“Really a good read, I highly recommend it.”
—Joe Bickett, Good Day, Austin Fox-7


Many books will give you a “dictionary definition” of each state’s name. And state history books might tell you a little more about each name’s derivation. But until now there has never been a book that gives the entire story for every state name.

U.S. State Names takes each state's name, and tells us its derivation as a trip through that state’s history, leading wherever the name takes us. Guyton describes what the name means, what language it comes from, why it was used, and what other names were considered. She delves into what kind of Congressional debate may have occurred and discusses what images and ideas that name conveyed to the founders, and what it means to us today. Guyton even writes about new theories regarding the origin of certain names like Maine, Arizona and Oregon.

Guyton's book is generously illustrated with more than 200 pictures and maps. It is impeccably researched, taking information from history books, the Congressional Record, old and new atlases, as well as newly available on-line sources such as genealogy databases and journal archives.

Read an Excerpt!

Interview with Kathy

Kathy talks about Texas and Idaho in her interview with Joe Bickett on the Austin Fox-7 Good Day show.

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Book Reviews

"It reads beautifully. [Guyton's] style is so fluid, and [her] enthusiasm comes through. Nice, too, that one can browse. Almost like reading very short stories."

—Robert Klitgaard, Author of "Tropical Gangsters"

“It is just FASCINATING! I love [her] sense of humor and the amazing facts included in the histories. I say that if history class had been like this, I would have paid a lot more attention.”

— Jacquie Manning, Small Potatoes

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How to purchase?

Order from Amazon

  1. Amazon

Or from these online sources:

  1. Made In USA Forever

  2. Boulder Book Store

  3. Barnes and Noble

  4. Tattered Cover Bookstore

Also in stock and on the shelves at:

  1. Boulder Book Store, Boulder, CO

  2. Blue Owl Books, Nederland, CO

Now on iPad! All state name stories are available for only $1.99 each on the iTunes store!

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