Kannapolis is a city in Cabarrus and Rowan counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina, northwest of Concord and northeast of Charlotte. The population was 42,625 at the 2010 census. It is the home of the Kannapolis Intimidators, the Class A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, and it is the hometown of the Earnhardt racing family.
Early meaning and usage of the name was a direct reference to Cannon Mills Corporation, or James William Cannon himself. Early published name variations include Cannon-opolis and Cannapolis. A widely accepted, origin of the word Kannapolis comes from the combination of the Greek words "kanna" (reeds, not looms) and "polis" (city), which some believed meant "City of Looms". Dr. Gary Freeze, Catawba College history and politics department chairman, said a Concord newspaper used the name "Cannon City" in 1906. After mill workers or newspapers called the town "Cannapolis", J.W. Cannon asked Cabarrus County commissioners to give the town the name, but starting with a K. Kannapolis historian Norris Dearmon said the K might have been to distinguish the town from his Concord mill village. Since, Freeze said, "Jim Cannon didn't study Greek," Cannon did not name the town "city of looms".
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 30.4 square miles (78.7 km²), of which, 29.9 square miles (77.3 km²) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.4 km²) of it (1.78%) is water.