How The Heck Did Maine Get Its Name?
It’s one of those words that just elicits positive feelings. When you see a license plate that says “Massachusetts” you might feel a negative effect or when you think of “Texas” the feelings may be conflicted, but I’ve never met anyone who has grievances or bad blood with “Maine”. But, I am fairly biased.
How did we get the name “Maine”, anyway? I was asked this question the other day and I thought real hard for a minute about whether or not this has ever been brought to my attention. No, it has not, and no, it has never been something I even pondered. Maybe my third-grade teacher glossed over it, but I’ve never put much thought into it.
Since I learned this today, you will, too.
As with most things, all it took was one quick Google search and a dive into Maine.gov. I am happy to announce this information is coming from a reputable source and not the somewhat sketchy hole of Wikipedia.
It’s important to start off with the fact that there actually isn’t a clear answer to this question but inferences have been made.
The Maine State Library shares that the first appearance of the name “Maine” was in 1622 in a charter of the Council of New England granting land to some naval commanders.
They played around with different land names until King Charles said no way, I hate your ideas. He said, “it shall forever hereafter be called and named the Province or County of Mayne and not by any other name or names whatsoever”. You tell ‘em, Charles!
According to the website, there are popular beliefs that the name was in honor of a queen who was the landowner of a province in France called “Maine”, as well as the belief that the name has something to do with “main land”.
Apparently, the name was settled in 1665 as the “Province of Maine”. As for the spelling going from “Mayne” to “Maine”, I’m not quite sure. But King Charles called the shots.]