The origin of the name "Idaho" lies in the politics of the early territories.

The state of Colorado was almost named "Idaho" after a word coined by a local mining lobbyist, George M. Willing. Mr. Willing dreamed up the name "Idaho" and urged Congress to adopt it for the new territory of the Pikes Peak region.

Willing told questioners Idaho meant "Gem of the Mountains" in Indian language. In 1860, Indian words were widely used and by the end of 1860 the word Idaho had strong support in Congress.

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