1. Issaquena County
Like many places in Mississippi, this county’s name has Native American roots. Issaquena is a Choctaw word that translates to "deer river." Present-day Issaquena was occupied by the Choctaw people until 1820, when they were forcibly removed from the area.
2. Itawamba County
This county was named after the Chickasaw chief, Itawamba Mingo. Known as Levi Colbert to English-speaking settlers, the influential leader acted as an interpreter and negotiator during the Indian Removal period in the early 19th century.
3. Noxubee County
According to the Encyclopedia of Mississippi History, this county’s name is derived from the Choctaw word "nakshobi," which means "stinking water."
4. Oktibbeha County
In the early 1800s, Choctaw Indians inhabited the land that is now Oktibbeha County. At the time, a creek formed a boundary between them and a nearby Chickasaw tribe. The creek was eventually named Oktibbeha, which in the Choctaw language means "icy water."
5. Sunflower County
You’d probably assume this county’s name came about because of an abundance of sunflowers in the area, but that’s simply not the case. The county is actually named after the Sunflower River, which runs through it.
6. Yalobusha County
Long ago, the area that is now Yalobusha County was inhabited by both the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes, so it should come as no surprise that its name is a Native American word. The meaning of Yalobusha is "tadpole place."
7. Tippah County
This county is named after the Tippah Creek, which runs through it. Tippah is a Chickasaw word, and it translates to "cut off." The name most likely came about because the creek separated, or "cut off," the western part of the region from the eastern portion.
8. Tallahatchie County
Located in the Delta, Tallahatchie County was founded in 1833. It’s named after the Tallahatchie River, which is Choctaw for "river of the rock."
9. Tishomingo County
This county, which can be found in the northeastern portion of the state, is named after an early leader of the Chickasaw nation, Chief Tishomingo. And he didn’t get the name by chance; the literal meaning of Tishomingo is "warrior chief."
10. Yazoo County
Obviously, this county is named after the Yazoo River, but where did the river get its moniker? Well, according to legend, the name is an Indian word that translates to "river of death," and it was chosen because members of the Yazoo Indian tribe marched into the river to their deaths after being defeated by the French.
11. Amite County
Another county that shares a moniker with a body of water, Amite County is named after the, you guessed it, Amite River. So, where did the name Amite come from? It’s actually derived from the French word "amitiè," which means "friendship."
Were you aware of the meanings behind the towns listed above? What other oddly-named counties would you add to this list? Share your thoughts in the comments section!