Origin of "Alaska"

Alaska State Name Origin


Alaska quarter

Alaska became the 49th state in 1959. The Alaska commemorative quarter features a grizzly bear with the state fish (salmon), the north star (see Alaska state flag and motto) and caption: "The Great Land" (public domain image on Wikipedia).

What does "Alaska" mean?

Alaska is the Russian version of the Aleutian word Alakshak, which means great lands or peninsula. The Aleuts are people inhabiting the Aleutian Islands and western Alaska, closely related physically and culturally to Eskimos. Many state names trace their origin to native American Indian languages.



The King Cove Dancers - from one of the five last remaining Eastern Aleut villages still in existence; photo © Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, & Economic Development (used by permission).
Alaskan Aleut Dancers