The Mississippi River has many nicknames, including "Ol’ Man River," "The Big Muddy," "Old Blue" and "The Gathering of Waters." Of Ojibwe or Algonquin origin, the name “Mississippi” is derived from the word “misi-ziibi,” meaning "Great River."
One of the oldest nicknames for the Mississippi is "Big Muddy," named because the river carries one of the highest silt loads of any river in the United States. The Mississippi River is the third longest river in North America. It flows 2,350 miles from Lake Itasca through the center of the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. The river flows at an average speed of 1.2 miles per hour.