While it's still in dispute whether it's an Ojibwe or another Alquoquin tribe's word, "Mississippi" means "great river." And it's the Mississippi River that defines the eponymously named state's western border, snaking and looping on its way south through Arkansas and Louisiana before eventually spilling into the Gulf of Mexico.

Note: After struggling back to its feet following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the region took another hit, though not nearly as damaging, in the fall of 2008 with Hurricane Gustav. The long-term effects of the terrible storms on the Gulf South are still in evidence in many places. They've caused some places to completely revamp and renovate, and other places, sadly, to close their doors.