As Maine approaches its 200th anniversary as a separate U.S. state in 2020, it’s time to bring up this issue:

No other state in the union has such a nondescript, vapid, one-syllable name as “Maine.” Consider such euphonious names as “Wyoming,” “Colorado” and “Montana.”

We are told that King Charles I named Maine, declaring, according to the Maine State Library, that “it ‘shall forever, hereafter, be called and named the Province or County of Mayne and not by any other name or names whatsoever.’ Despite the tone of finality, this still was not the last word: Other suggestions were ‘Yorkshire,’ ‘Lygonia’ and ‘Columbus,’ the latter two appearing as late as 1819, when statehood was imminent.”

Are we going to let a dead king of England dictate to us?

The original name on maps of the 1500s for this part of New England was “Norumbega,” from an Algonquin word meaning “peaceful place among the rapids.” Isn’t this a perfect description of our beautiful state, deferring to our original inhabitants? I do not know how to start a campaign to have this lovely, historic name restored. It would certainly increase our tourist industry. I would be willing to help out: running copies, stuffing envelopes, etc. Anyone out there?

Joseph McKenna

Portland