- Ⅰ. MNabbr. 1) magnetic north 2) MinnesotaⅡ. Min·ne·so·ta (mĭn′ĭ-sō’tə) Abbr. MN or Minn.A state of the northern United States bordering on Lake Superior and on Manitoba and Ontario, Canada. It was admitted as the 32nd state in 1858. Explored by the French in the mid-1600s, the area became part of the United States through the Treaty of Paris (1783) and the Louisiana Purchase (1803). St. Paul is the capital and Minneapolis the largest city.Min′ne·so’tan adj. & n.Word History: Minnesotans may tell you that Minnesota in Lakota means "10,000 lakes," and they may attempt to prove it by pointing to the motto on their license plates. Minnesota in Lakota actually means "cloudy water," an accurate description of the Minnesota River. Another popular etymology of a similar-sounding Indian name has Minnehaha meaning "laughing waters." It doesn't; it means "waterfalls." The misinterpretation began around 1849 when European settlers, not unreasonably, assumed that the -haha was an imitation of laughter just as in English, and hence that minnehaha meant "laughing waters." The folk etymology caught on and wound up in 1855 as the name of the heroine in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem The Song of Hiawatha.
Word Histories. 2014.