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American colony, later U.S. state, 1681, literally "Penn's Woods," a hybrid formed from the surname Penn (Welsh, literally "head") + Latin sylvania (see sylvan). Not named for William Penn, the proprietor, but, on suggestion of Charles II, for Penn's late father, Admiral William Penn (1621-1670), who had lent the king the money that was repaid to the son in the form of land for a Quaker settlement in America. The story goes that the younger Penn wanted to call it New Wales, but the king's secretary, a Welshman of orthodox religion, wouldn't hear of it. Pennsylvania Dutch is attested from 1824.
State in the northeastern United States bordered by Lake Erie and New York to the north; New Jersey to the east; Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia to the south; and Ohio to the west. Its capital is Harrisburg, and its largest city is Philadelphia.
Note: One of the thirteen colonies.