Whether you’re working on a ‘D’ assignment (alphabetically-speaking, we hope, not grade-wise) or looking forward to that next intense game of Scattergories where a ‘D’ comes up on the die, if you need to know which states start with ‘D,’ we’ve got you covered.

Here are all the ‘D’ states in the U.S. (and beyond) and how they got their ‘D’ names.

states that start with D, a giant letter D sits in the center of a black and white US map set against a blue-green background


Welp. This is it. Just Delaware.

It’s the only ‘D’ state in the country.

As for its name origin, the state of Delaware was named after a person.

Thomas West, aka the Baron De La Warr, was the first governor of Colonial Virginia (before it was a state).

When Samuel Argall, commissioned by West, entered the Delaware Bay on an exhibition in 1610, Argall claimed the bay for the English and named it after the baron.

De La Warr was anglicized to “Delaware” and Argall assigned it to the bay/river.

The state of Delaware took its name from the Delaware Bay/River.

While you might think of the Delaware tribe, since so many U.S. states are named for Native American tribes or Native American words, the tribal name Delaware actually came after the bay/river name.

Europeans called the native people who lived along the Delaware River the “Delaware.”

Those natives who are today referred to as the “Delaware” are the Lenape in their own language.

Delaware Name Meaning

The name “De La Warr” derives from Anglo-French.

While the historical origin of the name is not certain, it most likely derives from the French “de la guerre,” meaning “of the war.”

One major point that gives this origin credence is the pronunciation of the name.

Since the creation of the Baron De La Warr title, it has always been pronounced “de la ware,” exactly like Delaware, and very close to the pronunciation of “de la guerre.”

Onward From the ‘D’ State Names

So, there you have it, the singular U.S. state that starts with the letter ‘D.’

That’s not going to help you much in Scattergories, is it?

So, if you’re looking for a few more unique state names that begin with a ‘D,’ here they are:

International States That Start With D

There might only be one U.S. state that starts with the letter ‘D,’ but there are other countries that call their territories states and have ‘D’ names.

In Africa, for instance, you’ve got –

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti

In Mexico, you’ve got –

  • Durango

And so on.

Independent States That Start With D

Along with countries that call their independent territories “states,” there are also countries that are considered independent, or sovereign, states.

The sovereign states that start with ‘D’ are:

  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic

Basically, any country that is not under the political or social control of another country is considered a sovereign state, including the United States.

States of Being That Start With D

Now, if you really want to push your luck with “state” (like during a Scattergories game), you can also go with a different definition of “state.”

Namely, this definition –

“the condition of a person or thing” (dictionary.com)

This opens up tons of possibilities.

So, what states can a person or thing be in?

  • Dazed
  • Deadened
  • Debilitated
  • Deficient
  • Dizzy

Whether or not you’ll get away with any of these really depends on how cool the group you’re playing with is or how cool your teacher is.

But, unless it’s explicitly stated that you must name a “place that is a state” or a “U.S. state,” it’s really open to interpretation.

Plus, you’re being super creative (good for you!), so you should really get bonus points!

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