"hot, dry desert wind" in the Arabian peninsula and elsewhere in that region, 1790, from Arabic samum "a sultry wind," literally "poisonous," from samma "he poisoned," from sam "poison."
peninsula of New England, named 1602 by English navigator Bartholomew Gosnold for the abundance of fish his men caught there (see cod). In reference to houses reminiscent of New England architecture, from 1916.
Siberian peninsula, 1730, named for a native people, the Kamchadal, from Koryak (Chukotko-Kamchatkan) konchachal, which is said to mean "men of the far end" [Room]. Related: Kamchatkan.
1580s, "pertaining to the brackish sea between the Scandinavian peninsula and Eastern Europe," from Medieval Latin Balticus, perhaps from Lithuanian baltas "white" or Scandinavian balta "belt; strait" (in reference to its narrow entranceway). In German, it is Ostsee, literally "east sea." From 1887 as the name of a language group comprising Lithuanian, Lettish, and Old Prussian.
former name of southern Spain, from Spanish, from al Andalus, Arabic name for the entire peninsula, which probably is from Late Latin *Vandalicia "the country of the Vandals" (see vandal) in reference to the Germanic tribe that, with others, overran the Western Empire 3c.-4c., and for a time settled in southern Spain. See vandal. Related: Andalusian.
peninsula of southern Greece, from Latin, from Greek Peloponnēsos. The second element apparently is nēsos "island" (see Chersonese); the first element is said to be from Pelops, name of the son of Tantalus, who killed him and served him to the gods as food (they later restored him to life). The proper name is probably from pelios "gray, dark" (from PIE root *pel- (1) "pale") + ōps "face, eye" (from PIE root *okw- "to see"). But the association of the proper name with the peninsula name likely is folk etymology.
Related: Peloponnesian (late 15c. as a noun, "a native or inhabitant of the Peloponnesus"). The Peloponnesian War (1570s) was the great struggle for hegemony between Athens and her maritime empire and Sparta and her allies on the Peloponnesus, waged from 431 B.C.E. to 404 B.C.E.
northernmost part of the Scandinavian peninsula, 1570s, from Lapp, the Swedish name for this Finnic people (their name for themselves was Sabme), which probably originally was an insulting coinage (compare Middle High German lappe "simpleton"). "Formerly, the fabled home of witches and magicians, who had power to send winds and tempests" [OED]. Related: Laplander.
large peninsula in northwestern North America, purchased by U.S. from Russia in 1867, a state since 1959. The name first was applied 18c. by Russian explorers, from Aleut alaxsxaq, literally "the object toward which the action of the sea is directed" [Bright]. Related: Alaskan. Baked Alaska is attested by 1896, so called either for its whiteness or for being cold inside.
U.S. state, formerly a Spanish colony, probably from Spanish Pascua florida, literally "flowering Easter," a Spanish name for Palm Sunday, and so named because the peninsula was discovered on that day (March 20, 1513) by the expedition of Spanish explorer Ponce de León. From Latin floridus "flowery, in bloom" (see florid). Related: Floridian (1580s as a noun, in reference to the natives; 1819 as an adjective).