Kentucky is known as the "Bluegrass State", a nickname based on the bluegrass found in many of its pastures due to the fertile soil. One of the major regions in Kentucky is the Bluegrass Region in central Kentucky, which houses two of its major cities, Louisville and Lexington. It is a land with diverse environments and abundant resources, including the world's longest cave system, Mammoth Cave National Park, the greatest length of navigable waterways and streams in the contiguous United States, and the two largest man-made lakes east of the Mississippi River.
Kentucky is also known for horse racing, bourbon distilleries, moonshine, coal, the historic site My Old Kentucky Home, automobile manufacturing, tobacco, bluegrass music, college basketball, and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
In 1776, the counties of Virginia beyond the Appalachian Mountains became known as Kentucky County, named for the Kentucky River. The precise etymology of the name is uncertain, but likely based on an Iroquoian name meaning "(on) the meadow" or "(on) the prairie" (cf. Mohawk kenhtà:ke, Seneca gëdá'geh (phonemic /kẽtaʔkeh/), "at the field").
Others have put forth the possibility of Kenta Aki, which would absolutely come from Algonquian language and, therefore, would probably have derived from the Shawnees. Folk etymology states that this translates as "Land of Our Fathers." The closest approximation in another Algonquian language, Ojibwe (N. Michigan) translates it more-so to "Land of Our In-Laws," thus making a fairer English translation "The Land of Those Who Became Our Fathers." In any case, the word aki comes out as land in practically all Algonquian languages.