Little Rock, Arkansas was really named after a little rock. When early settlers traveled to the area, they saw a pile of stones set on the Arkansas River bank. Called “La Petite Roche,” Little Rock signaled to the newcomers that the Mississippi Delta region was becoming mountainous foothills. They called the place “the little rock,” and that is still the name today.
The Indian and French heritage of Arkansas is reflected in its name as well. The French explorers called the native Americans of the area the “Arkansaes” which means South Wind.
The General Assembly in 1881 decided the appropriate spelling and pronunciation of Arkansas. You do not pronounce the “s” at the end, and at one time, it was illegal to mispronounce.