Etymology is defined as the history of a linguistic form, such as a word. It's not to be confused with entomology, which is the study of bugs. Maybe we will get into creepy crawlies another time. Adam Aleksic is a high school junior from Albany, New York and a self described etymology nerd. Using origins and backstories for words, he enjoys producing infographics for geographical regions, which is what brought Michigan to his attention.

Aleksic says he was goofing around with looking up US county etymologies, and I noticed that an unsual number of Michigan counties were neologisms, which are defined as newly coined words and phrases. That led him to Henry Schoolcraft who is responsible for naming thirteen Michigan counties and used made-up monikers. Schoolcraft used Arabic, Latin, Greek and Native American words with unnatural formations invented for the purpose of being a local-sounding name. He says no other state in the U.S. has this unique etymology.

Here is Adam Aleksic's amazing map of Michigan's unique monikers:

Michigan Etymology Map (Courtesy Adam Aleksic)
Michigan Etymology Map (Courtesy Adam Aleksic)

Adam operates his own website called The Etymology Nerd if you want to see other interesting origins, backstories, and hidden secrets of words. He has covered everything from the etymology of coffee to dinosaurs and even Star Wars. The force of etymology is strong in this young man.

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