Inquiring minds: Why do so many Minnesota place names have the syllables “minne” in them?

Each week the staff at the Roseville Library answers more than 2,500 questions on every subject under the sun. Here are some of the most interesting ones they’ve gotten lately.

Q.    Why do so many Minnesota place names have the syllables “minne” in them? I’m thinking Minnehaha, Minnetrista, Minnetonka and Minnesota itself, for example.

A.     “Minne” is the Native American word for “waters,” so it’s not surprising that, in a state that bills itself as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, there should be so many place names with “minne” in them.

(Illustrated Dictionary of Place Names in United States and Canada.)

Do you have a question for the staff at the Roseville Library? You can call them at 628-6803 or ask your question in person at the Information Desk, Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave. Library hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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