The second syllable (also in Old Frisian alond, Middle Dutch eiland) was added later to distinguish it from homonyms, especially Old English ea "water" (see ea). As an adjective from 1620s.
Spelling modified 16c. by association with similar but unrelated isle. Similar formation in Old Frisian eiland, Middle Dutch eyland, German Eiland, Danish öland, etc. In place names, Old English ieg is often used of "slightly raised dry ground offering settlement sites in areas surrounded by marsh or subject to flooding" [Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names].
Island universe "solar system" (1846) translates German Weltinsel (von Humboldt, 1845). An Old English cognate was ealand "river-land, watered place, meadow by a river." Related: Islander.
U.S. state, the region is traditionally said to have been named by Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano when he passed through in 1524, based on an imagined similarity between modern Block Island and the Greek Isle of Rhodes. More likely it is from Roodt Eylandt, the name Dutch explorer Adriaen Block gave to Block Island c. 1614, literally "red island," so called for the color of its cliffs. Under this theory, the name was altered by 17c. English settlers by folk-etymology influence of the Greek island name (see Rhodes) and then extended to the mainland part of the colony. By 1685 the island had been renamed for Block. The Rhode Island red domestic fowl was so called by 1896, for its plumage.
1580s as a type of knitted cloth; 1842 as a breed of cattle; both from Jersey, one of the Channel Islands. Its name is said to be a corruption of Latin Caesarea, the Roman name for the island (or another near it), influenced by Old English ey "island" (see island); but it is perhaps rather a Viking name (perhaps meaning "Geirr's island").
The meaning "woolen knitted close-fitting tunic," especially one worn during sporting events, is from 1845. In American English, short for New Jersey from 1758. Related: Jerseyman.
*akwā-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "water."
It forms all or part of: aqua; aqua-; aqua vitae; aqualung; aquamarine; aquanaut; aquarelle; aquarium; Aquarius; aquatic; aquatint; aqueduct; aqueous; aquifer; Aquitaine; eau; Evian; ewer; gouache; island; sewer (n.1) "conduit."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit ap "water;" Hittite akwanzi "they drink;" Latin aqua "water, the sea, rain;" Lithuanian upė "a river;" Old English ea "river," Gothic ahua "river, waters." But Boutkan (2005) writes that only the Germanic and Latin words are sure, Old Irish ab is perhaps related, and "the rest of the evidence in Pokorny (1959) is uncertain."