confusion with nearby Fort Simcoe.
Issaquah derives its name from a local Native American term meaning either "the sound of birds", "snake," or "little stream". The area was originally called Squak, a name that referred to the calls and squawks of the many water birds found in the land, swamps, and creeks in the area!
This scenic city can be found along the beautiful shores of Puget Sound near Everett with a unique name that stems from a Native American term that means "good camping ground"!
Located along the Ocean Beach Highway in Wahkiakum County, this town was named after the Cathlamet Indian tribe and is said to mean “stone” in reference to the rocky course of the Columbia River!
Do you know of any other town names in Washington with interesting meanings?? Share them with us below!