Some of our loveliest place names in the United States began life as Native American words: Susquehanna, Shenandoah, Rappahannock. Such names are the stuff of poetry. William Penn did not know "a language spoken in Europe that hath words of more sweetness and greatness." To Walt Whitman, Monongahela "rolls with venison richness upon the palate." If you look at a map of the United States, you will realize how freely settlers used words of Indian origin to name our states, cities, towns, mountains, lakes, rivers, ponds, and creeks. Four of our five Great Lakes and 28 -- more than half -- of our states have names that were borrowed from Native American words.