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The Quick 13: Where the 13 Colonies Got Their Names

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I think today's Q10 is pretty self-explanatory, no? So, I'll just wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving (or just a wonderful rest of the week if you're not celebrating) and be on my way to visit my parents. Mmm, homecooked food that I didn't have to make.

Quick Edit: You guys are totally right, I forgot Delaware - THE FIRST STATE! When I combined the Carolinas as 12 and 13 I guess I stopped counting. Wayne Campbell would be so disappointed in me...

MAP1. New Hampshire started out at the Province of New Hampshire. It was named by John Mason after the county of Hampshire in England (home of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens).

2. Likewise, Massachusetts was originally the Province of Massachusetts Bay. It was named after an Algonquian tribe, the Massachusett, which translates to something along the lines of "people of the great hill" or "at the place of large hills", referring to the famous Blue Hills.

3. The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is sure a mouthful, so I'm glad it's been shortened to Rhode Island. That's just a colloquialism, though "“ the official name is still The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Basically, Italian explorer Giovanni Verrazano compared what is now Block Island to the Island of Rhodes in size. And in 1636, Roger Williams was given some land at the top of Narragansett Bay by Indian chiefs Canonicus and Miantonomi. Williams decided to call the land "Providence Plantations" because he felt that God had guided him there. The story is longer than this, and it's actually really interesting. You can check it out at the Rhode Island Office of the Secretary of State.

4. Connecticut Colony got its name thanks to the Connecticut River (which obviously wasn't named that at the time).

The word comes from the Indian word "Quinnehtukqut", which means, roughly, "Beside the long tidal river." So the Connecticut River is sort of called, "Beside the Long Tidal River River".

5. New York. You'll see in a minute that King Charles I and II basically included shout outs to their friends and family all over the 13 Colonies. And New York is one of them. Most of us know it was originally called New Amsterdam when the Dutch were in possession of it "“ it was when the British took over that it received its current name. But why? To honor King Charles II's brother, the Duke of York and Albany (see?).

6. New Jersey got its name from an island in the English Channel, named, appropriately, Jersey.

7. Pennsylvania, of course, was named after William Penn. And "Sylvania" is Latin for woods or woodland, so Pennsylvania = Penn's woods. I'm curious as to how Penn got to name the state after himself, though "“ the 1680 charter was provided by King Charles II, who had a propensity for granting charters on the condition that the new territories be named after his nearest and dearest.

8. Georgia's another one named for a King "“ King George II, of course. George granted the charter in 1733, stipulating that the territory bear his name. It was the last of the 13 colonies.

9. Virginia was named after the first Queen Elizabeth, the Virgin queen (who was almost certainly not a virgin queen). West Virginia wasn't a separate state until 1861.

mary10. Maryland received its name by edict, not by choice. Cecil Calvert, the 2nd Lord Baltimore, received a charter from Charles I of England for this new colony. But there was a catch: the colony must be named after Charles' wife, Queen Henrietta Mary (she went by Queen Mary).

11, 12. North Carolina and South Carolina were considered one big unit until they divided up in 1729. By this time, King Charles II was in power and provided the charters, specifying that they be named after his father, King Charles I. Charles = Carolina? Yep. Caroliinus is a Latin word, an adjective derived from the Latin Charles "“ Carolus.

13. According to the book State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols, the state of Delaware and the Delaware Indians are named after the Delaware River. The Delaware River, in turn, is named after Sir Thomas West, Lord de la Warr.

And, a bonus: Vermont is named because, after seeing the Green Mountains, Samuel de Champlain referred to it as "Verd Mont" (green mountains) on a map in his native French language.

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25 Benefits of Adopting a Rescue Dog
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According to the ASPCA, 3.3 million dogs enter shelters each year in the United States. Although that number has gone down since 2011 (from 3.9 million) there are still millions of dogs waiting in shelters for a forever home. October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month; here are 25 benefits of adopting a shelter dog.

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How Urban Legends Like 'The Licked Hand' Are Born
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If you compare the scary stories you heard as a kid with those of your friends—even those who grew up across the country from you—you’ll probably hear some familiar tales. Maybe you tried to summon Bloody Mary by chanting her name in front of the mirror three times in a dark bathroom. Maybe you learned never to wonder what’s under a woman’s neck ribbon. Maybe you heard the one about the girl who feels her dog lick her hand in the middle of the night, only to wake up to find him hanging dead from the shower nozzle, the words “humans can lick too” written on the wall in the dog’s blood.

These ubiquitous, spooky folk tales exist everywhere, and a lot of them take surprisingly similar forms. How does a single story like the one often called “Humans Can Lick Too” or "The Licked Hand" make its way into every slumber party in America? Thrillist recently investigated the question with a few experts, finding that most of these stories have very deep roots.

In the case of The Licked Hand, its origins go back more than a century. In the 1990s, Snopes found that a similar motif dates back to an Englishman’s diary entry from 1871. In it, the diary keeper, Dearman Birchall, retold a story he heard at a party of a man whose wife woke him up in the middle of the night, urging him to go investigate what sounded like burglars in their home. He told his wife that it was only the dog, reaching out his hand. He felt the dog lick his hand … but in the morning, all his valuables were gone: He had clearly been robbed.

A similar theme shows up in the short story “The Diary of Mr. Poynter,” published in 1919 by M.R. James. In it, a character dozes off in an armchair, and thinks that he is petting his dog. It turns out, it’s some kind of hairy human figure that he flees from. The story seems to have evolved from there into its presently popular form, picking up steam in the 1960s. As with any folk tale, its exact form changes depending on the teller: sometimes the main character is an old lady, other times it’s a young girl.

You’ll probably hear these stories in the context of happening to a “friend of a friend,” making you more likely to believe the tale. It practically happened to someone you know! Kind of! The setting, too, is probably somewhere nearby. It might be in your neighborhood, or down by the local railroad tracks.

Thrillist spoke to Dr. Joseph Stubbersfield, a researcher in the UK who studies urban legends, who says the kind of stories that spread widely contain both social information and emotional resonance. Meaning they contain a message—you never know who’s lurking in your house—and are evocative.

If something is super scary or gross, you want to share it. Stories tend to warn against something: A study of English-language urban legends circulating online found that most warned listeners about the hazards of life (poisonous plants, dangerous animals, dangerous humans) rather than any kind of opportunities. We like to warn each other of the dangers that could be lurking around every corner, which makes sense considering our proven propensity to focus on and learn from negative information. And yes, that means telling each other to watch out for who’s licking our hands in the middle of the night.

Just something to keep in mind as you eagerly await Jezebel’s annual scary story contest.

[h/t Thrillist]


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