The European-American naming of the Alabama River and state was derived from the Alabama people, a Muskogean-speaking tribe whose members lived just below the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers on the upper reaches of the river. In the Alabama language, the word for a person of Alabama lineage is Albaamo (or variously Albaama or Albàamo in different dialects; the plural form is Albaamaha). The suggestion that "Alabama" was borrowed from the Choctaw language is unlikely. The word's spelling varies significantly among historical sources. The first usage appears in three accounts of the Hernando de Soto expedition of 1540: Garcilaso de la Vega used Alibamo, while the Knight of Elvas and Rodrigo Ranjel wrote Alibamu and Limamu, respectively, in transliterations of the term. As early as 1702, the French called the tribe the Alibamon, with French maps identifying the river as Rivière des Alibamons. Other spellings of the name have included Alibamu, Alabamo, Albama, Alebamon, Alibama, Alibamou, Alabamu, Allibamou.
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