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Vermont State Names (Etymology of Names)

Vermont Name Origin and State Nicknames


VT 3D Map: State Name OriginVermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Vermont is the 6th least extensive and the 2nd least populous of the 50 United States. It is the only New England state not bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Lake Champlain forms half of Vermont's western border, which it shares with the state of New York. The Green Mountains are within the state. Vermont is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, New York to the west, and the province of Quebec to the north.

The name Vermont comes from the French words for green mountain, "mont vert."

Vermont Nicknames

  • Green Mountain State

Origin of Vermont State Name

From the French "vert mont,"meaning "green mountain"

Vermont is an English form of the name that French explorer Samuel de Champlain gave to Vermont's Green Mountains on his 1647 map. He called them "Verd Mont" meaning green mountain.

Vermont Nicknames

Green Mountain State

Two different stories are told to explain its origin.

This name is said to have been adopted upon the recommendation of Dr. Thomas Young. The following account of the christening of the Green Mountains, is given by the Rev. Samuel Peters in his life Of the Rev. Samuel Peters, published at New York in 1807,

"Verd Mont was a name given to the Green Mountains in October, 176l, by the Rev. Dr. Peters, the first clergyman who paid a visit to the 30,000 settlers in that country, in the presence of Col. Taplin, Col. Willes, Col. Peters, Judge Peters and many others, who were proprietors of a Large number of townships in that colony. The ceremony was performed on the top of a rock standing on a high mountain, then named Mount Pisgah because it provided to the company a clear sight of lake Champlain at the west, and of Connecticut river at the east, and overlooked all the trees and hills in the vast wilderness at the north and south. The baptism was performed in the following manner: Priest Peters stood on the pinnacle of the rock, when he received a bottle of spirits from Col. Taplin; then haranguing the company with a short history of the infant settlement, and the prospect of its becoming an impregnable barrier between the British colonies on the south and the late colonies of the French on the north, which might be returned to their late owners for the sake of governing America by the different powers of Europe, he continued, "We have here met upon the rock Etam, standing on Mount Pisgah , which makes a part of the everlasting hill , the spine of Asia, Africa and America , holding together the terrestrial ball, and dividing the Atlantic from the Pacific ocean - to dedicate and consecrate this extensive wilderness to God manifested in the flesh, and to give it a new name worthy of the Athenians and ancient Spartans,- which new name isVerd Mont, in token that her mountains and hills shall be ever green and shall never die."

He then poured out the spirits and cast the bottle upon the rock Etam."

Dr. Thomas Young was a Pennsylvania statesman who took a great deal of interest in the young republic in the mountains. It was he who had suggested that Pennsylvania's constitution be used as the basis for Vermont's, and that was done. He also is credited with having suggested the name Vermont to perpetuate the memory of the Green Mountain Boys, who were named for the long north-south ridge of mountains that nearly bisects the state.

The Green Mountain name had been in use for those mountains for more years than anyone could remember. Indeed, it was a New York colonial official who, bedeviled by the "boys" from Bennington, Arlington and the surrounding towns, inadvertently gave the Green Mountain Boys their name, saying he would drive them all back to their Green Mountains.

Seven generations of scholars have pointed out that to be grammatical French, the name should be Les Monts Verts. But that's an awkward mouthful, whereas "Vermont" is easy to say and has a pleasant sound -- and Vermont it has remained.

There is no doubt that the nameVerd Monthad been applied to this range of mountains long previous to the above translation, (if, indeed, it ever took place;) but we do not find that the nameVerd Mont, or Vermont, was ever applied to the territory generally known as the New Hampshire Grants, previous to the declaration of the independence of the territory in January, 1777.


Vermont Slogans

  • I LoVermont (formerly) Vermont, naturally

Vermont Postal Code

  • VT

Vermont Resident's Name

  • Vermonter - Official (recommended by US GPO)
State Names
State Names & Nicknames
The etymologies of some US state names are more obvious than others, derived from the Spanish or French tongue. Though, more than half of the US state names come from Native American tribal languages, with several still a mystery to scholars and historians.
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